Advancing Justice through Community Lawyering in New York City

New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI), a community-driven civil rights organization, is accepting applications from candidates for post-graduate law fellowships in our Health Justice, Disability Justice, and Environmental Justice programs. The Fellowship would begin in the fall of 2021.

NYLPI pioneered the practice of community lawyering in New York City, based on the premise that every New Yorker has the basic civil right to thrive. With every case and campaign, we partner with members of communities fighting marginalization and seeking justice, engaging in advocacy that is ambitious, participatory, and dynamic.

NYLPI’s Health Justice Program brings an anti-racist and immigrant justice lens to healthcare advocacy in New York. We represent immigrants and people in detention with serious health care needs. We address structural racism that shapes the social determinants of health, so that all New Yorkers can live a healthy life. Our Disability Justice Program defends and promotes the civil rights of people with disabilities in all aspects of life, including housing, education, transportation, and criminal justice. We work to ensure that people with disabilities can live independently and with dignity. Our Environmental Justice Program works in partnership with community groups and city-wide coalitions to eliminate the unfair burden of environmental hazards borne by low-income communities and communities of color, and to create a more equitable and sustainable city.

The Application Process: Public interest fellowship programs such as Equal Justice Works and the Skadden Fellowship Foundation provide two-year fellowships to graduating law students, outgoing judicial clerks and, in the case of Equal Justice Works, experienced attorneys motivated to work at a public interest legal organization. We also welcome applicants who may be eligible for other fellowship programs. The fellowship programs are competitive, and applicants need time to develop project proposals and complete applications. NYLPI thus strongly encourages all interested applicants to apply to NYLPI as early as possible, but no later than July 31, 2020. Candidates should submit a cover letter, resume, writing sample, most recent transcript (official or unofficial) and three references, including daytime telephone numbers, to Legal Director Hayley Gorenberg via email: fellowships@nylpi.org.

Candidates with fellowship project ideas are encouraged to discuss them in their cover letter, but it is not necessary to have a developed project proposal to apply. NYLPI has successfully sponsored many fellows in past years and works closely with candidates to craft effective proposals and prepare for fellowship interviews. Applications will be reviewed by NYLPI on a rolling basis.

About NYLPI

For more than 40 years, NYLPI has been a leading civil rights advocate for New Yorkers opposing marginalization based on race, immigration status, poverty, disability and a range of intersectional identities. NYLPI pioneered the practice of community lawyering in the five boroughs of New York City. These communities shape our priorities, and their struggles for justice demand innovative solutions. Our interdisciplinary teams of advocates use every tool available – community organizing, impact litigation and individual representation, policy advocacy, media, pro bono partnerships, and public education – to solve seemingly intractable problems, develop leaders, and build collective power to achieve justice. We strive to achieve equality of opportunity and self-determination for people with disabilities, create equal access to health care, ensure immigrant opportunity, strengthen local nonprofits, and secure environmental justice for low-income communities and communities of color. To learn more about NYLPI, visit www.nylpi.org.

We strongly encourage candidates fluent in multiple languages and candidates from historically oppressed groups to apply. We are committed to advancing social justice and civil rights in our advocacy, and we value the dynamism and perspective that staff diversity, equity, and inclusion bring to the work and culture of our organization. We strive to promote behaviors, attitudes and policies that enable us to work inclusively and effectively in cross-cultural situations with clients, co-workers, and community partners. We actively recruit and seek to grow and maintain a staff that is diverse along many axes, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, and national origin; disability; socioeconomic background; and sexual orientation and gender identity.

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