Public Interest Lawyering

12 January 2011

In order to strengthen civil society and inspire lawyers to advance the public interest, PILnet builds the capacity of public interest lawyers working in NGOs through fellowships, skills-building workshops, resource dissemination and other means. Through an International Fellows Program and national fellows programs, such as in China, law students are encouraged to develop public interest law careers, NGO staff improve their skills, and civil society initiatives have a greater likelihood of success and impact in influencing law and policy.

PILnet’s trainings and workshops help connect public interest advocates to each other across issues and borders, in places as diverse as Europe, Russia, and China,  so that they are well equipped and awakened to what is possible to achieve in their local contexts. These activities are helping to build national and global networks of pioneers and leaders dedicated to using legal tools to advance the public interest.

Public Interest Lawyering News

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  • 06 April 2017

    FAQ - PILnet’s Residential Fellowship public interest lawyering

    Is the fellowship paid? Yes. Every year, PILnet will grant a limited number of paid fellowships, which includes a stipend and health insurance coverage totaling USD $50,000. We encourage candidates with separate sources of funding to apply. If an applicant has their own funding, they should indicate that in their application. 1. Is the fellow responsible for securing their own visa? Yes. Fellows are required to have or be able to obtain a work visa for the duration of the fellowship. PILnet will provide supportive documentation as needed. 2. Does PILnet accept applications from all parts of the world? Yes. Candidates from all geographic regions are eligible. Particular attention will be given to candidates from regions where PILnet has offices and/or programs. 3. When does the fellowship start/end? The fellowship is scheduled to begin June 2017 and runs for up to one year. 4. Who is eligible to apply? The ideal candidates are students currently completing a relevant degree in public interest law or those who have completed such a degree within the last five years. 5. How does the redesigned program differ from the previous PILnet fellowship? The program differs significantly from the previous PILnet fellowship in the following ways: CandidatesThe redesigned fellowship targets students currently completing a relevant degree in public interest law and those who have completed such a degree within the last five years, as opposed to mid-career lawyers. Candidates no longer need to be nominated by an NGO to apply. FormatThe fellowship will be based in-house at PILnet’s NYC offices, rather than at a university campus. It will include experiential learning in developing transactional lawyering approaches to public interest matters, complemented by workshops and classroom-style training carried out by leading legal academics and practitioners. FocusRather than focusing on conventional human rights advocacy, the fellowship offers a unique experience to re-envision the very way that effective public interest lawyering can be done in our globalized world, especially focusing on using commercial lawyering tools for the public interest. 6. Will the program provide housing for the fellowship duration? Fellows will be responsible for their own living arrangements. Click here to download the FAQ in a pdf version. Read more

  • 24 February 2017

    Call for Fellowship Applications public interest lawyering

    PILnet is excited to announce the launch of its redesigned Residential Fellowship Program that will begin in summer 2017. PILnet invites recent law graduates and those currently completing relevant degrees in public interest law to apply for this new fellowship, which offers a unique experience to re-envision the way that effective public interest lawyering can be done in our globalized world. This fellowship will provide an experiential learning opportunity in a new area of public interest lawyering that takes the techniques that have historically been used to benefit a powerful few and puts them to work for the poor and disenfranchised. Fellows at PILnet will acquire the skills to adopt the private sector’s transactional lawyering tools (those day-to-day activities—such as negotiating, drafting contracts, and helping to structure transactions), and focus on innovative ways of putting them to work for the public interest. We are no longer accepting applications for the 2017 – 2018 Fellowship.  Please check back for an announcement for the 2018 – 2019 cohorts. For more information on the Fellowship, click here. Read more

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