Fellowship Proposal Invitation: Family Justice Law Center


Fellowship Proposal Invitation: Family Justice Law Center

The Family Justice Law Center (FJLC), a part of the Urban Justice Center, seeks rising third-year law students, judicial clerks, and other recent law graduates to sponsor for externally-funded public interest fellowships, including the Skadden Fellowship Foundation, Equal Justice Works, Open Society Foundations, Justice Catalyst, and other fellowship programs, such as law school specific fellowship programs. The length of a fellowship will be governed by the funding organization’s policy. Applicants should submit ideas for a fellowship project related to combatting, though litigation, civil rights violations and protecting civil liberties in the child welfare system (frequently referred to as the family regulation system). Proposals for sponsorship should include 1) a short description of the problem you seek to address, 2) strategies and tools you intend to use to address it, 3) goals for yourself during the fellowship, and 4) your specific qualifications to undertake the project. FJLC understands that project proposals may be broad at this stage. FJLC will work with chosen candidates to develop their fellowship project proposals for submission. Selected candidates will be required to apply for their own funding by preparing and submitting proposals to relevant fellowship programs with support from FJLC.


Applicants should submit the following documents: 

  • Brief statement (in a cover letter or otherwise) explaining the applicant’s interest in a fellowship with FJLC and the proposed project which includes 1) a short description of the problem you seek to address, 2) strategies and tools you intend to use to address it, 3) goals for yourself during the fellowship, and 4) your specific qualifications to undertake the project; 
  • Resume; 
  • List of references, including contact information; 
  • A recent legal writing sample of any length. Please do not send an excerpt. The applicant should be the primary author and the work should not have been significantly revised by someone else. 

Please submit your application materials in a single electronic file to fjlc@urbanjustice.org with the subject line “Fellowship Proposal – [Name].” 

The Family Justice Law Center, a part of the Urban Justice Center, is an equal opportunity employer and encourages applications from all qualified individuals regardless of race, sex, gender identity or expression, age, disability, religion, creed, national origin, citizenship, marital status, sexual orientation, veteran status, predisposing genetic characteristics, victim of domestic violence status, record of arrest or conviction or any other characteristic protected by applicable law. 

Please note that the Urban Justice Center requires all employees to submit proof of vaccination against COVID as a condition of employment, to the extent permitted by law. As part of the onboarding process, new hires will be asked to submit proof of vaccination prior to their first day of employment. 

Experience & Qualifications 

  • J.D. or expected J.D. by Fall 2023 
  • Must be—or plan to become by Fall 2023—a member of the New York Bar or take immediate steps to apply for membership (either through examination or reciprocity) after accepting the position. 
  • Superb analytic, research, and writing skills. 
  • Capacity to think broadly and creatively about developing and expanding new advocacy strategies in a long-neglected area of civil rights practice. 
  • Familiarity with family defense rights is preferred; commitment to the integrity and preservation of families struggling with poverty and racial injustice is essential. 
  • Enthusiasm for helping to build a new civil rights organization. 
  • Willingness to collaborate with FJLC to shape the project proposal through the funding application process. 


New York, NY 

Application Deadline 

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Applicants for fellowships with deadlines prior to November 1, 2022 should aim to apply before August 10, 2022. 

Salary and Benefits

Funded fellows will receive a salary commensurate with experience and qualifications. Benefits include 401(k) match, exceptional medical and dental insurance, 20 paid vacation days, 5 paid personal days, 12 paid sick days, 11 paid holidays, and an additional paid week off between Christmas and New Year’s Day. 

Please note that FJLC will not provide independent internal funding for fellowships. The difference between external funding and the FJLC salary scale will be paid by FJLC. 

About the Family Justice Law Center and the Urban Justice Center

The Family Justice Law Center, a part of the Urban Justice Center’s Social Justice Accelerator program, will use affirmative litigation to seek justice for families mistreated by the child welfare system, frequently referred to as the family regulation system. It will challenge systemic abuses of government power that lead to the illegal separation of children from their families. It will seek redress for harms while promoting change to help families survive and thrive.

The Family Justice Law Center launched in March 2022. To learn more visit www.fjlc.org. Press coverage of the announcement: WNYC, Gothamist, Law360, The Imprint, and The74 (reposted in Yahoo! News).

The Urban Justice Center serves New York City’s most vulnerable residents through a combination of direct legal service, systemic advocacy, community education and political organizing. We assist our clients on numerous levels, from one-on-one legal advice in soup kitchens, to helping individuals access housing and government assistance, to filing class action lawsuits to bring about systemic change. Visit www.urbanjustice.org for more information about UJC and our work.


We welcome your questions and comments

Main Office

40 Rector Street, 9th Fl
New York, NY 10006

Telephone: 646.602.5600

Email: fjlc@urbanjustice.org