Career Development Office
100 Law Center
Houston, Texas 77204-6060
What is the purpose of the fellowship?
Who is eligible for the fellowship?
What are the terms of the fellowship?
How do I apply for the fellowship?
What criteria are considered for selection of fellows?
What placements qualify for this fellowship?
How do I find a fellowship placement?
What happens after I apply for the fellowship?
When do I know whether I have been selected for a fellowship?
What do I do about my placement if not selected for a fellowship?
If selected, when do I get the money?
Do I have to pay taxes on the fellowship money or will it impact financial aid?
To provide opportunities for work exposure in the public interest legal community, thereby instilling an excitement about and a commitment to public service in our students and graduates.
1Ls, 2Ls, and part-time 3Ls in good academic standing with a GPA of at least 2.33.
Awardees will receive $400.00 a week for a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 10 weeks for full-time work with non-profit legal organizations and government agencies (the number of weeks must be indicated on the Fellowship Application). Students working outside the Houston area can apply for a Travel and Additional Expense grant of up to $1,000.00. The exact amount of the travel grant awarded will be determined by the program administrator in accordance with funds available for competing needs.
Students must first secure their summer placement with a public interest organization or a government agency. Then, by the posted deadline, students must submit their Public Interest Fellowship Application and the optional Travel and Additional Expense Grant Request (for students working outside of the Houston area). Also by the posted deadline, the host organization must fill out and submit an Agency Agreement. Please note this form can be submitted by the agency electronically, email, fax, US mail or hand delivery. Please begin work on the forms early and save a copy for your records.
1. Your previous experience and future goals related to serving the public. It is understood that many law students develop an attraction to public interest while in law school. A lack of previous experience should not deter a student from submitting an application.
2. Your placement. How does the organization serve the public? How will your time there benefit the organization and the population they serve? How will the experience help you achieve your public interest goals?
3. Your demonstrated understanding of the economic realities of public interest work. Have you considered how to repay student loans, if any, on a public interest salary? Have you considered how the lack of funding for public interest work impacts our justice system? Do you have any thoughts about how to remedy the funding issues for individual public interest attorneys and/or organizations? A discussion of potential funding sources is very favorably considered.
4. The overall professional and thoughtful quality of your application.
Students may work with legal departments of government agencies or non-profit organizations. The placement can either provide direct legal services or be more focused on policy and legislative change. Judicial internships do not qualify as fellowship placements. Fellowship work must be of a substantive legal nature and must be supervised by a licensed attorney.
Your career counselor can help you identify resources and recruiting events to find and connect with public interest employers. Make an appointment here.
The applications are reviewed by a board of public interest attorneys and faculty who rank the candidates. The fellowships are awarded in descending order until funds for this year are exhausted.
Recipients will be notified early to mid April.
UHLC highly recommends keeping all commitments made to an organization. If you aren’t selected for UHLC Fellowship you have three options:
1. Securing an external fellowship to fund the work (external funding sources can be found on www.psjd.org)
2. Enroll in the Clinical Externship class to receive academic credit for the work (the deadline to apply is generally early May), or
3. Volunteer. The wealth of legal experience and good will generated will be well worth your time.
If, however, it is impossible to fulfill a work commitment without receipt of fellowship funding, we ask you to clearly explain the contingent nature of your application to the organization.
Monies are generally released the first week of June.
The fellowship is an educational opportunity closely akin to a scholarship. The University generally issues recipients a 1099 and you may owe tax on the funds, depending upon your level of income. Each individual should check with their own tax advisor and the university financial aid advisor.