Many of our students will lead lifelong careers as advocates for social justice. We understand that the the first steps on this career path are challenging, and our staff is committed to helping our students succeed. Our support includes connecting students to current practitioners and educating students about the many kinds of employers and substantive areas of law within the public interest community.
We also assist recent graduates by funding a number of public interest fellowships. Each fellowship pays for one graduate to work for a year as an attorney at a sponsoring public interest organization. Our fellowships help recent graduates earn experience as practicing attorneys and build the foundations of a long career as a public interest lawyer.
In addition to Postgraduate Fellowships, funding is available through the new Catalyst Grant Program, which will support those seeking government positions and those seeking to engage in human rights and rule of law work at the grassroots level abroad. More information can be found here.
The following fellowships were offered in 2012-13 and funded a wide array work:
ACE Rule of Law and Human Rights Fellowship (Penn Law in partnership with Human Rights First, supporting international and public interest work in the areas of rule of law and human rights)
Langer, Grogan & Diver Fellowship in Social Justice (supporting public interest work in the Delaware Valley)
Penn Law Public Interest Fellowship (supporting public interest work anywhere)
S. Gerald Litvin & Dennis R. Suplee Fellowship (supporting public interest work anywhere)
Toll Public Interest Fellowship (supporting public interest work anywhere)
University of Pennsylvania Law Review Public Interest Fellowship (supporting public interest work anywhere)
Application Process & Deadlines
Applications for both Project-based Fellowships and Catalyst Grants are due on Thursday, March 20th, 2014. Applicants who are eligible for both sources of funding may apply for both, and should note that on the application cover page. Applying for both sources of funding will not impact the selection process.Applications will be reviewed by the Toll Public Interest Center Advisory Board Fellowship Selection Committee. Applicants will be notified no later than Friday, March 21st if they will be interviewed by the selection committee. Interviews will take place during the week of March 31st. There is a strong preference for in-person interviews, but arrangements can be made via Skype if absolutely essential. Decisions will be communicated to all applicants on Friday, April 4th. An announcement will be shared with the law school community during the week of Monday, April 7th and funding recipients will be invited to be recognized at the annual public interest recognition event on Wednesday, April 9th.
Only students applying for Catalyst Grants may apply for funding before they have secured a placement. To those students, conditional award letters will be provided in order to help them secure a commitment from prospective placements.
One original and ten (10) printed copies of your complete application packet must be received by the Toll Public Interest Center no later than 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 20th , 2014. Late applications will not be considered. Letters of recommendation may be mailed directly to the Toll Public Interest Center by recommenders who wish to keep their letters private.
Mailing Address for application materials:
University of Pennsylvania Law School
Attention: Toll Public Interest Center Postgraduate Fellowship & Catalyst Grant Program
3501 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6204
Questions about the application process may be directed to Arlene Rivera Finkelstein, Associate Dean and Executive Director of Toll Public Interest Center, at: (215) 898-0459 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Penn Law Postgraduate Fellowship & Catalyst Grant Program Application 2014
- Postgraduate Fellowship & Catalyst Grant Program Application Cover Page
Past and Current Fellows
We have funded new lawyers practicing many kinds of law at many kinds of organizations:
Valerie Baron: 2013-2014 Environmental Integrity Project, Washington, D.C.
Shikha Bhattacharjee: 2013-2014 Jan Sahas Social Development Society, Madhya Pradesh,
Liz Booth: 2013-2014 Community Legal Services, Philadelphia
Asher Levinthal: 2013-2014 Bronx Defenders, Bronx, New York
Kathleen Norland: 2013-2014 Human Rights First, Washington, D.C.
Joline Price: 2013-2014 Pennsylvania Health Law Project, Philadelphia
Sarah Alba: 2012-13 Manhattan Legal Services
Denisse Cordova: 2012-13 FoodFirst Information and Action Network (FIAN)
Jamie Gullen: 2012-13 Community Legal Services, Philadelphia
Megan Rok: 2012-13 Support Center for Child Advocates, Philadelphia
Matt McFeeley: 2011-12 Natural Resources Defense Counsel, Washington D.C.
Abel Rodriguez: 2011-12 Nueva Esperanza, Philadelphia
Benjamin Salvina: 2011-12 Community Legal Services, Philadelphia
Joanna Visser: 2011-12 Juvenile Law Center, Philadelphia
Mira Baylson: 2010-2011 Defender Association of Philadelphia
Elizabeth Leonard: 2010-2011 Disability Rights Advocates, Berkeley, CA
Emily Torstveit Ngara: 2010-11 Nationalities Service Center, Philadelphia