Sponsored Fellowship Attorney

Disability Rights Advocates (DRA), a non-profit civil rights law firm, seeks candidates to apply for collaboration on Skadden, Equal Justice Works, Justice Catalyst, and other sponsored public interest fellowships. This position opening is in DRA’s Berkeley, CA or New York, NY office.

DRA advances equal rights and opportunities for people with a wide range of disabilities through high-impact litigation utilizing federal, state, and local disability law. With offices in California and New York, DRA provides free legal representation to people with all types of disabilities who are fighting for equal access. We achieve dramatic improvements for people with disabilities in all areas of life, including technology, health care, employment, transportation, education, disaster preparedness planning, voting, juvenile justice, and housing. For more information on DRA’s mission and impact, visit www.dralegal.org

DRA has an established commitment to mentoring and training the best emerging lawyers to practice public interest law. We have sponsored more than 30 fellowships since our inception in 1993, including Skadden, Equal Justice Works, Justice Catalyst, and other fellowships supported by generous DRA donors. Fellows at DRA gain unparalleled experience and are provided immediate opportunity to participate in all aspects of public interest litigation. Past DRA fellows have gone on to successful careers, most in public interest law.  Fellowship Attorneys are full-time positions and report to the Managing Attorney.

Core Responsibilities

  • Take an active role in all aspects of litigation, including drafting legal research memos, litigation/discovery plans, written discovery, document review, depositions, motion practice, brief writing, advocacy in court, and client management
  • Engage in all aspects of investigations and case development, including factual research, legal research, site visits, and client development
  • Take part in all aspects of settlement negotiations, including drafting structured negotiations agreements, mediation statements, term sheets, settlement agreements, and negotiation sessions and conferences
  • Monitor settlement agreements
  • Assist at trial
  • Conduct client outreach, and develop and maintain relevant relationships with individuals and organizations within the disability community
  • Support DRA’s fundraising and communications efforts

Qualifications

  • Commitment to DRA’s mission to advance the rights, inclusion, and equity of people with disabilities through high-impact litigation, education, and advocacy
  • Excellent writing and advocacy skills
  • Knowledge of legal principles and practices related to high impact or class action litigation
  • Self-directed with strong initiative, strong communication skills, efficient time management, time-keeping, follow-through, effectiveness at working in teams, and flexibility around changing priorities and deadlines
  • Willingness to work closely with DRA throughout the funding application process
  • Connection to disability or passion for our mission desirable, but extensive disability law experience not necessary
  • An active license in good standing with the California or New York State Bar or plans to become licensed in California or New York in 2023

Candidates should be either law students who will graduate in the spring of 2023, judicial law clerks, or law school graduates who are passionate about civil rights and disability law.

Compensation and Benefits

DRA offers a competitive $70,000 base salary, with comprehensive top tier benefits including medical, dental, and vision insurance with 100% paid employee premiums, 401(k) with company contribution, generous holiday and paid time off benefits, and additional health and commuter benefits. Funding for this position is contingent on sponsoring agencies.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, all DRA employees have been temporarily working remotely.  As our offices reopen, we will provide a remote-friendly workplace with flexibility to partially work from home.

How to Apply

Please send the following to jobs@dralegal.org with “Sponsored Fellowship 2023” as the subject:

  1. Cover letter, including how you learned about this job opening and which office you would like to work in
  2. Resume
  3. Unofficial law school transcript
  4. Three references (at least two direct supervisors)
  5. A legal writing sample (5-10 pages)
  6. A brief preliminary project proposal.  Applicants are not required to submit completely fleshed out project proposals with their applications.  DRA will work with candidates to draft and/or supplement proposals if they are selected.

We are reviewing applications on a rolling basis and will give priority to those submitted by July 6. Applicants for fellowships that are funded and administered by law schools or foundations are encouraged to contact DRA as far as possible in advance of the deadlines associated with those programs. If you are also applying for the Wolinsky Fellowship, please note in your application that you would like to be considered for both positions.

DRA is an equal opportunity employer and values a diverse workforce and inclusive culture.

DRA encourages applications from all qualified individuals and does not discriminate in employment opportunities or practices on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, age, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital or familial status, veteran status, disability, AIDS/HIV status, medical condition, or any other characteristic protected by law.   This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, leaves of absence, compensation, and training. 

DRA is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities in all aspects of the employment process.  If a reasonable accommodation is needed, please contact jobs@dralegal.org with the subject line “Accommodations Request.”