How to Apply for the Larsen Justice Fellowship

Applications must be submitted online via the link provided below, no later than Friday, April 19, 2024, at 12:00 noon PST. Decisions will be made by May 12, 2024.

Applicants may meet with Chesa Boudin, the executive director of the Criminal Law & Justice Center before the application deadline to discuss their fellowship proposal. Judicial chambers, political campaigns, and private public interest law firms are not qualifying hosts. 

Application Instructions

Larsen Justice Fellowship Eligibility and Participation 

1) The applicant must receive their J.D. degree from Berkeley Law in May 2024 and sit for the next available Bar Exam in any jurisdiction. 

2) The applicant must register for, and sit for, the next available Bar exam following their graduation. Applicants will be required to submit proof of their Bar Exam registration. Should a Fellow subsequently experience any change in circumstance, such as a medical or family emergency, they must notify the Criminal Law & Justice Center promptly to discuss their plans for bar licensure. 

3) Should a Fellow not pass the first available Bar Exam, they must notify their host and the Criminal Law & Justice Center promptly to develop a plan for continuing their fellowship while arranging sit for the next available Bar Exam. 

4) Eligible sponsoring organizations include 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations and non-partisan government agencies at any level. Clerkships in judicial chambers, political campaigns, and private public interest law firms are not qualifying hosts. A sponsoring organization must be finalized prior to application. 

5) To be eligible, projects must be law‐related and attorney‐supervised. Projects must also require a JD or draw heavily on law school training; appropriate projects might include legal advocacy, trial practice, direct legal services, or community legal education and organizing, or government service. 

6) The Fellow’s work must take place over a consecutive 12-month period starting no later than December 31, 2024 and concluding no later than December 31, 2025. Larsen Justice Fellows must commit to working at their fellowship placement for 12 months, and the sponsoring organization must be prepared to host the Fellow for 12 months. Fellowships will end as soon as the Fellow finds a permanent position with an employer, or at the end of the twelve-month fellowship period, whichever comes sooner. If a Fellow’s personal circumstances change and they anticipate any interruption to their twelve consecutive months of work, they must notify the Criminal Law & Justice Center promptly in order to discuss their plans for completing their fellowship. 

7) A sponsoring organization may provide the Fellow with employee benefits and may supplement the fellowship with additional funding. The availability and amount of supplemental funding from the sponsoring organization may be taken into account in evaluating the applicant’s need for the Larsen Justice Fellowship.

8) The Fellow is not an employee of Berkeley Law and will not receive employment benefits from Berkeley Law, but the sponsoring organization is encouraged to provide benefits to the Fellow. Fellowship funds will be distributed to the host organization or directly to the Fellow based on a predetermined schedule. 

9) Fellows are required to submit a mid-year report within six months of their start date, and a year-end report within one month of completing the fellowship. Fellows are also expected to attend an annual justice conference at the law school. 

10) Employers will be required to affirm and agree to the conditions of the fellowship (e.g. that this is a JD required position that involves legal work that is being done under the supervision of attorneys). The Fellow’s placement supervisor must agree to provide to the Criminal Law & Justice Center, if requested, a report detailing the projects the Fellow has completed and the number of hours the Fellow worked per week during the previous month. 

11) Fellow names, placements and reports may be publicized or shared with donors in connection with furthering and promoting the Larsen Justice Fellowship program. 

12) The continued payment of Larsen Justice Fellowship funds is contingent upon fulfilling all terms of the fellowship as detailed above.

Selection Criteria 

The applicant must have demonstrated commitment to public service and criminal justice, which may be established, for example, through a significant history of working for government or public interest organizations while in law school and/or having completed public interest clinical/pro bono work.

A graduate’s need for the fellowship may be defined by many criteria. These might include: 

1) How challenging it will be or how long it will likely take to secure a full‐time position in the field; 

2) How much time the applicant needs to develop contacts and experience in the field; 

3) How effectively the proposed year‐long fellowship would improve the applicant’s competitiveness in desired job market (e.g. through networking opportunities, relevant experience, skills development, etc.; please be specific); and

4) How much value the fellowship proposal/project will add to the host organization and the broader public interest. 

For example, a graduate seeking work with a non‐profit that generally only hires entry‐level attorneys who have at least one full year of experience might be able to demonstrate a strong need for a fellowship. Similarly, a graduate seeking to spend their year on a project or important area of work that is not currently being undertaken by the host organization (a practice or service gap the Fellow aims to fill) might be able to demonstrate a strong need for a fellowship. By contrast, a graduate seeking to do standard entry-level legal work at an organization or agency that typically hires new attorneys within a few months after bar results are released might have less need for a fellowship. 

The financial need of the applicant may also be considered in awarding this fellowship. 

Application Details 

Please apply online by filling out the application at this link:

Because the survey may not let you save your work and return to it later, you may want to prepare your answers in a separate document to copy and paste when you are ready to submit your application. 

Applications must be received by 12:00 noon PST on April 19, 2024. Decisions will be communicated via email to all applicants. 

The online application will ask you for: 

1) Cover Page Information 

Name, phone number, email address, student ID number, graduation date, and bar exam plans (state, date, and study program if any, e.g. BarBri, etc.). 

2) Proof of Bar Exam registration

3) Brief Personal Statements/Statement of Need 

  1. Brief statement (250-500 words) describing the work you propose to do as a Fellow, identifying the host organization, and the need for your project. Explain how your proposed placement would help prepare you to achieve your criminal justice public interest/public sector career goals.
  2. Personal statement (250-500 words) demonstrating your commitment to public service and criminal justice, including your motivation toward this career path.  Please also address what your plans will be if you are not chosen as a fellowship recipient.
  3. Specific statement of overall financial need (e.g. student loan debt, bar study grants, financial support from family or otherwise available during the year following graduation, etc.). Please also include a list of all other funding sources for which you did or will apply to support your work. Indicate whether the proposed host agency has potential funding to supplement fellowship funds, or to independently support your position if you do not receive the fellowship, and if so, how much funding is potentially available. 

4) Resume 

You will upload your resume as part of the Qualtrics application. 

5) Transcript

You will upload your (unofficial) law school transcript as part of the Qualtrics application.

6) Letter from host organization


If you have questions about the application process, your eligibility, or the criteria for selection, please contact Chesa Boudin at