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Public Interest Law Fellows Program

The Public Interest Law Institute (PILI) is pleased to invite applications for its Public Interest Law Fellows Program.

The program will select qualified lawyers from West Africa for ten months of study and practical experience in New York and Budapest.

Applicants from the following countries are invited to apply: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Cape Verde, Cameroon, Chad, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.

The program endeavors to target future leaders in various fields of public interest advocacy.

PILI Fellows will join other public interest lawyers from around the world.

They will reside a total of eight months in the U.S. The first semester will include study at Columbia University School of Law and additional public interest advocacy training.

In the spring, Fellows will participate in a three-month period of internships at New York-based public interest law organizations and a two-month study visit based out of PILI's Budapest office.

Fellows return to their home countries after the Fellowship, with the aim to implement the project developed during the Fellowship.

PILI will cover the cost of a round-trip coach airfare to the U.S. and Budapest, housing in New York and Budapest, a monthly stipend, a textbook allowance and accident insurance.

Selected candidates for the fellowship are required to sign an agreement to the terms of the fellowship, stating that they will complete it in full.

Selection Criteria:

  • Public interest leadership potential of the candidate in his or her country (minimum of two years working experience with the organization is required);
  • The nature of the candidate's relationship with the nominating organization;
  • Track record of the nominating organization in promoting public interest advocacy; and
  • The quality of the Fellowship Project proposal and its potential for promoting public interest law and human rights.

    Application Requirements:

    Applicants must submit the following documents:

  • A completed program application form.
  • A curriculum vitae or resume.
  • A nominating letter from ­­the organization where they are employed, supporting their application to the program and indicating how the Fellowship would be a benefit to the organization/institution.
  • Two recommendation letters, one from an individual outside the nominating organization
  • A description of a project that the applicant would like to work on during the first semester of the program, ideally with practical significance to their work upon return home.
  • A copy of the applicant's law school transcript.
  • A copy of the applicant's bar association membership, if available.
  • Information on the nominating organization/institution and additional recommendations are also encouraged, although not required.

    Submission via e-mail of application materials is strongly encouraged, though materials may also be submitted via regular mail.

    Application deadline: March 31.

    For more information and application forms, please contact Jessy Teicher, Program Coordinator, by e-mail: pilifellowship [at]

    Also see: Work Experience Jobs: Public Interest Law Fellows Program

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