The Sustainable Economies Legal Fellowship

  • What: The Sustainable Economies Law Center will offer between one and three fellowships to new attorneys. Fellows will work for SELC half-time for one year, beginning August 2013, while receiving support and training to become lawyers specializing in the legal needs of local, sustainable economies.
    • Program Work: Each fellow will develop a specialty and provide leadership in one of SELC’s seven program areas. Fellows will engage in legal research, write educational materials, lead advocacy efforts, and develop trainings on the topic area.
    • Legal Service Work: Each fellow will spend part of her/his time providing legal advice and representation to clients in California, and particularly through SELC’s Community Clinic in Richmond or East Oakland.
    • Training and Mentorship: Fellows will receive 1-2 hours per week of classroom training to grow their skills and knowledge in providing transactional law services in support of the sharing economy. Fellows will receive mentorship to assist in the creation of their own law practices or new legal programs.
  • Purposes: The purposes of this program are to:
    • Help meet the legal needs of the growing sharing economy movement
    • Provide a launch-pad for new attorneys to establish sharing economy law practices in communities throughout the U.S.
    • Provide training to new lawyers on the legal needs of a sharing economy
    • Help new law grads become eligible for Loan Repayment Assistance Programs, by providing an opportunity to work half-time for a 501(c)(3)
    • Create jobs and entrepreneurship opportunities for new attorneys during times of extremely high attorney unemployment
  • Why: Meeting the legal needs of local sustainable/sharing economies requires that lawyers blaze new career paths and establish transactional law practices throughout the country aimed at providing services to cooperatives, community-owned enterprise, urban farms, local currencies, land trusts, and so on. SELC realized the need for this fellowship program when we that the vast majority of new law grads are reluctant to create these new programs. The ABA recently reported that 45% of law school graduates were unable to find legal work within one year after graduating. Many of these new graduates have chosen to take non-legal jobs, rather than to create programs serving the needs of local sustainable economies. This fellowship program will serve to provide training and support to new attorneys, serving as a launch pad for the creation of new law practices and programs throughout the country.
  • Who: New law school graduates and experienced attorneys are welcomed to apply.
  • When: The duration of the fellowship is August 2013 to August 2014.
  • Time: SELC fellows will work between 20 and 30 hours per week, as required by the fellow’s LRAP program, or as determined by other commitments of the fellow.
  • Where: Fellows will work part-time at SELC’s offices in Berkeley/Oakland, and will spend at least one half-day per week providing direct legal services to clients out of SELC’s Community Clinics in Richmond or East Oakland.
  • Stipend and Benefits: Fellows will receive a stipend of between $1000 and $1500 per month, plus health insurance.
  • How to Apply: Send a resume, 1-2 page cover letter, and 1-2 writing samples to Janelle Orsi at Janelle@theSELC.org. In the cover letter, please tell us about your particular interest in any of SELC programs, and tell us what motivates you to serve the needs of local sustainable economies. For the writing sample(s), we would appreciate seeing a sample of legal writing (such as a brief, memo, or law journal article) and a sample of writing aimed at lay-people or the general public, such as a blog post, article, or any other piece of writing you think demonstrates your communication skills.
  • Deadlines and Timeline: SELC will accept applications on a rolling basis, as the number of fellows we will accept is contingent on the receipt of additional funding. We would prefer to receive applications by December 1, in order to conduct interviews in late January. However, please continue to inquire or apply after December 1, as we will likely continue to interview applicants and make fellowship offers as late as June 2013.