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The Fragomen Fellowship

The Fragomen Fellowship is a two-year fellowship for new immigration lawyers at the City Bar Justice Center in New York City.

 

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ABOUT THE FRAGOMEN FELLOWSHIP AT THE CITY BAR JUSTICE CENTER

The Fragomen Fellowship is a fully-funded, two-year rotating fellowship established by Fragomen—the world’s leading provider of immigration services—to enhance the pro bono legal services provided to immigrants by the City Bar Justice Center, the pro bono affiliate of the New York City Bar Association.  The fellowship is open to applicants with two to four years of immigration-related legal experience who are admitted to the New York bar.  The Fragomen Fellow focuses on advocacy to enhance the access to and quality of counsel for immigrants in New York. The Fellow is also responsible for training and mentoring pro bono lawyers, and for community education and outreach.

Depending on the Fellow’s prior experience, the Fellow may also have the opportunity to design and run new programs related to immigration.   

Eligibility Requirements

Fragomen Fellows are new lawyers (generally two to four years out of law school) with a demonstrated commitment to the representation of low-income immigrants.

  • Applicants may be 2014 or 2015 law school graduates, if they will be completing another fellowship or clerkship by August of 2017.
  • Applicants may have graduated from law school before 2014 if they have gained relevant immigration-related experience since graduation.
  • Applicants must be fluent in Spanish.
  • Applicants must be admitted to the New York bar.  Applicants should also be prepared to apply for admission to federal court (Southern District and/or Eastern District of New York, and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals) if they are not already admitted.
  • Applicants must be proficient in MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint, and be able to learn a new case management system where they will be expected to actively update records and manage their own caseload.

The Fragomen Fellow must be prepared to represent immigrants in removal proceedings and in complex affirmative applications; to organize and lead short-term pro bono clinics; to participate in community outreach activities; and to mentor pro bono attorneys from private law firms.

How to Apply

Please submit the following documents together in one PDF where indicated at this link:

  • Résumé (no more than two pages)
  • Official law school transcript
  • Statement of Interest (750 words or less): Please describe why you would like to be a Fragomen Fellow at the City Bar Justice Center. In your statement, please be sure to address the following questions:
    • What attracts you to the practice of immigration law?
    • Why are you interested in the Fragomen Fellowship?
    • What experience, if any, do you have in the areas of asylum, U visa applications, VAWA applications, general family-based applications, TPS and naturalization?
    • What can you in particular bring to the table to help serve underserved immigrant communities?
  • Two letters of recommendation, at least one of which should be from a work, clinic or internship supervisor. Recommenders should be instructed to send their letters, which should be named Fragomen Fellowship Reference for [Your Name], directly to fragomenfellowship@fragomen.com, with your name and “Fragomen Fellowship Reference” in the subject line.
  • A writing sample (preferably related to an immigration matter on which you have worked).

Application Period

Applications will be accepted immediately and reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q: What is the Fragomen Fellowship?

A: The Fragomen Fellowship is a two-year rotating fellowship established by Fragomen—the world’s leading provider of immigration services—to enhance the pro bono legal services provided to immigrants by the City Bar Justice Center, the nonprofit pro bono affiliate of the New York City Bar Association.  The fully-funded fellowship is open to new lawyers with two to four years of immigration-related experience.  The Fragomen Fellow focuses on advocacy to enhance the access to and quality of counsel for immigrants in New York. The Fellow is also responsible for direct representation of immigrants in removal proceedings and in certain affirmative applications; training and mentoring pro bono lawyers; and community education and outreach.  Depending on previous experience, the Fragomen Fellow may also have the opportunity to design and run new programs related to immigration.

Q: What is the application process?

A: Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled.  Applicants selected for an interview will meet with one or more Fragomen Partners and with Fragomen’s Pro Bono Counsel. Semi-finalists will be called back for additional interviews at the Fragomen firm. Finalists will also be interviewed by the Executive Director of the City Bar Justice Center.

Q: Do I have to wait for my references before I can submit my application?

A: No, you should submit your application as soon as it is complete. Ask your references to submit reference letters directly to fragomenfellowship@fragomen.com, with your name and “Fragomen Fellowship Reference” in the subject line of the email.

Q: If I am selected, when would I start?

A: The Fragomen Fellow should be prepared to start work at the end of August or in early September 2017. The exact start date will be determined by the Executive Director of the City Bar Justice Center. The fellowship will run through August of 2019.

Q: What kind of salary and benefits does the Fragomen Fellow receive?

A: The Fragomen Fellow for 2017-2019 will receive a competitive public interest salary, commensurate experience.  Because the Fellow is an employee of the Fragomen law firm, the Fellow will also receive health insurance coverage and two weeks’ paid vacation through the firm.

Q: What qualities make for a strong candidate for the Fragomen Fellowship?

A: We are looking for smart, compassionate self-starters who are passionate about helping low-income immigrants navigate our complex immigration system.  The Fellow receives supervision and training from both Fragomen and the City Bar Justice Center, but must also be capable of working independently. Prior experience in a law school immigration clinic, an immigration-related internship or post-graduate employment in the field of immigration is a must.

Q: Do I need to speak a language other than English?

A: The Fragomen Fellow must be fluent in Spanish. Fellows must be able to conduct professional presentations before native speakers of Spanish. Speakers of Mandarin Chinese, Haitian Creole, Arabic and other languages will also find their language skills put to good use when working with immigrant populations in New York. But Spanish is a must for this position.

Q: Do I have to be admitted to the New York bar?

A: Applicants must already be admitted to the New York bar to be eligible for the 2017-2019 Fragomen Fellowship. While licensed attorneys are permitted to practice immigration law in states where they are not admitted—because immigration law is a federal practice—the Fragomen Fellow may also have occasion to appear in Family Court (for Special Immigrant Juvenile Cases), or in rare cases in civil court or criminal court.  For these reasons, it is imperative that the Fragomen Fellow be admitted to the bar in the State of New York.

Q: If I am selected, may I defer the Fellowship for one year?

A: No. The applicant selected for the 2017-2019 Fragomen Fellowship must be ready to start in August/September of 2017.

 

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You may also contact us at fragomenfellowship@fragomen.com if you have any questions not addressed in the FAQs.