Skip to content

December 20, 2013

Gideon’s Promise: New Fellowship Opportunity

by Dan Rodriguez

In honor of the 50th anniversary of Gideon v. Wainwright, the landmark Supreme Court decision establishing the right to counsel in criminal proceedings, Northwestern Law is proud to announce the creation of the Gideon’s Promise Fellowship Program. This initiative will provide up to three graduating law students with grants, training, and job placement services that will allow them to begin their careers by representing some of those most desperately in need of legal assistance—at public defender offices in the American South.

These fellowships are offered in partnership with the Gideon’s Promise program and the Law School Partnership Project, which trains, mentors, and supports young public defenders. Gideon’s Promise will place fellowship recipients in one of several public defender offices in the South. To date, nine offices have joined the program with more to follow. The fellowship will provide training and support for these new lawyers for three full years.

Fellows will receive a stipend of $50,000 (plus benefits) and will be guaranteed permanent positions at the affiliated public defender offices after conclusion of the fellowship term.

The three Northwestern Law fellowships are supported by the Jay A. Pritzker Fellowship Program, funded by the Jay A. Pritzker Foundation, and the Bluhm Legal Clinic, which has been representing indigent individuals in criminal proceedings since its founding in 1969. (There will be additional Jay A. Pritzker Fellowships available later this year, for students interested in working at other nonprofit and government agencies.)

Earlier this year, HBO Documentaries produced Gideon’s Army, a remarkable documentary about three young public defenders in the Gideon’s Promise program. Information about this interesting—and revealing—film can be found on the HBO Documentaries website.

Northwestern Law students interested in applying should submit this application to Ali Flaum and Steve Drizin by January 21, 2014. Applicants will be interviewed in late January and selected in early February. If you have additional questions about the program, please contact Ali Flaum.

Comments are closed.