NLG-LA FELLOWSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
NLG-LA seeks to sponsor candidates for Soros, school-based, and other fellowships for the 2020-2021 term. Specifically, NLG-LA seeks a fellow to lead its work with Court Watch Los Angeles–an exciting new coalition campaign that monitors the region’s criminal court system.
NLG-LA also seeks winter 2019 and spring 2020 extern applicants to support Court Watch Los Angeles.
Court Watch Los Angeles
Working with community partners—including Youth Justice Coalition, Ground Game LA, ACLU SoCal, as well as criminal defense attorneys—NLG-LA trains court watchers and brings them into criminal courts throughout Los Angeles to observe and report about proceedings. The purpose is to monitor and expose exorbitant fines and fees, criminalization of poverty/homelessness, as well as disparate impacts of criminal punishments on communities of color.
Goals of Court Watch Los Angeles:
- To create accountability & transparency by bringing people into the courtroom to observe, report out, and collect data about the behavior of public officials in court.
- To raise awareness about the absurdity and harms of using fines and fees to punish poverty.
- To raise awareness about the injustices of the bail system.
- To expose the disparate punishment of communities of color.
- To hold law enforcement and elected officials accountable to public commitments, laws, and settlement agreements that call on them to refrain from excessive criminalization.
- To support and connect with organizing efforts outside the courtroom to limit the reach of the criminal system.
To see some of the work of Court Watch Los Angeles in real time, see http://twitter.com/CourtWatchLA
The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) was founded in 1937 as the country’s first racially-integrated bar association of progressive lawyers and jurists who believed that they had a major role to play in the reconstruction of legal values to emphasize human rights over property rights. The Guild is the oldest and most extensive network of public interest and human rights activists working within the legal system.
NLG works tirelessly towards our mission of uniting lawyers, law students, legal workers and jailhouse lawyers to function as an effective force in the service of the people, to the end that human rights shall be regarded as more sacred than property interests. Our aim is to bring together all those who recognize the importance of safeguarding and extending the rights of workers, women, LGBTQ+ people, farmers, people with disabilities and people of color, upon whom the welfare of the entire nation depends; who seek actively to eliminate racism; who work to maintain and protect our civil rights and liberties in the face of persistent attacks upon them; and who look upon the law as an instrument for the protection of the people, rather than for their repression.
NLG-LA is unique in that our work spans a broad cross-section of issues areas. We are willing to work with dedicated fellows to develop multi-project fellowships that align with the applicants’ skill set and interests.
Fellowship/Externship & Application Details
Fellowships and externships are tailored to the unique skillset and interests of each applicant. Some possible responsibilities may include:
- Drafting policy papers and reports
- Policy advocacy and public speaking
- Data analysis and synthesis
- Assisting with coordination of the court-watch schedule
- Facilitating meetings and trainings
- Drafting public records act requests
- Other tasks required by the campaign of interest to fellow
Criteria for selection include:
- Current law students, law school graduates, legal workers and/or candidates with experience in community organizing
- Demonstrated commitment to NLG’s mission
- Demonstrated relevant experience
- Excellent research and writing skills
- Ability to work in teams, exercise sound judgment and work independently.
Individuals with direct experience with the criminal justice system are strongly encouraged to apply.
NLG-LA also strongly encourages women, people of color, persons with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ individuals to apply.
To apply, please submit the following:
- Cover letter;
- Writing sample and 2-3 references
How to apply:
Please send materials to Kath@NLG-LA.org with the subject “NLG-LA Externship/Fellowship Application.”