Create Your Public Interest Dream Job: Job Opportunity Exclusively for Notre Dame 3L Due April 6

Notre Dame Law has one guaranteed public-interest job for a Notre Dame 3L and the best part is you literally create your own dream job. You choose the organization. You choose the project. You are only limited by your own imagination.

How is this possible? Through the Thomas L. Shaffer Fellowship, Notre Dame has one Shaffer Fellowship available to award to a 3L and only Notre Dame Law students are eligible to apply.

Applications are due to me on April 6, 2017. If you are interested in applying, email me as soon as possible to discuss your application plan.

Don’t count yourself out. You are likely a better candidate for the fellowship than you think you are. If you have any inclination toward applying, email me ASAP and we can talk it through. 

The first key step to preparing your Shaffer application is finding a host organization, where you will work, to support your project. Your project is yours to create and you can do just about anything. Past fellows have created projects addressed barriers to re-entry for ex-felons, fighting for immigrant women facing gender-based violence, defending the water rights of citizens in rural New Mexico, representing African clients applying for asylum, defending youths who are suspended or expelled from public schools, and many more.

You can go anywhere and do just about anything.

Fellows earn $46,000 per year plus full benefits and work at their organizations for two-years.

The Shaffer Fellowship has proven to be a tremendous launching pad for public interest careers.

Since its creation in 2011, 13 Shaffer Fellows have been selected to complete projects at 10 different organizations from across the country, including in organizations in Chicago, Pittsburgh, Denver, New Mexico, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C, Philadelphia, and Houston. Of the 9 fellows that have completed their projects, six remain at the organizations at which they completed their Shaffer projects, two are continuing their careers in public interest, doing work similar to what did they in their projects, and one is a faculty member at a law school, pursuing research interests consistent with the work he completed as a Shaffer fellow.

A complete application is composed of seven pieces, the most arduous of which is preparing three essays describing your project and why you are the best person to complete the project.

You can read about the Shaffer application process through the eyes of one of last year’s successful fellowship applicants’ here.

Here are the seven pieces of the application: 

1. Thomas L. Shaffer Public Interest Fellowship 2016 Application
Note that the application requires the applicant to answer three questions asking the candidate to explain their project and host organization, demonstrate their commitment to public service, and show why their project will advance Notre Dame’s mission. Candidates wishing to view examples of past successful essays can email me and I will provide them.

2. Official Law School transcript
3. A Letter of Recommendation from a professor
Note to recommenders: please draft letters of recommendation on Notre Dame letterhead and address the letter to the “Thomas L. Shaffer Public Interest Fellowship Committee.” Please email all letters of recommendation to me rather than submitting a hard copy.

4. A Letter of Recommendation from a former employer
5. Resume (including Undergraduate GPA)
6. Signed Fellow Agreement, with explanation of the type of work the applicant anticipates performing and the name and address of the host agency
7. Signed Host Agency Agreement, identifying the work the applicant would be engaged to perform, and accompanied by documentation that confirms the host agency’s 501( c )(3) status

For more information, visit the Fellowship website.

This is a guaranteed job for one Notre Dame 3L so if you have any interest, please shoot me an email at to get the conversation started.

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