Sponsored Fellowship Attorney (to begin September 2025)

Civil Rights Law Firm Seeks to Sponsor Fellowship Attorney

June 4, 2024—Disability Rights Advocates (DRA), a non-profit, civil rights law firm, seeks to sponsor a dynamic and motivated candidate who shares our vision of creating a society that strives toward justice and fairness for all to apply for Skadden, Equal Justice Works, Justice Catalyst, and other sponsored public interest fellowships. This position will be based in DRA’s New York, NY, Chicago, IL or Berkeley, CA offices.

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 New York City, Chicago, and Berkeley, DRA fights for equal access and dramatic improvements for people with disabilities in all areas of life, including: technology, health care, employment, transportation, education, voting, juvenile justice, and housing. With a high success rate for more than 30 years DRA continues to take on significant and novel cases to achieve a meaningful impact for people with disabilities across the nation.  For more information on DRA’s mission and impact visit www.dralegal.org

DRA has an established commitment to mentoring and training lawyers to practice public interest law. We have sponsored more than 40 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 DRA’s Supervising Attorney.

Core Responsibilities

  • Take an active role in all aspects of litigation and investigations that may include case development, legal strategy, factual research, legal research, site visits, and client development
  • Represent clients in complex class action suits as part of a team through all stages of litigation as needed, which may include drafting legal research memos, litigation/discovery plans, written discovery, document review, taking and defending depositions, meeting and conferring with opposing counsel, motion practice, brief writing, advocacy in court, client management, and appellate, trial, and monitoring work
  • Take part in all aspects of settlement negotiations as needed, which may include drafting structured negotiation agreements, mediation statements, term sheets, settlement agreements, and representing clients in and/or attending negotiation sessions and conferences
  • Conduct client outreach, and develop and maintain relevant relationships with individuals and organizations within the disability community
  • Support and engage in DRA’s fundraising and communication efforts
  • Additional duties as assigned


  • Candidates should be either law students who will graduate in the next academic year, judicial law clerks, or law school graduates with 0-2 years of experience who are passionate about civil rights and disability law
  • Commitment to DRA’s mission to advance equal rights and opportunity for people with all types of disabilities nationwide
  • Excellent writing and advocacy skills
  • Some knowledge of legal principles and practices related to civil rights or class action litigation
  • Self-directed with strong initiative, strong work ethic, strong communication skills, efficient time management, time-keeping, follow-through, effectiveness at working in teams, and flexibility around changing priorities and deadlines
  • 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, New York, or Illinois State Bar or plans to become licensed in California, New York, or Illinois in the following year


DRA offers a competitive salary of $87,550-92,700/year, based on years of legal experience. Comprehensive benefits including top tier 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.

This position is part of a bargaining unit represented by IFPTE Local 20.

How to Apply

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

  1. Cover letter (including how you learned about this job opening, a brief (1-2 paragraphs) preliminary project proposal (if any) and whether you are seeking employment in CA, NY, or IL)
  2. Resume
  3. Three professional references (at least two direct supervisors)
  4. Unofficial law school transcript
  5. A writing sample (5-10 pages)

DRA will work with the candidate to determine how best to craft the proposal for the various fellowship applications. We are reviewing applications on a rolling basis and will give priority to those submitted by July 22, 2024. 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.

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 for the hiring process, please contact jobs@dralegal.org with the subject line “Accommodations Request.”