Fellowships

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gobosox

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Fellowships

Postby gobosox » Sun Nov 18, 2018 10:56 pm

What kind of fellowships are out for someone coming out of a couple clerkships who isn't really interested in academia? Saw a civil litigation fellowship at Georgetown (https://www.law.georgetown.edu/experien ... ellowship/) and it seems pretty cool. Looks like you litigate cases and also teach a seminar. Not sure how I'd be qualified for that, but says 2 years experience, which I have. They also have an appellate fellowship and a political-centric one. Looks like they don't involve writing law review articles, but instead are real lawyer-type tasks.

Anyone know anything about how things like that play in with potential employers, or how they are perceived by, say, the gov't?

QContinuum

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Re: Fellowships

Postby QContinuum » Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:39 pm

gobosox wrote:What kind of fellowships are out for someone coming out of a couple clerkships who isn't really interested in academia? Saw a civil litigation fellowship at Georgetown (https://www.law.georgetown.edu/experien ... ellowship/) and it seems pretty cool. Looks like you litigate cases and also teach a seminar. Not sure how I'd be qualified for that, but says 2 years experience, which I have. They also have an appellate fellowship and a political-centric one. Looks like they don't involve writing law review articles, but instead are real lawyer-type tasks.

I'm confused. You say you don't want academia, but then you list an academic fellowship at a law school (!), one that directly involves teaching (!!). What exactly do you want? Why are you interested in fellowships in particular?

If you're interested in clinical appointments at law schools, certainly look at other law schools as well - positions similar to Georgetown's aren't uncommon. Broaden your search beyond the T14. Many lower-ranked schools especially have a greater clinical focus than the T14. But again, these are academic positions. Clinically-oriented academic positions, yes, but still academic positions. You might be able to get out of writing law review articles yourself, but you'd still be expected - at a bare minimum - to immerse yourself in the "intellectual life" of the law school, including talks and meetings regarding other faculty members' scholarship, the lion's share of which will be theoretical and not directly relevant to legal practice. Folks with these appointments typically seek to stay in academia. If they can't (or don't want to) stay, it's not uncommon to decamp to the public interest world.

I assume you're already aware of the big fellowships usually discussed on these fora, i.e., the various federal agencies' Honors Programs, Skadden Fellowship, Bristow Fellowship.

If you're completely unsure of what you want to do, besides being a litigator, why not try for BigLaw? You'll get a nice clerkship bonus, and you'll preserve your options for down the road. You can easily go from BigLaw to a clinical law school appointment (in fact, you'd probably be a more compelling candidate with actual litigation experience under your belt, which you don't have right now unless you worked BigLaw prior to clerking), but the reverse is something I've never seen happen (not saying it's impossible, but I imagine it's uncommon and an uphill climb at the very least).

gobosox

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Re: Fellowships

Postby gobosox » Mon Nov 19, 2018 12:25 am

QContinuum wrote:I'm confused. You say you don't want academia, but then you list an academic fellowship at a law school (!), one that directly involves teaching (!!). What exactly do you want? Why are you interested in fellowships in particular?

If you're interested in clinical appointments at law schools, certainly look at other law schools as well - positions similar to Georgetown's aren't uncommon. Broaden your search beyond the T14. Many lower-ranked schools especially have a greater clinical focus than the T14. But again, these are academic positions. Clinically-oriented academic positions, yes, but still academic positions. You might be able to get out of writing law review articles yourself, but you'd still be expected - at a bare minimum - to immerse yourself in the "intellectual life" of the law school, including talks and meetings regarding other faculty members' scholarship, the lion's share of which will be theoretical and not directly relevant to legal practice. Folks with these appointments typically seek to stay in academia. If they can't (or don't want to) stay, it's not uncommon to decamp to the public interest world.

I assume you're already aware of the big fellowships usually discussed on these fora, i.e., the various federal agencies' Honors Programs, Skadden Fellowship, Bristow Fellowship.

If you're completely unsure of what you want to do, besides being a litigator, why not try for BigLaw? You'll get a nice clerkship bonus, and you'll preserve your options for down the road. You can easily go from BigLaw to a clinical law school appointment (in fact, you'd probably be a more compelling candidate with actual litigation experience under your belt, which you don't have right now unless you worked BigLaw prior to clerking), but the reverse is something I've never seen happen (not saying it's impossible, but I imagine it's uncommon and an uphill climb at the very least).


Thanks, this is super helpful. I know literally nothing about this stuff and am just looking to learn about it. I'm not super interested in a career in academia, and the fellowship description made it appear as if I was only doing that tangentially. Working in academia for only a couple years isn't a bad gig, but I get the sense this isn't for those of us who want to do substantive litigation. Any sense for where I could find a comprehensive list of things like this? Looking for things off the beaten path.

I have thought of BigLaw, and may or may not do it. But, ultimately, I know very few people who enjoy BigLaw, so, although it seems pragmatic, I want to explore other options as well.

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HillandHollow

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Re: Fellowships

Postby HillandHollow » Mon Nov 19, 2018 12:51 pm

gobosox wrote:
Thanks, this is super helpful. I know literally nothing about this stuff and am just looking to learn about it. I'm not super interested in a career in academia, and the fellowship description made it appear as if I was only doing that tangentially. Working in academia for only a couple years isn't a bad gig, but I get the sense this isn't for those of us who want to do substantive litigation. Any sense for where I could find a comprehensive list of things like this? Looking for things off the beaten path.
.



https://hls.harvard.edu/dept/opia/fello ... -calendar/ may be a good starting point for you. Message me about that Georgetown position for some insight. I held a very similar position and can tell you about the exit options/academia side of my experience.



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