Texas Law Public Defense Fellowship

Texas Law is committed to supporting recent graduates to work to increase access to justice for underrepresented individuals and communities. That commitment includes supporting graduates who seek careers serving clients impacted by the criminal legal system. In the past, we have partnered with Gideon’s Promise to support postgraduate fellowships in public defender offices, but unfortunately the Gideon’s Promise Law Partnership Program has been paused for the class of 2023. In response, Texas Law will award up to two postgraduate fellowships to support members of the Class of 2023 to work with nonprofit public defense organizations.

Application Information

Application due: January 30, 2023

Apply using the online application form on this page. Applications are due by noon on Monday, January 30, 2023. The selection committee will hold interviews with finalists in February.

The Texas Law Public Defense Fellowship will fund a one-year (12 month, full-time) post-graduate fellowship with an existing nonprofit public defense organization. The fellow will receive $55,000 in salary. The sponsoring organization must be a nonprofit organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The sponsoring organization is expected to supply and fund the benefits that a fellow would ordinarily receive as a new employee. In the event that the regular salary of a comparable position at the sponsoring organization exceeds $55,000, the sponsoring organization is encouraged to commit to paying the difference. The fellow must be supervised by a licensed attorney. The fellow and sponsoring organization will sign agreements regarding their fellowship obligations.

Before applying, applicants identify a potential sponsoring organization and collaborate with the organization to develop a brief description of the proposed position and a plan for training and supervision. A position providing ancillary civil legal services to clients of the sponsoring organization would qualify. Students with questions are welcome to contact Mary Murphy in the Career Services Office.

The fellowship is available only to Texas Law students who graduated in December 2022 or who will graduate in May 2023. The fellow will be chosen by a faculty committee based on the applicant’s commitment to public service, the proposed position, and the sponsoring organization’s commitment to training and supervising the applicant.

Other opportunities: