Philadelphia VIP – Paid Legal Fellowship – June 30
Posted by Philadelphia VIP on June 16, 2020
The Foster, Flowers and Ziomek Legal Fellowship – named for three Philadelphia lawyers admired for their commitment to pro bono, mentoring, and collegiality in the profession – is a paid opportunity designed to provide a recent law school graduate with a strong foundation to begin a legal career in Philadelphia. The Foster, Flowers and Ziomek Legal Fellowship is a paid, 12-week, full-time immersion in civil pro bono at Philadelphia VIP.
The ideal Fellow is a highly motivated recent graduate who is eager to support VIP’s work in the many areas where our clients face critical legal needs, including: consumer, family law, guardianship, landlord-tenant, immigration, tax, tort defense, homeownership, mortgage foreclosure, nonprofit, and small business. The Fellow should care deeply about access to justice for underserved communities, value volunteers, and enjoy working on a collaborative team. VIP values a diverse work environment and strongly encourages people of color, people who identify as LGBTQ, and differently abled people to apply.
The Fellow will receive a $6,000 stipend, which is funded via a special gift to VIP and will be disbursed bi-monthly during the twelve-week term. As a temporary member of the VIP team, the Fellow will not receive VIP-paid health insurance or other employee benefits.
The Fellowship begins on Monday, September 21, 2020 and runs full-time (i.e., 40 hours per week) through December 11, 2020. VIP expects the Fellow to commit to fulfilling the entire twelve-week term. There is an option to extend the Fellowship, at the mutual election of Philadelphia VIP and the Fellow, for up to six additional weeks.
Professional development opportunities and feedback will be provided throughout the Fellowship. The Fellow will be matched with both a VIP staff attorney supervisor and a lawyer from outside of VIP to serve as a mentor. VIP will support the Fellow in searching for a permanent position and provide flex time, as needed, for interviews and career networking activities during the work week.
- A 2020 law school graduate who has not yet accepted, and is actively seeking, employment as an attorney
- A bar license is not required; a preference will be given to candidates who are sitting for the September bar exam
- Candidates must be able to commit to living within commuting distance of Philadelphia VIP during the Fellowship
- Passion for access to justice for underserved communities
- Experience with, or interest in, working with low-income clients
- Strong written and oral communication skills; Spanish fluency a plus (not required)
- Prior volunteer work and/or volunteer management experience
- Close attention to detail, organized, and able to manage multiple, simultaneous projects and deadlines
- Embraces technology, including leading-edge case management systems
Key Functions – The Fellow will function as a valued member of the VIP team. With attentive attorney supervision and training, the Fellow will gain experience and skills applicable to practicing law in wide range of settings. Specific responsibilities will include:
1. Working with clients and legal services to manage a full caseload:
- Assessing the legal merits of cases and analyzing potential conflicts of interest by interviewing clients and gathering documents
- Counseling and preparing clients for the civil legal process and the professional responsibilities surrounding the attorney-client relationship
2. Working with private attorney volunteers to assist with case management:
- Guiding volunteer attorneys with substantive, ethical, or procedural legal questions
- Helping volunteers manage VIP cases by requesting and reviewing status updates, including to identify and respond to potential challenges in the representation
- Observing court proceedings, and meeting judges and court staff
- Attending pro bono practice group meetings at law firms and the Philadelphia Bar Association
3. Cultivating volunteer attorney relationships to grow our pro bono practice capacity:
- Assisting with and attending attorney CLEs, trainings, clinics, and other outreach events
- Offering pro bono opportunities to attorneys who have signed up to volunteer with VIP
- Participating in programs to engage and honor VIP stakeholders in firms, corporations, associations, legal services agencies, and courts
4. Developing practical skills in writing, research, and case management technology:
- Researching legal issues to support volunteers and staff
- Updating volunteer guides and writing client letters that involve legal analysis
- Using leading technology in all aspects of work with cases, clients, and volunteers
How to Apply: Email cover letter, resume, and list of references to Joe Durkin, Program Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org. No calls, please.
What to include in your cover letter: Cover letters should include the applicant’s interest in civil pro bono, future professional goals in the Philadelphia legal community, and any non-English language skills. Applicants are invited to include a statement about how the applicant’s unique background and/or experiences might contribute to the diversity, cultural vitality, and perspective of VIP’s staff team and legal practice.
Deadline: Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, with priority given to those received by June 30, 2020.
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