2018 JD Distinguished Fellowship Program


The 2018 AUWCL JD Distinguished Fellowship Program (“JDDF Program”) will be offered to graduating JD students and will provide a fellowship of up to six months (26 weeks) and maximum earnings of $13,000 to fund the performance of substantive legal or law-related work.  The payment of these funds will be made directly by AUWCL to the external Fellowship Sponsor, and Fellows will be considered employees of the Fellowship Sponsor for the duration of the fellowship.

The JDDF Program is a bridge-to-practice fellowship and will be awarded to those applicants who most compellingly demonstrate evidence that an award of a fellowship would make it significantly more likely that the applicant will be able to obtain permanent legal employment during or immediately after the conclusion of the fellowship.

The fellowships will be awarded through a selective process, and interested candidates must meet the following baseline criteria:

  • Candidates must be AUWCL JD graduates (having a graduation date of December 2017, May 2018 or August 2018) with a commitment from an external (non-University or AUWCL) Fellowship Sponsor at the time of application.  The Fellowship Sponsor may be a for-profit or non-profit employer and can be either a domestic or international entity.  The Fellowship Sponsor must also agree to accept the fellowship funds directly and to consider itself the employer of record.

  • Special Note:  Given the uncertainty surrounding the ability of some or all federal agencies to accommodate these types of employment arrangements, applicants seeking public-service oriented experience are highly encouraged to consider non-profit organizations or state agencies as Fellowship Sponsors as these entities have historically been able to accept the Program’s direct-funding payment structure.

  • The work performed during the fellowship must be restricted to substantive legal or law-related work which enhances the candidate’s career development, as evaluated by the Fellowship Selection Committee.  The work should correlate with the candidate’s previous experience and career goals, as demonstrated by the candidate’s resume and personal statement submitted in accordance with posted guidelines and deadlines.

Candidates will be required to submit a completed online fellowship application to jddfellowship@wcl.american.edu by 5:00pm EST on Friday, August 3, 2018.  Awards are expected to be announced by early August.

To apply, please read the JDDF Program Overview below and complete and submit the Fellowship Application and Fellowship Sponsor Commitment Form:

  1. Program Overview

  2. Fellowship Application

  3. Fellowship Sponsor Commitment Form

  4. List of Past JDDF Sponsors (for reference)