UGA School of Law seeks applicants for new public interest fellowship


Wednesday, May 17, 2006

WRITER: Heidi Murphy, 706/542-5172, hmurphy@uga.edu CONTACT: Alexander Scherr, 706/542-6510, scherr@uga.edu

UGA School of Law seeks applicants for new public interest fellowship

ATHENS, Ga. – The University of Georgia School of Law is seeking applicants for a newly established public interest fellowship.

The Cousins Public Interest Fellowship, which seeks to foster the creation of projects that provide civil legal services to indigent Georgians, will offer experienced practitioners the opportunity to focus on these needs, with support from the fellowship and the law school.

"We are thrilled to be able to offer such a unique opportunity for legal professionals to initiate a program that will fill a void in the legal services currently provided in our state," Georgia Law Associate Professor and fellowship coordinator Alexander W. Scherr said. "The fellowship has the potential to affect many future generations of Georgians."

Applicants must identify a project and a host organization. Scherr said a "project" is a carefully designed initiative that will meet the civil legal needs of indigent Georgians and could include new initiatives or the expansion and refinement of existing programs. "Some examples are: representation in court on specific legal issues, legal help for personal or small business planning, improved access to the courts and targeted legal education. The possibilities are really only limited by one's imagination," Scherr said. "Another important feature of the fellowship is that law students will assist with the service delivery of the project under the direction of the selected fellow."

A host organization is defined as the entity at which the fellow will be based when working with the community. "Host organizations may be either nonprofit or for-profit organizations, but they must be willing to provide office space and resources during the latter part of the fellowship and must be willing to work with the fellow to assure the long-term viability of the project," Scherr said.

Fellowship applicants must be experienced attorneys, who have practiced law for at least three years. "The applicant’s prior practice need not relate to the proposed service," Scherr said. "However, applicants must articulate how their experience will contribute to the success and durability of the project."

Each fellow will work for two years. Initially, the fellow will work at the School of Law, focusing on preparation and project development. In addition, fellows will teach and work with students in the law school’s clinical programs. Fellows will be expected to start service delivery under the project, working out of the host organization, within one year after beginning the fellowship.

Applications for the 2006-2008 Cousins Public Interest Fellowship are due before June 15, 2006, with fellowship work to start in August.

For further information and application materials, please contact Alexander Scherr at scherr@uga.edu or (706) 542-6510.