I'm a Public interest law student. What does technology have to do with public interest law?
In a rapidly changing legal profession, technology plays an important role in helping to improve access to justice.
Some example of ways technology can improve legal services include 1) online document assembly tools that provide self-represented litigants assistance in completing court forms. 2) virtual triage platforms that identify the most appropriate form of service for clients in light of the totality of their circumstances. 3) mobile technologies; and (4) remote service delivery platforms that facilitate pro bono attorneys to offer legal assistance to individuals living in rural communities.
Do I need to have a background in technology to be considered for the program?
No. Great candidates are law students who have a commitment to social justice issues and bring an entrepreneurial approach to recognizing needs, solving problems, anticipating issues, and developing solutions.
Are there any eligibility requirements?
- Attend an ABA-accredidated law school
- Must be a current 1L or 2L law student
- Demonstrated commitment to public interest law and social justice
Should I include grades in my application materials?
No. It is not required in your application. However, you must include an official letter of academic good standing from your law school.
Who should apply?
We’re looking for entrepreneurial-minded law students who are passionate about social justice and want to spend the summer learning new ways to leverage technology in order to improve access legal services for low-income individuals and communities.
Are third-year law students, LLM students, or students who have recently graduated eligible to apply to the ATJ Tech Fellows Program?
No. Our fellowships are intended for first and second year law students only.
What is the ATJ Tech Fellows Program?
The ATJ Tech Fellows program provides law students a dynamic learning experience that merges cutting edge legal education with practical experience. At the intersection of access to justice and innovation, ATJ Tech Fellows will spend their summer working on innovative projects and initiatives aimed to improve our civil justice system. Fellows will gain practical experience on the varied use of technology in delivering legal services and a host of other translational legal skills.
What type of work would I be doing as a ATJ Tech Fellow?
ATJ Tech Fellows work on a wide and diverse range of projects and initiatives depending on their host organization. There are currently 11 participating host organizations in the ATJ Tech Fellows Program. Please check out the “Fellowship Positions” page for a detailed description of each organization project. Examples of the work performed by ATJ Tech Fellows include:
- Research and develop legal resources for use by pro bono attorneys
- Drafting new legal information content for legal information websites
- Improving usability/accessibility of self-help legal materials
- Reviewing and testing automated document assembly tools
- Developing and implementing UX, software, and forms tests to ensure that website features meet the needs of the organization's users and its business requirements
- Curating plain-language legal forms.
Are fellows paid?
Yes. Each tech fellow will receive a $4,000 stipend in consideration for the ten weeks that she or he spends with their designated host organization over the summer. Fellows may also seek additional outside funding in addition to the stipend provided by the fellows program.
Will I earn academic credit?
Maybe. If your law school allows you to receive compensation and earn academic credit, then it is fine with us.
Can I apply to more than one position in the fellows program?
Yes. You can apply to as many host organization positions as you like. You must submit a separate application for each position.
What if my preferred legal aid organization is in another state?
Priority will be given to applicants within the state of the host organization. Additionally, please take into consideration that the fellowship program does not offer additional funding for travel, but you are welcome to apply to an organization in another state.
What is the application process?
To be considered for the ATJ Tech Fellows program you must submit a completed application including 1) responses to personal statement questions; 2) a resume; 3) an official letter of academic good standing from a ABA-accredited law school; and 4) a contact list of two references, which should be included with your attached resume document.
Please attach all files in PDF format.
Do i need to complete a new application for each organization i'm interested in?
Nope! You can select more than one legal aid organization that you are interested in during the application process. If you are accepted into the Program, we will help you select one organization to work with during the summer.
What is the deadline to apply?
The deadline for applications is February 9, 2018.
How many fellows will be accepted into the program?
We will be accepting 24 fellows into the 2018 summer cohort.
How will i know if i am selected?
You will notified via email late February if you are selected for the program via email.
If I am selected, how soon must I respond?
Within three business days, or the offer will be withdrawn, unless the host organization agrees to extend it further.
How can I put together the strongest fellowship application possible?
Application. Please make sure to follow the application instructions on our “Apply” page. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
Resume. If you have not already, you are strongly encouraged to visit your school's career services office to have your current resume reviewed before including it with your fellowship application.
References. Use two professional contacts who can speak to your overall professionalism, your commitment to public interest work, or any other strengths. Please ensure that you have the correct contact information for your references.
Personal Statement Questions. Demonstrate your commitment to working for the common good by harkening back to prior experiences. Please do not regurgitate your resume in answering the personal statement questions. Share a compelling story your involvement in pro bono work or describe a public interest initiative you led or currently lead.
Who can I contact to find out more?
Contact Miguel Willis by email with any questions about the ATJ Tech Fellows Program.