Curtin Fellowship

John J. Curtin, Jr. Fellowship

The application period for the 2020 Curtin Fellowship has closed and finalists have been selected. Thank you for your interest. We encourage you to apply in 2021.


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.

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.

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.

The ideal intern 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 2020 is Friday, March 27, 2020.

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.

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.

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

CLICK HERE for the application package.

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 28, 2020, 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.