August 2, 2016 – UCLA School of Law has awarded 26 postgraduate fellowships, including 19 inaugural University of California (UC) President’s Public Service Law Fellowships, to 2016 graduates committed to practicing law in service to the public. The awards are for one-year terms and include stipends of $40,000 to $45,000 as well as funding to help defray bar exam expenses. The fellowships enable graduates to work on behalf of underserved individuals, communities and causes, as well as in a variety of government positions.
“We are thrilled to have the funding to provide these fellowships this year to a number of our students with deep public service commitments and goals,” said UCLA School of Law Dean Jennifer L. Mnookin. “Recipients of these fellowships will be working with nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and non-governmental organizations throughout California and the nation, as well as internationally. While we have always had a strong commitment to public service here at UCLA, these UC President’s Fellowships, combined with other dedicated funding, ensure that we are in an excellent position to help launch our students into their chosen field.”
In addition to the 19 inaugural UC President’s Public Service Law Fellowships, funding for seven additional public service fellowships has been provided by UCLA Law’s David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy, Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, cy pres funds, and generous gifts from The Ahmanson Foundation and alumna Margaret Levy.
Recipients of this year’s public service fellowships will work at distinguished non-profit organizations and government agencies including the National Immigration Law Center; Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights; Orleans Public Defenders; The Bronx Defenders; ACLU of Southern California; Bras Ouverts - Open Arms in Benin, Africa; California Department of Justice; International Justice Resource Center; Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas; Alliance for Children’s Rights; and UNESCO in Samoa, among other entities.
Through these fellowships, UCLA Law graduates will work to help address critical problems including domestic violence, human trafficking, immigration, HIV/AIDS, civil rights violations, labor and employment discrimination, and environmental law concerns.
“These fellowships are critical because they enable our graduates to break into the field of public interest law and secure positions with top public interest employers where job opportunities are scarce because funding is so limited,” said Ingrid Eagly, professor and faculty director of the David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy. “The availability of these fellowships furthers our mission of being one of the top law schools in the country to place students in public interest legal careers. We have found that these positions not only give our students a first foot in the door, but also lead to long-term positions in the students’ areas of interest.”
UCLA Law has a long-standing tradition of promoting service among its students. Students provide legal assistance to criminal defendants, asylum seekers, tribes, veterans, civil and human rights organizations and environmental justice advocates. For more than 40 years, UCLA School of Law students have managed El Centro Legal Clinics, one of the largest student-run legal volunteer efforts in the country.
The UC President’s Public Service Law Fellowships are part of a newly launched effort by the UC Office of the President to award $4.5 million annually to make public service-oriented postgraduate work and summer positions more accessible to promising students at UC’s four law schools – UCLA, UC Berkeley, UC Davis and UC Irvine.
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