Democracy Forward is seeking to sponsor rising third-year law students and recent law school graduates for public interest fellowship funding. Fellows will start in fall 2025 and should be fewer than three years post-law school graduation at the time their fellowship commences. Fellows should have graduated from law school and taken a bar exam before their fellowship would commence in fall 2025.

At Democracy Forward, a Fellow would, among other things:

  • Partner with other Democracy Forward lawyers in proceedings in federal and state courts and before federal and state agencies, including helping advise clients on strategy, risks, and objectives. 
  • Perform legal research and draft legal documents, including substantive briefs for parties and amici, motions, comments, and/or other court or regulatory filings.
  • Assist Democracy Forward lawyers in preparing for arguments, hearings, and/or other court appearances.
  • Monitor and screen cases and provide recommendations for instances where Democracy Forward should consider getting involved in litigation (either affirmative litigation or as an amicus or intervenor) or engage in regulatory advocacy.  

The Fellow will be included in Democracy Forward meetings evaluating whether to take on cases and analyzing substantive issues. The Fellow will also have opportunities to participate in meetings with clients, which include nonprofit organizations, unions, local government entities, and other entities, as well as other outside stakeholders.

Those selected for a fellowship with Democracy Forward will be extended an offer for a one-year fellowship.  Consistent with the fellow’s performance and the needs of the organization, Democracy Forward will consider extending fellows an offer for a second year; such a decision would be made after the fellow has worked at Democracy Forward for at least six months.  First-year fellows will be offered an annual salary of $70,000, contingent on the receipt of external funding.  Fellows will also have access to Democracy Forward’s generous benefits package, including flexible vacation time and health, dental, and vision benefits.  Please note that Democracy Forward is currently in a flexible, hybrid working model, but that Fellows should primarily reside in the Washington, DC area during their fellowship and expect to come into the office regularly (consistent with reasonable accommodations and evolving public health concerns).

If you are interested in Democracy Forward sponsoring you as a fellowship applicant, please submit a cover letter, resume, and writing sample by January 31, 2025. We encourage early applications, as they will be reviewed on a rolling basis. 

Democracy Forward is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. We encourage applications from all qualified individuals. We strongly encourage people of color; lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex people; women; people with disabilities; and veterans to apply. Please note that all lawyer positions require a law degree and active membership in the bar of a state or the District of Columbia. 

Not sure you meet all of our qualifications? Research shows that men apply for jobs when they meet an average of 60% of the criteria. Yet women and other people who are systematically marginalized tend to only apply if they meet every requirement.  If you believe that you could excel in this role, we encourage you to apply. We are dedicated to considering a broad array of candidates, including those with diverse workplace experiences and backgrounds. Whether you are new to mission-based legal and policy work, returning to work after a gap in employment, or simply looking to transition or take the next step in your career path, we welcome the opportunity to have you on our radar.  Please include in your cover letter the nature of your interest in legal and policy work promoting democracy and progress and what you hope to bring to our team and the role for which you are applying. 

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