Fellowship Application

 Please email as a single pdf file to fellowships@blspi.org —no later than January 14 2019 [1] your completed application, and [2] your updated résumé.

 

Limit your aggregate responses in the following application to 1,000 words, allocated among the questions as you wish.  Résumé content does not count toward this limit.

 

Applications must remain anonymous. Delete all references to your name in your application and in your résumé prior to upload. Failure to do so will result in automatic disqualification.

 

Good luck!!!  There are no wrong answers to these questions!!! 

Click here to download:

FAQs

 What is the BLSPI Fellowship Program?

The BLSPI Fellowship Program provides a stipend for public interest summer internships, encourages students to be engaged in BLSPI and the greater public interest community, and strives to raise awareness of the legal needs of underrepresented individuals and communities.  The Fellowship is not only a source of funding, but a community of support for students wishing to pursue public interest law practice.

 

How is the Fellowship funded?

 

The Fellowship is primarily funded by the proceeds of the BLSPI Auction, with the support of BLS.  Continued Fellow funding for the Fellowship relies on future and current Fellows’ support in making the Auction successful.

 

How much is the stipend for a Fellowship internship?

Typically, the Fellowship stipend is $5,000 per Fellow for a full time, 8-10 week summer internship.  The amount of stipendiary support is determined each year in relation to the economy, funding propensity (especially from the Auction), and needs of BLSPI.

 

How many Fellows are selected each year?

 

Typically, fifteen (15) – twenty (20) Fellows are selected each year.  The most recent Fellowship classes have included twenty (20) Fellows.  In order for BLSPI to continue to fund a class of twenty (20) Fellows with a stipend of $5,000 per Fellow, BLSPI must raise at least $40,000 at the Auction to support twenty (20) Fellows.  Therefore, the number of Fellows ultimately selected will be determined based on the success of the Auction.

 

What requirements must a BLSPI Fellow meet?

 

Fellows must sign a contract prior to receiving any Fellowship funds.  The contract will state that, in exchange for BLSPI Fellowship funding, Fellows are bound by the following discrete contractual duties:

1. Remain fully employed for a minimum of 350 hours during the summer (to be completed over no fewer than eight (8) weeks) at a qualifying public interest internship (see Part X for a list of qualifying public interest internships);

2. Be a matriculating student for the academic year following their Fellowship summer;

3. Submit an evaluation of their internship experiences at the end of the summer, the format of which will be determined by the BLSPI Fellowship Chair;

4. Volunteer at BLSPI-related events for no less than thirty (30) hours between the time they accept a position in the Fellowship program and the end of the spring semester following their Fellowship-funded internships;

5. Sign up for the BLSPI Mentorship program and actively serve as BLSPI mentors; and

6. Attend each BLSPI general body meeting whenever possible.

 

Fellows are strongly encouraged to complete at least five (5) of the required thirty (30) hours before the start of their Fellowship-funded internships.  Service as a mentor is a separate requirement, and time dedicated to this invaluable work is not counted toward the thirty-hour requirement. Qualified service to BLSPI or BLSPI co-sponsored activities are subject to approval by the Fellowship Chair.

 

What internships qualify for the BLSPI Fellowship?

 

BLSPI Fellows must pursue and accept legal internship positions at qualifying organizations that further BLSPI’s objectives (See Part I) by June 1st of their Fellowship summers.  Such positions must largely consist of conducting legal work.

 

Qualifying Work Includes Internships at:

  • 501(c)(3) organizations within the United States;

  • International intergovernmental organizations not organized for monetary gain (such as WIP, UNESCO, and the World Bank);

  • Some federal, state, and city organizations (see below for exceptions), and;

  • Foreign non-governmental organizations recognized by the committee as pursuing the public good.

 

Non-qualifying work includes:

  • Law school-sponsored clinical work for credit from any law school, including Brooklyn Law School;

  • Judicial internships

  • District attorneys’ offices

  • Employment that primarily benefits the members of a limited membership organization such as a credit union, fraternal or religious order or a cooperative;

  • Work for which one’s political support or party affiliation is taken into account in the hiring decision;

  • Direct lobbying on the federal, state or local government level; and

  • Positions at for-profit law firms (including private public interest firms and pro bono work).

 

Any questions as to whether an internship qualifies as public interest work shall be resolved by the Fellowship Chair in conjunction with the BLSPI Board of Directors. 

 

I’m not sure if my internship will qualify.  What do I do?

In order to maintain anonymous review of applicants, if you have any questions about whether your internship qualifies for Fellowship funding please email Tanvee Trehan at fellowships@blspi.org.

How and when are BLSPI Fellows selected?

