For a more detailed overview, see Intro to Post-Graduate Public Interest Fellowships (Spring 2015).
Project-based Fellowships (e.g., Skadden, Equal Justice Works, Tom Steel) require the applicant to partner with a sponsoring organization and to develop a unique project proposal for submission to the fellowship funder. Potential sponsor organizations (usually non-profits) often solicit applications from students interested in collaborating on project-based fellowship proposals. Deadlines to apply to sponsoring organizations typically fall throughout the summer. Most project-based fellowship applications will be due in the early Fall.
Organization-Based Fellowships (e.g. Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Thurgood Marshall Fellowship; Equal Rights Advocates’ Ruth Chance Law Fellowship) are sponsored and funded directly by the host organization/employer. Many have early Fall semester deadlines as well.
Teaching Fellowships are designed to offer the graduate the ability to learn how to teach law. Some are in specifically focused on clinical teaching and practice.
Firm-Sponsored Fellowships may involve working within a law firm doing designated public interest/pro bono work or splitting time between the firm and a designated non-profit (e.g. one year at the firm, one year at a non-profit, with an option to return to the firm).