Heading into your 2L summer and starting to wonder how to go about landing a post-graduate job that you’re thrilled with? Next year, 4 Notre Dame students from the class of 2018 are guaranteed public interest jobs through Notre Dame Law School and only Notre Dame Law students are eligible to apply. These 4 students will decide which organization they want to work for and will create their own project for that organization. In other words, these 4 students will literally create their own dream jobs!
If you have even a tiny interest in launching a public interest career, come talk to me about the Shaffer Fellowship and Bank of America Foundation Fellowship. Even if you have done nothing public interest related throughout all of law school, I promise you can still be a competitive applicant. All it takes is a 15 minute conversation with me to get started.
(Remember that first required GALILEE session in the courtroom when Professor Jones and I moderated a panel of recent graduates working in public interest? Those graduates were all working in the fellowships this blog is talking about.)
The applications for these fellowships are due in September, right about when you return to campus, and the most competitive applicants are talking to organizations right now. With that in mind, if you plan to apply to these fellowships in the fall, please meet with me by May 15.
You can always schedule a time to talk with me on symplicity. I am available by skype, phone, in-person in Chicago, or in-person when I am on-campus. I am happy to talk with you at anytime but in addition to that…
To make it as easy as possible for you to meet with me, I am going to hold open office hours for two hours each day that I am on campus for the rest of the semester just to talk about fellowships with students in the class of 2018.
Here are my open office fellowship hours:
Monday, March 27: 12-2
Tuesday, April 4: 2:30-4:30
Monday, April 10: 12-2
Wednesday, April 26: 2:30-4:30
Tuesday, May 2: 2:30-4:30
Wednesday, May 10: 12:00-2:00
Please feel free to pop in during these hours or schedule with me on symplicity if you want to talk at any other time.
This opportunity is not too good to be true. With most jobs, you are competing with hundreds and potentially thousands of law students at other law schools but with this one, you are only competing with a few applicants from Notre Dame Law School. Don’t assume you aren’t a good candidate or are not interested in public interest work. This opportunity is very broad. You can even do corporate work. Come talk to me before counting yourself out.
You can learn more about the fellowships on the website. The Shaffer website can be found here and the Bank of America Foundation Fellowship can be found here. The more thoroughly you delve into the information on the website before talking to me, the more productive our conversation will be.
Here are the fellowship projects from recent years:
Ashlyn Anderson-Keelin is serving as a 2016 Shaffer Fellow at Catholic Charities Legal Network of the Archdiocese of Washington. Ashlyn is working to facilitate the expansion of legal services into Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties in Maryland, which are both under-served communities with nearly 10 percent of their populations living below the poverty line.
Neysa Nankervis is serving as a 2016 Shaffer Fellow at Public Counsel. In her project, Nankervis will represent commercially sexually exploited children in the Los Angeles area. Her project will focus on serving the growing needs of child victims of sex trafficking.
Read more about Anderson-Keelin and Nankervis’s fellowship projects.
Nicholas Bedenk is serving as a 2016 BOAF Fellow at First Defense Legal Aid in Chicago, where he is working to reduce mass incarceration by keeping young people out of the criminal justice system.
Christina Jones is serving as a 2016 BOAF Fellow at The Arc in Washington, DC, where she is working to develop innovative workforce solutions for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Jessica Binzoni is serving as a 2015 Shaffer Fellow at the National Immigrant Justice Center in Chicago. Binzoni’s project involves supporting the Asylum Project by representing clients applying for humanitarian parole, withholding of removal, asylum, deferred action and special immigrant juvenile visas. Binzoni, a fluent French speaker is working particularly with the 40 percent of NIJC’s clients seeking asylum from West Africa.
Audra Passinault is serving as a 2015 Shaffer Fellow at the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago. Passinault’s project involves educating and representing human trafficking victims seeking immigration visas as well as helping with domestic violence issues and access to healthcare.
Jason Sethen is serving as a 2015 BOAF Fellow at the Chicago Low Income Housing Trust Fund where he is working to create a stable housing environment for low-income individuals and families.
Rachael Winkler is serving as a 2015 BOAF Fellow at the International Institute of the Bay Area where she is helping undocumented survivors of domestic violence and other violent crimes in their application process for naturalization.
If you want to get in touch with any of the current or past fellows, email me and I will put you in touch.
Come talk to me about your interest in the fellowship. You do not need to have an organization or idea in mind to get started. Even vague notions of wanting to do some kind of public interest work are enough to get the conversation started!