 

As a form of reference, here is our 2017 schedule: We typically follow this timeline

 

Monday, January 9, 2017 - Applications go live on the BLSPI website.  All applications must remain anonymous.  The application consists of responses to several writing prompts, with an aggregate word limit of 1,000 words, and submission of a current résumé. 

 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017 - All applications must be submitted by 11:59 pm. 

 

Wednesday, January 18 – Saturday, January 21, 2017 - All applications will be reviewed and scored by not fewer than three (3) Application Readers using the criteria below.  Application Readers are Fellows who completed their Fellowship summers this past summer.

 

Sunday, January 22, 2017 - Interview invitations will be disseminated with instructions for signing up for an interview timeslot.  Applicants not moving forward will be notified.

 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017 - Applicants must sign-up for an interview time by 11:59 pm.

 

Saturday, January 28 – Sunday, January 29, 2017 - Applicant interviews with Fellowship Interview Committee, comprised of no fewer than fifteen (15) current BLSPI Executive Board/Board of Directors members and current Fellows.  Interviews typically last twenty (20) minutes and applicants are evaluated on the criteria listed below.

 

Monday, January 30, 2017 - Selection decisions will be announced.  Depending on whether funding is secured by this date, some applicants may be placed on a ranked waitlist.  At least 5 alternates will be designated.

 

Thursday, February 2 – Friday, February 3, 2017 - PILC Fair.

 

Ongoing - The Fellowship Chair and Board of Directors will update waitlisted Fellows and alternates as funding is secured.

 

Thursday, June 1, 2017 - Recipients must secure a qualifying internship by this date or surrender the Fellowship.  Upon surrender, the Fellowship Chair will notify the selected alternates, in descending order, of their acceptance, until the spot is filled.  After the June 1st deadline, only those alternates who have already accepted qualifying public interest internships will be considered in order to fill a vacant Fellowship spot.

 

What are the selection criteria?

 

BLSPI Fellowship applicants will be judged on the merits of their applications and interview performances.  Applicants will be evaluated based on the following non-exhaustive list of factors: prior public interest experience or demonstrable pattern of volunteerism/activism/public service, enthusiasm/commitment to future public interest opportunities, dedication and service to BLSPI, reasons for applying to the BLSPI Fellowship Program, ideas for fulfilling the BLSPI Fellowship’s 30-hours service requirement, leadership quality, belief in the Fellowship community, and overall quality of application and interview.

 

What if I am considering transferring to another law school next fall?

BLSPI Fellows must remain matriculating students at Brooklyn Law School for the full duration of their Fellowship contracts.  Failure to do so will result in forfeiture of all privileges associated with the Fellowship and an obligation to repay all Fellowship funding to BLSPI.  If you have any questions or concerns about your intentions to cease being a matriculated student at BLS for the year following your Fellowship summer, please email Tanvee Trehan at fellowships@blspi.org.

What if I am unable to complete the Fellowship requirements?

 

In the event that a Fellow accepts employment at a non-qualifying internship or otherwise fails to secure a qualifying internship by June 1st following the Fellow’s selection, the Fellow must surrender the Fellowship.  Upon surrender, the Fellowship Chair will notify the selected alternates, in descending order, of their acceptance, until the spot is filled.  After the June 1st deadline, only those alternates who have already accepted qualifying public interest internships will be considered in order to fill a vacant Fellowship spot.

Is there a minimum GPA or class rank requirement to be a Fellow?

No.  The Fellowship Committee does not consider class rank and GPA.  This policy of grades-blindness reflects a longstanding value of the BLSPI Fellowship and the BLSPI Fellowship community.  In fact, applicants may not include their GPA and class rank on their applications.  However, BLSPI encourages students to focus on their studies as good academic standing and integrity are important in finding summer internships and securing post-graduate employment.

Can I apply for the BLSPI Fellowship if I am a Sparer Fellow?

You cannot be a BLSPI Fellow and Sparer Fellow for the same summer, but you may serve as a BLSPI Fellow one summer and as a Sparer Fellow the other summer.

Can I apply for other funding and still apply for the BLSPI Fellowship?

Yes.  Should Fellows receive additional funding for their summer internships, they are entitled to receive the full amount of the BLSPI Fellowship funding as long as their sources of additional funding do not exceed 50% of the amount of the Fellowship.  If a Fellow’s sources of additional funding exceed 50% of the amount of the BLSPI Fellowship, he or she must accept a smaller amount of funding from BLSPI so that total summer internship funding does not exceed 150% of the amount of the BLSPI Fellowship.  For example, if the BLSPI Fellowship is $5,000, and a Fellow receives $5,000 in additional funding, the Fellow may only accept $2,500 of BLSPI funding for a total of $7,500 in funding.

Who should I contact if I have questions?

 

 Andrea Scheer – Fellowship Chair – fellowships@blspi.org

BLSPI Brooklyn Law Students for the Public Interest

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