John J. Curtin, Jr. Fellowship

John J. Curtin, Jr. Fellowship   


The Curtin Justice Fund Legal Internship Program is seeking motivated law student interns to apply for stipends available for the Summer 2014 Program.  These students should have a position offered, contingent on funding, from a qualified organization.

The Curtin Justice Fund Legal Internship Program is managed jointly by the ABA Commission on Homelessness and Poverty and the Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants.  The Program will pay a $2,500 stipend to three law school students who spend the summer months working for a bar association or legal services program designed to prevent homelessness or assist homeless or indigent clients or their advocates. The Legal Internship Program will provide much-needed legal assistance to organizations serving the under-represented and give students direct experience in a public interest forum. Through this, it aims both to help homeless clients and to encourage careers in the law that further the goals of social justice.

The John J. Curtin, Jr. Justice Fund, a permanent endowment in the American Bar Association Fund for Justice and Education, was created to honor Jack Curtin, ABA President from 1990-91. In acknowledgment of his outstanding achievements, as well as the affection ABA members and staff have for Jack, his colleagues in the Association collected over $100,000 within a year of his leaving office to establish the fund. Jack's long-standing dedication to issues of social justice and civil rights led to approval by the ABA Board of Governors to use the income from the Justice Fund to provide stipends to law students working to help homeless and indigent people.

Intern Requirements:
The ideal intern will have a demonstrated interest in public interest law and experience working with poor people or on issues affecting them. All law students are eligible, and first year law students are encouraged to apply. The intern must commit no less than eight continuous weeks between May 1 and October 1 to the program of his or her choice. Applicants must submit the attached application to:

The Curtin Internship Program
American Bar Association Commission on Homelessness and Poverty
1050 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Suite 400
Washington, DC 20036



The application deadline is Monday, March 31, 2014. 

Program Requirements:
Qualified organizations include bar association programs, legal services programs and nonprofit organizations which have programs dedicated to meeting the legal needs and concerns of homeless and indigent people and their advocates. To be considered, programs must have been operational for at least one year and must have an attorney on staff or easily available to supervise the intern.

A lawyer in the program (either a volunteer or paid attorney) must supervise the intern, and the program must assure the ABA that it will give the intern substantive law experiences with clients and with preparing legal documents and so forth.

Application Process:
Each applicant shall submit a cover letter, resume, application form and a prospective program's supporting statement. Please be specific about the issues on which you plan to focus and what you hope to accomplish. CLICK HERE for application package.

Evaluation Process:
Both the intern and the program will be expected to submit to the ABA Commission on Homelessness and Poverty and the Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants reports on the summer internship experience. These evaluations are due within four weeks of the conclusion of the internship or by September 30, 2014, at the latest. The intern should assess the quality of the supervision received, describe whether the written work assigned was challenging, discuss the opportunities to work with clients, and include a summary of what the student learned from the experience. The program supervisor should describe the student’s contributions to the program and provide feedback as to what skills and abilities the Curtin Justice Fund Legal Internship Program should look for in future interns.

The ABA Commission on Homelessness and Poverty announces the Recipients of the

2013 John J. Curtin, Jr. Fellowship

Katherine Ammirati, a law student at University of California, Hastings College of Law. She will intern at the Housing Practice Group at the East Bay Community Law Center in Berkeley, CA.

Janée Johnson, a law student at Boston University School of Law. She will intern at Prisoners Legal Services of Massachusetts.

Emily Suhr, a law student at Pepperdine University School of Law, who will intern at The Alliance for Children's Rights in Los Angeles, CA.