In 2013, we created a Legal Fellowship Program and provided fellowships to 5 new attorneys. As of 2019, the program has grown to 27 attorneys. Click here to meet our current Fellows.
Purpose and Description of the Fellowship
The fellowship provides training, mentorship, and other resources to attorneys beginning new law practices, legal organizations, and other projects serving the legal needs of local sustainable economies. The goal of the program is to meet the legal needs of the growing sustainable economy movement.
Meeting those needs requires that lawyers blaze new career paths and establish transactional law practices aimed at providing services to worker cooperatives, housing cooperatives, land trusts, and other democratically-governed organizations. In order to foster this growing community of lawyers, the Law Center invites lawyers of all experience levels to apply to become a Sustainable Economies Legal Fellow, if they 1) intend to meet those legal needs by starting a new law practice, or launching a legal organization or other project that will serve the legal needs of democratically-governed organizations, and 2) would benefit from the support the fellowship offers.
Sustainable Economies Legal Fellows begin the program as a cohort, either in April or September of each year.
After two years, Fellows “graduate” to Senior Fellow. Senior Fellows are expected to pay it forward by taking an active role in the program, such as through mentoring New Fellows and/or presenting Continuing Legal Education materials, webinars and/or workshops.
Senior Fellows may remain in the program for as long as their law practice, legal organization, or project continues to align with the program goals.
Benefits of the Program
Sustainable Economies Legal Fellows receive training, mentorship, and other resources through our Monthly Fellows Calls and two annual, multi-day, in-person convenings in the Spring (May/June); and the Fall (Sept/Oct).
The Sustainable Economies Law Center’s Legal Fellowship is an unpaid fellowship. However, we do provide reimbursement for travel and lodging expenses for the two multi-day Fellows Convenings on a need-basis, as our funding permits. 1st and 2nd year Fellows will be given priority for expense reimbursements.
Cohorts starting in 2020 and 2021, may also be eligible to apply for funding to work with a worker cooperative client that that is not financially able to pay the Fellow's legal fees for the services the Fellow provides and furthers the Fellow’s learning and knowledge of cooperative legal practice.
Applications are accepted during the following cycles:
Winter Cycle: January 1 - February 28th
Summer Cycle: Closed (our apologies if you were planning on applying for our program during the Summer Cycle; however, we have decided to postpone taking on new Fellows for the remainder of 2020. We look forward to opening our program to new applicants again in 2021!)
Note: Applicants starting a law practice, legal organization, or other project that directly serves worker cooperatives will be given priority consideration for the 2020 and 2021 cohorts.
To apply for a Sustainable Economies Legal Fellowship, send the following materials to firstname.lastname@example.org:
Application (find it here)