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UC Davis Partnership Fellowships


Students pursuing the Partnership Fellowship route must themselves identify the non-profit organization or government agency that will serve as the host organization (For-profit firms and businesses demonstrating a commitment to serving low-income clients may also qualify as hosts). To be eligible, the host organization must be willing to be the Fellow’s employer for a year and provide the Fellow with the necessary infrastructure (desk, computer, phone, etc.), supervision, and training that the Fellow will need to carry out the work effectively. 

After receiving the commitment from the host organization or agency, the candidate must complete and submit an application to the Selection Committee. The required materials are explained in more detail herein. Among other things, the application materials must identify what work the Fellow will do at the organization or agency, as well as detail how and to what extent the host organization or agency will support the Fellow and the Fellow’s work.

The Selection Committee consists of the Dean of Career Services and two faculty members. All three members of the Committee review the applications independently. The Committee then meets together and discusses the applications.  By consensus or, when necessary, by majority vote, the Committee decides whether to: (a) award the partnership fellowship as proposed; (b) make a counter-proposal to the applicant and the applicant’s host; (c) defer the proposal for possible consideration when and if additional funding becomes available; or (d) deny the partnership fellowship proposal.

In evaluating the Partnership Fellowship applications, the Selection Committee will consider the following criteria:

 Regarding the Fellowship Candidate:

  • Is the candidate committed to a career in public service law? Factors to consider: Consider coursework; volunteer activities; professional background; candidate's statements.
  • Does the candidate possess the potential to excel in proposed position? Factors to consider: academic performance; personal background; professional character; skillset; clinical, summer and externship experience.
  • Has the candidate diligently pursued other jobs and alternative sources of funding? Factors to consider: prior job applications; prior fellowship applications; existence/lack of openings in the candidate's chosen field.

 Regarding the Proposed Fellowship:

  • Does the proposed Fellowship increase the candidate's general prospects of employment? Factors to consider: likelihood of obtaining similar work in absence of fellowship; existence/absence of entry-level positions in this field; likelihood that fellowship will act as "stepping stone" to future position in the field; candidate's overall marketability.
  • Is the Fellowship important to the success of candidate's future career plans?  Factors to consider: candidate's expressed career goals; relevance of proposed work to career goal; consistency of candidate's record with stated career goal.
  • Does the Fellowship project assist marginalized communities? Factors to consider: clients to be served; statistical evidence presented; whether candidate articulates link between proposed work and impact.

 Regarding the Host Organization:

  • Will the host provide strong mentorship/supervision? Factors to consider: supervisor's level of experience and likely accessibility; host's commitment to training and supervision.
  • What is the likelihood that the host may extend candidate's employment beyond the Fellowship? Factors to consider: host staff size; regularity of hiring; past record of hiring fellows if known.
  • What benefits does a relationship with this host have for the law school? Factors to consider: desirability of location to other alums; reputation of host in legal profession/field; potential for future hiring; possibility of collaborations with law school.
  • Does the host show investment in the Fellow? Factors to consider: host's financial and in-kind contribution commitment, bearing in mind the overall budget and staff size of the host.

Past Partnership Fellowship Sites

As noted above, the Partnership Fellowships are hosted at an organization or agency of the Fellow’s choice. The prospective fellow is responsible for securing a host organization prior to applying for a partnership fellowship. The following organizations are ones that have previously served as hosts for Partnership Fellows. This list should be thought of illustrative not exhaustive. Any non-profit organization, government agency or for-profit entity demonstrating a commitment to serving low-income clients is eligible to serve as a host site for a Partnership Fellowship. For-profit firms and businesses with a demonstrated commitment to serving low-income clients may also qualify as hosts.

  • AIDS Legal Referral Panel
  • Andrade Legal (in association with ACLU of Idaho)
  • California Coastal Commission
  • California District Attorneys’ Association
  • California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation
  • Catholic Charities Inc., Diocese of Jackson
  • Center for Biological Diversity
  • Environmental Justice Coalition for Water
  • Human Rights Watch
  • Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
  • Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles
  • Legal Services of Northern California
  • National Center for Lesbian Rights
  • National Center for Youth Law
  • Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County
  • Pangea Legal Services
  • Sacramento County Public Defender
  • Sonoma County Counsel
  • Yolo County Public Defender

Check back in Spring to see if/when 2022 applications will open

How to Apply During the Application Period (subject to funding)

To apply please submit the following materials during the application period, preferably in a single PDF, to with the subject "2021 UCOP Partnership Fellowship Application - Last Name":

 (1)   Host Organization Commitment Letter. This letter should come from your employer and:

  • Describe the mission of the host organization.
  • Confirm that the host is a non-profit organization, a government agency, or a private entity demonstrating a commitment to serving low-income individuals.
  • Detail the support that the host organization will provide to the fellow in terms of physical infrastructure, technology, training, and supervision. It is not required that the fellow’s supervisor be an attorney, but if the supervisor will not be an attorney, describe what resources will be available to the fellow to ensure competent legal work.
  • Confirm that the host is familiar with, and commits to, the content of the partnership fellowship budget proposal submitted with the application.

 (2)   Simple Partnership Budget with $45,000 salary

  • If the host organization has agreed to contribute, the amount of the contribution - can be monetary or benefits.
  • The amount that the fellow is seeking from the UC Presidential Post-Bar Public Service Fellowship program at King Hall.
  • Sample Budgets 

 (3)   Personal Statement. The personal statement should address the following questions (in no particular order):

  • What is the day-to-day work of the host?
  • What is the anticipated role of the fellow within the host organization? What tasks will the fellow perform?
  • What community will be served by your fellowship work and why is this work needed? Are any other organizations or agencies currently serving this targeted population?
  • Why is the fellow well-positioned to undertake this fellowship?
  • How has the fellow shown a commitment to public service?
  • What are the fellow’s long-term career goals? How will the fellowship further them?
  • What other fellowships, alternative funding and/or job opportunities has the candidate already sought out?
  • How will the fellow interact with King Hall and King Hall students during the fellowship?

 (4)   Resume

(5)   Transcript (official or unofficial)