In January of 2014, Rutgers School of Law–Newark launched the nation’s first post-doctoral fellowship program of its kind, designed to train recent law school graduates as practitioners, while providing a variety of legal services to low to moderate-income New Jersey residents at fees substantially below market rates. The fellows, all of whom are admitted to practice law in New Jersey, devote one year to closely-supervised practice and associated courses in professional responsibility, small firm management, and relevant practice areas. Upon completing the program, these lawyers are fully prepared to join established law practice in either the public or private sector or to launch viable quality practices of their own.
Managing the program is Associate Dean Andrew J. Rothman, Esq., an attorney/educator committed to legal education and professional practice, who has extensive experience both in the courtroom and in the law school classroom, teaching civil practice, professional responsibility and law firm development.
Program fellows are expected to work on client matters about two-thirds of their time, and participate in seminars and other classes related to practice areas, business development and management, and problems in professional responsibility for much of the balance of their time. As they progress through the program, fellows devote some of their time to marketing and client development in addition to their legal and classroom work. Each receives a modest stipend. Rutgers Law School covers all the tuition costs associated with their coursework.
What distinguishes the Rutgers Law Associates Fellowship Program is the concentrated skills training regimen that is conducted daily, after the model of medical rounds for medical residencies. Fellows work collaboratively, brainstorming and critiquing one another with the managing attorney, to develop best practices for the work they are performing for the program’s clients. Unlike other post-graduation training programs, the Rutgers Law Associates Fellowship is an educational enterprise of the Law School and is not an independent non-profit law firm.
While the advantages this program is providing new lawyers in their development as successful practitioners is evident, the benefit the program is providing to the public is as important and as sorely needed. Recent economic stresses have put tremendous pressure on that segment of the population that is neither indigent, and therefore eligible for some legal assistance from public defenders, legal aid organizations and law school clinics, nor wealthy enough to afford a private attorney’s service. Provision of affordable legal service by new lawyers under the supervision of an experienced teacher/practitioner is helping to meet this burgeoning need.
|Application Deadline:||Wednesday, October 28, 2015|
|Orientation and Registration:||Monday, January 3, 2016|
|First Day of Classes:||Monday, January 11, 2016|
|Completion Date:||Friday, December 30, 2016|
|Program meets Monday through Friday throughout the year.|
Applying to the Rutgers Law Associates Fellowship Program
In offering the Rutgers Law Associates Fellowship Program, the goal of Rutgers School of Law–Newark is to produce lawyers who are well qualified and well trained for immediate entry into the legal profession in the public or private sector.
For many years, the faculty has recognized that the standardized measures may not be the best predictors of success in the law. Therefore, the faculty has directed the Admissions Committee for this post-graduate program to consider a broad range of factors, including, but not limited to, undergraduate and law school GPA, educational and employment experiences, community service, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic background, and extraordinary family circumstances. The faculty has also directed this committee to consider, in addition to law school academic success, the employment history as well as the personal and academic accomplishments, community service, socioeconomic background, extraordinary family circumstances, and the contribution the applicant will make to the overall make up of the fellowship program. Applicants are required to provide a cover letter stating expectation and objectives in seeking a fellowship, a resumé, a writing sample, and official law school and all graduate and undergraduate transcripts, and may be asked to supplement their application with an in-person or video interview with one or more members of the Admissions Committee. Application materials can be submitted through the Rutgers Symplicity system or by email to CareerDevelopment@kinoy.rutgers.edu. All admission to this program is conditional upon admission to practice law in the State of New Jersey.
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