Established in 2015 in honor of David Abraham Grossman, a clinical professor at Harvard Law School and a lifelong advocate for social justice, the DAG Fund awards annual $50,000 fellowships to fund law students/judicial law clerks who demonstrate exceptional promise as public interest attorneys to work at existing nonprofits.
In selecting its fellows, the fund works alongside Harvard Law School’s Office of Public Interest Advising to identify fellowship proposals that are impactful, sustainable, and offer an innovative blueprint for social change. In the spirit of David Abraham Grossman’s legacy and memory as an innovative community lawyer, the DAG Fund prioritizes funding community/movement-based lawyering and law and organizing projects.
Applicants for the fellowship should be Harvard Law School 3Ls, LL.M.s, or alumni in clerkships with no intervening work experience who
- Have demonstrated a consistent commitment to public interest advocacy, especially community/movement-based lawyering and/or law and organizing;
- Have participated successfully in law school clinics;
- Have a long-term interest in living in the location of their fellowship;
- Intend to obtain a law license in the location of their fellowship;
- Are familiar with and have contacts in the community in which they want to work; and
- Will be enthusiastic advocates and spokespeople for the DAG Fund.
- Should be designed to advance social justice in the areas of poverty, housing, consumer, labor and employment, civil rights, family, immigration, health law, or criminal justice reform;
- Should be based in the United States;
- Should meaningfully involve community partners, particularly organizing groups; and
- Should be designed to deliver results that are achievable within a year but sustainable.
Priority will be given to projects that focus on providing representation in collaboration with community groups to effectuate social change. That can take many forms, such as providing eviction defense in conjunction with a community organizing group focused on housing rights or providing wage and hour representation in coordination with a labor organizing group or workers’ center. Applicants are encouraged to be creative in incorporating organizing strategies into their proposals.
Potential organizations with law and organizing experience include the Community Justice Project (Miami), Law for Black Lives, City Life/Vida Urbana (Boston), and JusticeLabs (Baltimore), Community Activism Law Alliance (Chicago). However, projects hosted at any direct services/poverty law organization will be considered. If you have questions about your project’s eligibility, please contact HLS alumna and DAG Fund Committee member Marielle Macher at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to Apply
Applicants must secure a host organization before applying.
The DAG Fund does not sponsor fellowship projects at organizations which are hiring for entry level positions involving similar work. If your sponsoring organization has current entry level hiring, please include a statement in your application describing how the fellowship project you are proposing is substantially different than the position(s) for which the organization is hiring.
Once an applicant has received sponsorship from their host organization, the applicant should submit a completed Application Form, which includes:
- resume / C.V.;
- transcript – either a PDF scan of your official transcript or a PDF copy of your unofficial transcript;
- letter of interest / cover letter – detailing your interest in the fellowship and in your host organization;
- a letter from the host organization – indicating their willingness to host you and to abide by the Harvard Law School Public Interest Fellowships Memorandum of Understanding;
- three letters of recommendation, – one of which must be from a Harvard Law School faculty member (clinical instructors and professors enthusiastically included).
The deadline to apply is December 4, 2017. Select applicants will be interviewed for the Fellowship and Applicants will be notified by the end of February 2018.
Questions about the DAG Fund Fellowship should be directed to Alexa Shabecoff in OPIA.