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San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, Trial Advocacy Fellowship Program

Deadline: October 23, 2016

The San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association (“SFTLA”) Diversity Committee has established a Fellowship Program to introduce a diverse group of law students to the plaintiffs’ bar generally and to the SFTLA specifically.  The Fellowship Program (the “Program”) will allow selected students to observe the work of trial attorneys as part of a summer-long mentoring program.  Fellows will gain exposure to the work of trial attorneys by “shadowing” three mentor law firms, each for a three to four week period.  Fellows will attend depositions, hearings, settlement proceedings, and possibly even trial with their mentors.  They will also have the opportunity to work on short-duration projects, including a writing assignment
The Program is open to law students who (1) have completed their second year (or equivalent) of law school; (2) exhibit a diversity of traits and attributes in age, race, gender, sexual orientation, disabilities, ethnicity, religion, socio-economic factors or national origin or demonstrate a commitment to fostering such diversity within the legal community; and (3) demonstrate a strong interest in and/or commitment to representing plaintiffs in civil actions.

Four fellowships will be awarded.  The Fellows will be selected based on information provided in the written application materials, including the applicant’s commitment to the goals of diversity and interest in representing plaintiffs in civil actions.  Other factors include past work experience and relevant coursework.  Applicants selected for consideration based on the written materials will then be personally interviewed by members of the SFTLA Diversity Committee.  The Fellows will be selected following the interviews.

The program will run for 11 weeks – May through August.  Fellows will be asked to commit to a minimum of 40 hours per week for 10 weeks during the summer.  They will be assigned to three different Mentor Firms, each for a three to four week period.  The Mentor Firms vary by practice areas and by size.  All Mentor Firms represent plaintiffs in civil actions; the practice areas include personal injury, employment, civil rights, and consumer law.  Fellows will primarily “shadow” senior attorneys at the Mentor Firms and secondarily assist in discrete projects within the Mentor Firm.  The goal is to provide Fellows with the opportunity to observe a number of different trial lawyers during different aspects of litigation, including conducting depositions, attending hearings, meeting with clients, or trial.  Mentors will ensure that the Fellows are primarily engaged in observing a variety of tasks confronting trial lawyers in advocating on behalf of clients.  At the end of the Program, Fellows will be required to complete a written evaluation and an exit interview.

Award: Stipend of $6,000