April 29, 2019

Orleans Public Defenders NextGen Fellowship

The ABA Center for Innovation encourages and accelerates innovations that improve the accessibility, effectiveness and efficiency of legal services. Through its Fellows Program, the Center works with established and emerging leaders to build more efficient, affordable and easily accessible legal services in the United States.

The NextGen Fellowship Program

Embedded with legal aid and service organizations around the country and armed with skills to advance and sustain legal innovation, our fellows work on projects designed to make an impact on issues straining our justice system. We put the needs of the public and consumers of legal services first and encourage our fellows to get close to those affected by the issues plaguing our nation’s justice system. We believe this proximity facilitates empathy, and in turn results in more fully developed projects that produce sustainable solutions, integrating important stakeholders.

The ABA Center for Innovation/Orleans Public Defenders NextGen Fellowship

This new Fellow will join the second class of an exclusive cohort of ABA NextGen and Innovation Fellows. The selected candidate will have access to ABA members, staff, and resources. Additionally, fellows receive training in the following areas:

•    Design Thinking
•    Process Improvement
•    Project Management
•    Technology Selection Strategies & Development
•    Data Collection & Analysis
•    Personal Career Development

The candidate selected by Orleans Public Defenders and the Center will work on issues related to fines, fees and money bail in Orleans Parish. Specifically, the fellow will work directly with indigent clients held on bond in Orleans Parish to collect stories and data about the individual and community impact of money bail.

The fellow will assist in gathering information to support bond advocacy efforts as well as help connect clients to alternate sources of funding—such as community bail funds—in order to secure their release.  The fellow will help devise a plan of community-based assistance for clients out on bond in collaboration with other local organizations and will track the success of those measures once they are put into effect.  To ensure that the fellow has a full awareness of the workings of the criminal justice system, the fellow will carry a partial public defender caseload. The fellow will also be tasked with direct voter education about bail, fines and fees, and will advocate for legislative and policy change at the local and state level.  


Candidates should be recent (within the last 5 years) law school graduates and should plan to spend one year in residence with the Orleans Public Defenders Office. This Fellow will receive a $45,000 salary and benefits. The candidate is expected to either be barred in Louisiana or seeking bar admission in 2019. Candidates should have the following qualifications:

•    Commitment to improving access to justice and indigent defense for community members in Orleans Parish
•    Working knowledge of technology, principles of design, and web development
•    Strong oral and written advocacy skills
•    Willingness to engage in local and state-level lobbying for legislative reform

How to Apply

Candidates should email a cover letter explaining their interest and a resume that demonstrates their qualifications to: innovationcenter@americanbar.org.

The deadline for applications is May 10, 2019.