Diversity Summer Law Fellowship

With support from the NFCJ, NACDL instituted a Diversity Fellowship program in criminal defense law. The fellowship places law students from historically underrepresented backgrounds with exceptional and experienced criminal defense attorneys, and the fellows experience criminal defense practice firsthand during their eight-week placements.

About the Fellowship


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Eligible applicants: 1Ls and 2Ls from historically underrepresented backgrounds, in good academic standing, and enrolled at an ABA-accredited law school.

Educational background: Demonstrated commitment to criminal justice – e.g. coursework, extracurricular activities, pre-law school organizational involvement.

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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: The potential host criminal defense offices are located throughout the country and will offer opportunities to learn about various stages of criminal proceedings ranging from pretrial to appeals. Applicants will be able to rank their location preferences once their application has been received.

Summer Stipend: Fellows will receive a weekly stipend of $500.00 to work for up to eight (8) weeks with selected criminal defense offices/practitioners.

Length of Fellowship: Up to eight (8) weeks.

Download an Application

Host Organizations

The 2020 summer host organizations are listed below; many of these organizations will also be possible host locations in 2021. Please check back periodically as the list will be updated as more hosts are added.

  • Committee for Public Counsel Services (MA)
  • Federal Public Defender for Southern District of Ohio
  • Federal Public Defender, Northern District of Texas
  • Federal Public Defender Western District of Pennsylvania
  • Fischer Redavid, PLLC (FL)
  • Jason Roger Williams & Associates (LA)
  • Miami Dade Public Defender Office (FL)
  • Mississippi Office of State Public Defender
  • Office of Public Advocacy – Anchorage Conflict Counsel
  • Office of Public Advocacy – Anchorage Criminal Section
  • Office of Public Advocacy – Appeals and Statewide Defense (AK)
  • Office of Public Advocacy – Fairbanks Defense Section (AK)
  • Office of the Public Defender – Baltimore City
  • Richmond Public Defender Office (VA)
  • Winchester Public Defender Office (VA)
  • Neighborhood Defender Services (NY)
  • Bronx Defenders (NY)
  • San Francisco Public Defender (CA)
  • Harden & Pinckney (DC)
  • Law Office of Lisa Wayne (CO)

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 some of our Fellows! 

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