Michigan Law has several postgraduate fellowships specifically for Michigan Law graduates and also provides extensive support to students who are pursuing external fellowships.
Postgraduate fellowships are grants that fund law graduates to work at public interest organizations or government agencies. They are typically short-term positions that allow new lawyers to gain exposure and experience in their chosen field. Postgraduate fellowships are collectively the largest source of entry-level public interest law jobs and can put graduates in a great position to find subsequent public interest work (often at the same organization/agency).
If you are interested in a career in public interest law, the Office of Career Planning encourages you to learn more about postgraduate fellowships.
You can start by exploring the resources below and make an appointment to talk with Lara Finkbeiner (Public Interest Director) or another OCP counselor.
At Michigan Law
Organization and Staff Attorney
Applicants apply directly to a non-profit organization for a one- to two-year fellowship with that organization (e.g. Zubrow Fellowship at the Juvenile Law Center). These fellowships may provide funding for a general staff attorney position or a specific issue area, but the applicant is not required to propose his or her own project.
Project-based or Entrepreneurial
Applicants propose their own projects and join with an organization to submit an application to a funding source (e.g. Equal Justice Works, Skadden).
Some big law firms offer entry level attorneys the opportunity to work from several months up to two years for a designated non-profit organization, typically in the city or community where the law firm is based. Some law firm fellowships are split positions, where the fellow spends a portion of his or her time working on firm matters and the remaining portion working at a nonprofit. Many law firm fellowships allow for a fellow to join the firm as an associate after completion of the fellowship.
Some plaintiff-side firms (also sometimes referred to as public-private firms) have entry-level fellowship positions that are internally funded. These fellowships usually last 1-2 years and are excellent ways to enter into plaintiff-side work.
Clinical and Academic
Recipients of these fellowships teach and supervise current law students enrolled in clinics; some clinical fellowships also allow for the fellow to work toward an LLM.
Applicants apply directly to a government agency for a one- to two-year fellowship with that agency (e.g. NYPD Law Graduate Fellowship). These programs do not require an applicant to propose a project. There is also the Presidential Management Fellowship, a leadership development program within the federal government.
Additional Funding Resources
PSJD is an online resource for law students and alumni to search thousands of public interest job opportunities and employer profiles. For fellowships, use this resource to search fellowship opportunities, to find potential sponsoring organizations, and to review the fellowship application deadline calendar.