2019 Fellowship Opportunities at the Bronx Defenders

Job Type

Full Time



Application Deadline



360 East 161st Street
United States


The Bronx Defenders (BxD) invites rising third-year (3L) law students and recent law school graduates to propose innovative fellowship projects for submission to the Equal Justice Works Fellowship, the Skadden Fellowship, the Soros Justice Fellowship Program, and/or similar programs (including law school-specific fellowships), to begin in the Fall of 2019.


BxD is a public defender non-profit that is radically transforming how low-income people in the Bronx are represented in the justice system, and, in doing so, is transforming the system itself. Our diverse staff of over 300 includes interdisciplinary teams made up of criminal, civil, immigration, and family defense attorneys, as well as social workers, benefits specialists, legal advocates, parent advocates, investigators, and team administrators, all of whom collaborate to provide holistic legal and social service advocacy. Through this integrated team-based structure, we have pioneered a groundbreaking, nationally-recognized model of representation called holistic defense that achieves better outcomes for our clients.

Each year, we defend 27,000 low-income Bronx residents in criminal, civil, child welfare, and immigration cases, and reach thousands more through our community intake, youth mentoring, and outreach programs. Through impact litigation, policy advocacy, and community organizing, we push for systemic reform at the local, state, and national level. We take what we learn from the clients and communities that we serve, and launch innovative initiatives designed to bring about real and lasting change.

Fellowship Project Proposals

Proposals should relate to one of three practice areas at BxD: Civil ActionImmigration, or Impact Litigation (Please note: we are not accepting fellowship proposals for our Criminal Defense or Family Defense practice areas this year). Candidates should propose a specific project, while remaining flexible to change based on the needs of our organization and of the Bronx community.

Examples of successful fellowship proposals from prior years include:

  • Developing a program to help people litigate in small claims court if they suffered injuries or other damages in encounters with the police. (Skadden Fellowship)
  • Providing legal advocacy to parents in child protective investigations to prevent the traumatic and unnecessary separation of children from their parents. (Equal Justice Works Fellowship)
  • Providing holistic civil representation to people with psychiatric disabilities who have been affected by the criminal justice system. (Equal Justice Works Fellowship)
  • Providing direct representation of fathers in neglect, abuse, and termination of parental rights proceedings, as well as conducting "know your rights as fathers" trainings to prevent the unnecessary disruption of the father-child relationship and reduce children’s placement in foster care(Skadden Fellowship)
  • Providing holistic legal representation to immigrant parents navigating family and/or immigration court--combining immigration and family defense--to maintain family unity. (Equal Justice Works Fellowship)
  • Providing direct representation to individuals experiencing employment discrimination due to criminal convictions by offering assistance in obtaining Certificates of Rehabilitation, as well as by educating employers and community groups about the employment rights of formerly incarcerated persons. (Skadden Fellowship)

Requirements and Qualifications

Applicants should:

  • Have experience with, or a demonstrated commitment to, BxD's mission and values. Successful Bronx Defenders are fierce, passionate advocates of individuals who face systemic injustice.
  • Be dedicated to working with, and on behalf of, racially and economically disenfranchised communities.
  • Possess excellent research, writing, and advocacy skills.
  • Display strong communication and interpersonal skills, as well as the ability to work collaboratively in an interdisciplinary setting.
  • *For the Immigration and Civil Action Practices: Spanish speakers are highly encouraged to apply.

Applicants must: 

  • Be third-year (3L) students at, or recent graduates of, an A.B.A-accredited law school.
  • *For the Immigration and Civil Action Practices: successfully sit for the July New York State Bar Examination or submit the necessary materials for pro hac vice status or waiver.



Level of Language Proficiency


Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

No requirement

How To Apply


To apply, please visit the Fellowship Application at the link provided, click APPLY FOR THIS JOB ONLINE and upload as a single document, when prompted: 

  1. cover letter that describes your fellowship idea as well as your interest in BxD, and that includes a specific project proposal, 
  2. resume, and 
  3. writing sample

Applications missing any of the aforementioned materials or not submitted in the requested manner will not be considered. 

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis through July 19, 2018. Those selected for interviews will be informed by July 27, 2018. The selection process will conclude in August. Please contact Jeremy Kaplan-Lyman via email at jeremyk@bronxdefenders.org with any questions about this posting.


The Bronx Defenders is proud to be an equal opportunity employer, committed to inclusive hiring, and dedicated to diversity in our work and staff. We strongly encourage candidates of all identities, orientations, experiences, and communities to apply.