Diversity Summer Law Fellowship

Through generous support from the NFCJ, NACDL is proud to offer its Diversity Summer Law Fellowship program. The Fellowship provides opportunities for law students from historically underrepresented backgrounds to work with exceptional and experienced criminal defense attorneys. Students receive a weekly stipend for up to eight weeks of summer employment. 

About the Fellowship

Eligible applicants: 1L and 2L students from historically underrepresented backgrounds, in good academic standing, and enrolled at an ABA-accredited law school. NACDL defines "historically underrepresented backgrounds" to include people of color, women, LGBTQ+ individuals, and persons with disabilities. This list, however is not exhuastive. See the FAQ section for additional information

Stipend: Fellows may earn up to $4,500 for the summer. Each fellow will receive $562 per week for up to 8 weeks of employment with a criminal defense office/practitioner.

NACDL membership is FREE for law students. NACDL offers mentorships and resources that will start your defense career off right. Join NACDL today! nacdl.org/studentformDeadline: Applications for the 2023 Diversity Summer Law Fellowship are now OPEN. Applications are due by 11:59pm on MARCH 7, 2023.

Background and Demonstrated Interest: Selected students will have a demonstrated commitment to criminal justice as evidenced through their coursework, extracurricular activities, pre-law school organizational involvement, employment, or other relevant experiences.

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Supported by NFCJ

The NACDL Foundation for Criminal Justice preserves and promotes the core values of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the American criminal justice system.

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Placement: Students may apply to receive funding for either a summer internship they have already secured or can choose from the Fellowship's broad array of potential employers including solo practitioners, firms, and state and federal public defense agencies, located throughout the U.S. The list of potential summer hosts will be regularly updated on this page. 

How to Apply: To apply for a Diversity Summer Law Fellowship, students must submit a completed application, along with a resume (1-2 pages) and complete a brief writing exercise (1-2 pages). The application and writing exercise can be found here. 

 Diversity Fellowship Application

Learn More: Diversity Fellowship FAQs

Want to be a Host Organization?  Sign Up Now

Host Organizations

Prior hosts are listed below. Please check back periodically to view the list of 2023 hosts. 

  • Alaska: Office of Public Advocacy (Anchorage and Fairbanks)
  • Alaska: Office of Public Advocacy--Appeals
  • California: San Fransisco Public Defender's Office
  • Colorado: Law Office of Lisa Wayne
  • District of Columbia: Harden & Pinckney
  • Florida: Fischer Redavid, PLLC
  • Florida: Miami-Dade Public Defender's Office
  • Massachusetts: Committee for Public Counsel Services 
  • Mississippi: Office of the State Public Defender
  • New York: Bronx Defenders
  • New York: Neighborhood Defender Services
  • Ohio: Federal Public Defender for the Southern District
  • Pennsylvania: Federal Public Defender for the Western District
  • Virginia: City of Richmond Public Defender's Office
  • Virginia: City of Winchester Public Defender's Office

Note: NACDL defines “historically underrepresented backgrounds” based on the National Association of Law Placement’s 2017 Report on Diversity in U.S. Law Firms. NACDL further acknowledges that “historically underrepresented backgrounds” may not fall along traditionally recognized lines, and therefore invites all applicants to explain why they may feel they belong to an underrepresented group in the legal industry. 

Fellow Spotlight

Andrew ReathAndrew Reath, a 2018 Summer Fellow, represents the exceptionally talented individuals that both participated in the program and use it to start their careers in criminal defense. Andrew spent his fellowship with the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office (SFPDO) in San Francisco, California. At the SFPDO, he worked on several felony cases under the supervision of deputy public defender and senior trial attorney, Phoenix Streets. Andrew gained wide-ranging and substantive legal experience, drafting pretrial motions, writing research memos, conducting jail interviews, and assisting in trial preparation. Before this fellowship, Andrew interned with the Florida Capital Resource Center and Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida. Andrew is passionate about criminal justice reform and is interested in a legal career committed to speaking truth to power. Originally from Miramar, Florida, Andrew received his undergraduate degree from the University of Florida, with a triple major in Philosophy, Linguistics, and English. He graduated from the University of Florida Levin College of Law in May 2019. Since his time at the SFPDO, Andrew continued to excel in law school, serving on the executive board of the Asian Pacific American Law Student Association and clerking for the Hon. Anthony M. Tatti, Circuit Judge for the Fifth Judicial Circuit of Florida. 

Meet more of our Fellows!

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