ILG Post-Graduate Innovator Fellowship

When positive social change is resisted, we litigate change to create justice.

The 2013-14 ILG Post-Graduate Innovator Fellowship is a one-year, full-time paid position for a new lawyer interested in creative human rights work.  The Innovator Fellowship sprang from the recognition that immigration litigation is one of the fastest growing segments of the legal community and there is a great need to foster and mentor effective advocates for social justice.

Fellowship.  The Fellowship has 2 components.  The first is a firm-driven mentorship in which the fellow works closely with the firm’s attorneys on developing advocacy skills in the removal defense context and federal courts.  The fellow learns how to manage cases of different complexity, engage in positive client relations, and develop meaningful time management skills.

The second component is what we call the “Innovator Project” — hence, the name of the fellowship.  In the second component, the fellow implements a litigation or public education project proposed by and developed by the fellow in her or his application.  The Innovator Project is a one-year project that creates social change through the development of novel litigation strategies, creating and sharing new curriculum for public education about organizing for equitable changes to our immigration and human rights legal system, or a combination of the two.  The Innovator Project must have demonstrable and measurable outcomes.  Complete details are available in the application packet (when available, you can find it here.)  The application period normally opens in February for a fellowship that begins in October.

Eligibility.  The ILG Innovator Fellowship is open to (1) any law school student expected to graduate and take a bar exam prior to the October start date or (2) any licensed attorney who entered into a judicial or administrative clerkship after law school and since completing the clerkship has not yet practiced law for more than one year.

The Innovator Project – Questions & Answers
What is an Innovator Project?   The Innovator Project is a one-year project that creates social change through the development of novel litigation strategies, creating and sharing new curriculum for public education about organizing for equitable changes to our immigration and human rights legal system, or a combination of the two.  It gives the fellow the opportunity to connect litigation to support an on-going or nascent social movement.  It involves collaborating with grassroots organizations to build or defend community power through litigation.  The Innovator Project must have demonstrable and measurable outcomes.

What should I propose for my Innovator Project?  There are few constraints on the Innovator Project – it is intended to be designed by the fellow in collaboration with an allied organization or organizations.  The fellow works for ILG – not the allied organizations.  Although any topic is possible, projects that tackle any of these issues will get favorable consideration:

  • Building community power to hold ICE accountable for egregious or widespread violations of civil rights through damages actions.
  • Building community power to hold local law enforcement in Oregon accountable for local enforcement of immigration law through damages actions, detainer litigation, or other actions.
  • Promoting and defending the rights of day laborers in Oregon.
  • Building community power for immigrant communities in rural Oregon.

How should I prepare my application?  Your application should contain (1) the ILG job application, (2) your law school transcript, (3) your resume, (4) a description of your innovator project and (5) a letter of support from an allied organization, grassroot group or other similar association whose social justice work your project will support.

What should I include in my description of the Innovator Project?  You may structure your description in any format.  We think a useful way is to divide your description like this: (1) The need or problem; (2) Who are the community groups working in the area on this topic and how would litigation build or defend community power; (3) a timeline of your project – what you would do, when, and how; and (4) what is the impact of the project.

How long should my project description be?  No more than 1,000 words.

How should I submit my completed application?  Submit everything in a PDF (a combined PDF is preferred, but individual PDFs are fine) to jobs@ilgrp.com before midnight on March 4, 2013.

How will you choose the fellow?  Every application will be reviewed and ranked on two criteria: (1) the merit of the project and (2) the likelihood that the applicant can be successful with the project and the role of an immigration attorney.  The highest scoring applicants will be interviewed.

When will the selection decision be announced?  We will announce the 2013-2014 fellow no later than April 8, 2013.

What are the terms of employment?  The ILG Post-Graduate Innovator Fellow becomes a full-time, temporary employee of ILG.  The term is for 12 months to begin in October 2013 although the actual start date is flexible.  The salary is $38,000 a year plus health and transportation benefits according to the firm’s standard benefits plan.

When is the deadline for applying? Midnight, March 4, 2013.

Who should I contact with questions? Email us at jobs@ilgrp.com.