Curtin Fellowship

John J. Curtin, Jr. Fellowship

The application period for the 2021 Curtin Fellowship is now closed. Submissions are currently under review.

ABA JOHN J. CURTIN, JR. JUSTICE FUND
2021 SUMMER LEGAL INTERNSHIP PROGRAM

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

PLEASE NOTE: Applications regarding either virtual or in-person internships will be accepted. Applicants are encouraged to apply regardless of if their placement will be remote or in-person. 

About 

The Curtin Justice Fund Legal Internship Program is managed by the ABA Commission on Homelessness and Poverty. The Program will pay a $3,500 stipend to three law 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. In this way it aims to help homeless clients and to encourage careers in the law that further the goals of social justice.

Background

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 (1990-91). In acknowledgment of his outstanding achievements and the affection ABA members and staff have for him, Jack's ABA colleagues collected over $100,000 within a year of his leaving office to establish the fund. Jack's long-standing dedication to social justice and civil rights issues led the ABA Board of governors to approve of the use of the funds to provide stipends for law students working to help homeless and indigent people.

Fellow Requirements

The ideal fellow will have a demonstrated interest in public interest law and experience working with low-income individuals or on the issues they face. 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 September 1 to their chosen program.

The application deadline for Summer 2021 is Friday, March 26, 2021.

Program Requirements

Qualified organizations include bar association programs, legal services programs, and non-profit organizations with programs or services 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 provide the intern with opportunities to engage in meaningful activities such as conducting intake, interacting with clients, conducting research, drafting memoranda, etc.

Applicant Requirements

Please note: the stipend is taxable income to the recipient. Applicants MUST be U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the U.S.; recipients will be required to fill out tax forms.

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.  All files that are part of the application should be sent in order as one PDF. Please send application materials to homeless@americanbar.org.

Fellowship recipients are typically announced in mid-May. 

Evaluation Process

Both the intern and the program will be expected to submit via email to the ABA Commission on Homelessness and Poverty letters reporting on the summer internship experience. These letters are due within four weeks of the conclusion of the internship or by August 27, 2021, 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.

Curtin Fellow Testimonials

Learn more about some past Curtin Fellows!

Antonia Fasanelli (1999) Antonia is the Director of the National Homelessness Law Center (formerly the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty). Previously she served as Executive Director of the Homeless Persons Representation Project in Baltimore, Maryland. Fasanelli is a previous Chair of the Commission on Homelessness and Poverty (2011-2014).

Noah Leavitt (2001) Noah spent a number of years practicing law before becoming a Pre-Law Advisor for public interest-minded students at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington. 

Swati Parikh (2004) Swati was a Curtin Fellow with the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless. She began her career as a public interest housing attorney with a non-profit in New York City and is now the Executive Director of the Office of Public Service and Pro Bono Initiatives at New York Law School.

Aaron Horth (2014) served as a Curtin Fellow with the Shelby County Public Defender's Office in Memphis, Tennessee. He is now a Staff Attorney with the Criminal Defense Practice of The Legal Aid Society in New York City, the city's largest public defender agency.