Click through a list of our Frequently Asked Questions about NYCLU Fellowships below.

How long are fellowships at the NYCLU?

A.How long are fellowships at the NYCLU?


Fellowships are limited term positions. Fellows are expected to complete either a one- or two-year term, depending on the length provided for by their external funding.

What is the external funding process like?

A.What is the external funding process like?


Selected applicants will work together with the NYCLU to develop and submit proposals for national public interest law fellowships, such as the Skadden, Soros, Equal Justice Works, or Justice Catalyst Fellowships. These fellowships typically have deadlines in early fall.

Selected applicants who are eligible for law-school specific fellowships, such as the Yale Liman Fellowship, NYU-Dedicated Post-Graduate Fellowships, Harvard Law Review Public Interest Fellowship, Columbia Fellowships, or University of Chicago Public Interest Law Fellowships, and similar school-sponsored fellowships, are encouraged to apply for those as well. These fellowships typically have deadlines in the spring.

External fellowship funders will generally require applicants to submit a project proposal depending on the fellowship’s requirements. Proposed projects often combine legal advocacy and impact litigation, policy advocacy, community outreach, and public education. Whatever the topic, we will collaborate with the selected fellowship candidate to develop a proposal that builds on the candidate’s interests and skills, ensures appropriate supervision and mentorship, fits with the NYCLU’s priorities, and employs strategies most likely to be effective in advancing the project’s goals. The NYCLU will collaborate with candidates to draft an application for external funding and prepare for interviews.

How many fellows does the NYCLU sponsor?

A.How many fellows does the NYCLU sponsor?


The number of fellows the NYCLU sponsors each year (between one and four fellows) depends on the specific fellowships to which applicants are applying and on space limitations. The position is contingent on a successful application to an externally funded fellowship program.

The NYCLU typically sponsors one fellow for each externally-funded fellowship program (Equal Justice Works, Skadden, Soros, or Justice Catalyst).

In the past, the NYCLU has agreed to sponsor candidates who we sponsored for EJW, Skadden, Soros, or Justice Catalyst but were not selected for a school-sponsored fellowship later on.

What NYCLU departments can fellows work in?

A.What NYCLU departments can fellows work in?


NYCLU fellows are typically housed in the Legal Department, Policy Department, or the Education Policy Center. Some fellows work in more than one department.

The Legal Department engages primarily in impact litigation and files lawsuits in federal and state courts in cases that raise civil liberties and civil rights issues that have potential impact on a large number of people. The Policy Department monitors legislative and policy initiatives statewide that implicate constitutional rights and liberties; drafts and supports affirmative legislation that advances constitutional freedoms, and opposes laws, rules, and policies that would compromise those freedoms; represents the NYCLU at the state legislature in Albany; and advocates with state and local government agencies on rules and regulations. The Education Policy Center advances young people’s civil rights and liberties through legislative advocacy, litigation, community outreach and public education, focusing on ending the school-to-prison pipeline, promoting school integration efforts, ensuring safe and supportive schools for all students, and securing comprehensive and inclusive sexuality education across the state.

Where is the NYCLU’s staff located?

A.Where is the NYCLU’s staff located?


The Legal Department, Policy Department, and Education Policy Center are primarily located in its New York City offices, but the NYCLU will consider applicants who wish to base their work in one of the NYCLU’s regional areas. The Policy Department and Education Policy Center are at 1 Whitehall and the Legal Department is at 125 Broad (about a 5-minute walk away from each other).

NYCLU staff is currently working in hybrid mode due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In-person attendance criteria is still being determined as conditions continue to evolve. This is not a fully remote position. 

What are the salary and benefits?

A.What are the salary and benefits?


A fellow’s salary is subject to the NYCLU’s attorney salary scale, which is based on years of legal experience. 2022 law school graduates currently start at $66,000. If the fellowship pays less, the NYCLU will pay the additional amount to bring the fellow up to the attorney salary scale.

The NYCLU offers a competitive benefits package.

After I submit my sponsorship application to the NYCLU, when will I hear back?

A.After I submit my sponsorship application to the NYCLU, when will I hear back?


The NYCLU will make decisions in July once the priority deadline of June 24th passes. We will continue considering applications until the positions are filled. 

What are some examples of past fellowship projects?

A.What are some examples of past fellowship projects?


In the past, we have sponsored fellowship candidates to conduct litigation, research, and/or advocacy on a wide range of issues. Some recent examples include:

  • Provide direct representation, impact litigation, and policy advocacy to address the overrepresentation of students of color, immigrant youth, and emergent bilingual students in special education in Westchester County;
  • Combatting family separation and surveillance through the child welfare system (“the new Jane Crow”) by improving parent representation through policy advocacy and community education;
  • Providing direct services and impact litigation to promote equal access to education for low-income immigrant children on Long Island who were facing discrimination and inadequate services;
  • Engaging in advocacy, public education, outreach, and litigation to challenge the use of religion to discriminate against individuals seeking reproductive health care and LGBTQ New Yorkers;
  • Protecting the constitutional rights of people on parole in the state of New York;
  • Providing legal assistance for detainees with final removal orders in the Buffalo Federal Detention Center in Batavia, New York; and
  • Enforcing local, state, and federal standards of care for immigrant youth in the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement in New York State with a focus on mental-health and medical care, disability accommodation, and education access.