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.Support Us Now
About the Fellowship
Eligible applicants: 1L and 2L students from historically underrepresented backgrounds, in good academic standing, and enrolled at an ABA-accredited law school. NACDL defines "historically underrepresented backgrounds" to include people of color, women, LGBTQ+ individuals, and persons with disabilities. This list, however is not exhuastive. See the FAQ section for additional information.
Stipend: Fellows may earn up to $4,500 for the summer. Each fellow will receive $562 per week for up to 8 weeks of employment with a criminal defense office/practitioner.
Background and Demonstrated Interest: Selected students will have a demonstrated commitment to criminal justice as evidenced through their coursework, extracurricular activities, pre-law school organizational involvement, employment, or other relevant experiences.
Continue reading below
Supported by NFCJ
Placement: Students may apply to receive funding for either a summer internship they have already secured or can choose from the Fellowship's broad array of potential employers including solo practitioners, firms, and state and federal public defense agencies, located throughout the U.S. The list of potential summer hosts will be regularly updated on this page.
How to Apply: To apply for a Diversity Summer Law Fellowship, students must submit a completed application, along with a resume (1-2 pages) and complete a brief writing exercise (1-2 pages). The application and writing exercise can be found here.
Learn More: Diversity Fellowship FAQs
Want to be a Host Organization? Sign Up Now
Prior hosts are listed below. Please check back periodically to view the list of 2023 hosts.
- Alaska: Office of Public Advocacy (Anchorage and Fairbanks)
- Alaska: Office of Public Advocacy--Appeals
- California: San Fransisco Public Defender's Office
- Colorado: Law Office of Lisa Wayne
- District of Columbia: Harden & Pinckney
- Florida: Fischer Redavid, PLLC
- Florida: Miami-Dade Public Defender's Office
- Massachusetts: Committee for Public Counsel Services
- Mississippi: Office of the State Public Defender
- New York: Bronx Defenders
- New York: Neighborhood Defender Services
- Ohio: Federal Public Defender for the Southern District
- Pennsylvania: Federal Public Defender for the Western District
- Virginia: City of Richmond Public Defender's Office
- Virginia: City of Winchester Public Defender's Office
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.
Andrew 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.
Continue reading below
Cross-Examination Trial Pack
NACDL’s new Cross-Examination Trial Pack includes three of our best-selling Cross-Examination resources: “Damage Control: Situational Cross-Examination Techniques Trial Guide”, "Ultimate Cross 2.0: Audio Recordings & Written Materials" and "Sample Cross-Examination Questions."
This masterful collection of cross-examination resources provide countless tips, techniques and strategies for a variety of criminal case-specific scenarios. Learn to cross-examine a variety of trial witnesses!
Death Investigation: Forensic Pathology in the Courtroom and Cause & Manner of Death (2022)
This unique program provides criminal defense lawyers with an accurate and clear overview of forensic pathology and the countless factors to consider in a death investigation and will methodically explain what happens during an autopsy to determine cause and manner of death.
You'll uncover the different types of medicolegal death investigations, what to request from your MDI expert, quality benchmarks for accreditation and certification, guidelines and standards, common terminology and frequently asked questions.
The Psychology of Persuasion & Storytelling for Criminal Defense Lawyers
This Trial Resource Guide is a masterful collection of practical tips, techniques and strategies focused solely on using the arts and sciences of persuasion to improve your storytelling skills at trial.
You'll learn how to master the ability to communicate with juries, deliver powerful openings and closings, perform convincing cross-examinations, use effective courtroom choreography and non-verbal communication, identify and develop the optimal theme and theory for your case, and offer compelling arguments during mitigation and sentencing.
Zealous Advocacy in Sexual Assault & Child Victims Cases (2022)
Defending charges of sexual assault and child abuse can be daunting — but with the right tools, it doesn’t have to be.
Every year, NACDL identifies the hottest topics and most pressing issues when defending these cases, and brings-in nationally-renowned lawyers and experts to help you prepare for battle. This year’s 13th Annual Defending Sex Cases training program is our best yet; packed with topics and speakers you won’t want to miss!
Related Champion Articles
- Inside NACDL: NACDL’s Annual Renewal
- Young Talent Advances NACDL’s Mission and Prepares for the Future (Inside NACDL)
- Law Student Essay Competition
- Law Student Essay Competition: Increasing Diversity in The Legal Profession
- Law Student Essay Competition: Stop Talking and Start Doing: Increasing Diversity In the Legal Profe