Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Fellowship

Application Deadline: Applications will be accepted until position is filled. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, beginning on May 16, 2011.

Description of Fellowship: 

The Lawyers’ Committee views the causes they champion as broadly related to positions and ethical stances taken by Justice Thurgood Marshall during his distinguished legal career. The Thurgood Marshall Fellowship is designed for an attorney who has practiced for a minimum of two years and has a demonstrated commitment to civil rights law. It is Committee’s hope that the fellowship will enhance the Fellow’s understanding of civil rights law and prepare the Fellow for a career of promoting social justice. 

Duration of Fellowship: 

Fellowship is available for a two-year term (September 2011-September 2013)

General Summary of Work Performed:

The Thurgood Marshall Fellow will primarily assist with the Committee’s impact litigation, policy advocacy and direct services work in the area of racial justice. The Fellow may also have the opportunity to work on projects in the area of immigrant justice. 

Essential Duties and Responsibilities: 

Identify impact issues for impact litigation or policy advocacy, including conducting intake and investigation of cases, strengthening the organization’s ties with grassroots, grasstops & legal groups, representing Lawyers’ Committee at key coalition, task force & community meetings, and obtaining feedback from community stakeholders.

Assist with impact litigation. This may include legal research, drafting and reviewing filings and correspondence, discovery, motion practice, trial advocacy, appellate advocacy and/or other litigation tasks.

Engage in legislative & administrative advocacy, such as drafting of regulations and legislation, meetings with client organizations, representation of groups before administrative and legislative bodies, and technical assistance to policy makers.

Assist with intake and placement of cases through our Tuesday Legal Services Clinic. The Tuesday Clinic helps clients overcome legal barriers to employment and housing resulting from past contact with the criminal justice system.

Proactively seek opportunities to engage in public education & media advocacy. 

Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities:

1.         A minimum of two years post-graduate legal experience (this may include up to one year of a post-graduate judicial clerkship)

2.         Bar membership (membership in California Bar preferred)

3.         Knowledge of and demonstrated interest in civil rights law

4.         Prior experience working with/ties to low-income communities of color and/or immigrant communities in the San Francisco Bay Area and/or proficiency in a foreign language (particularly Spanish, Cantonese, or Mandarin) is desired but not required

5.         Excellent oral and written communication skills

6.         Values working cooperatively with others, both within the organization and in the community


$56,000 annual salary. Competitive benefits package also offered. 

To Apply:

Please send cover letter, a resume with three references and a writing sample to Lawyers’ Committee c/o Silvia Contreras by email to, by fax to (415) 543‐0296, or by mail at the address below.

Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area

131 Steuart Street, Suite 400

San Francisco, CA 94105

For additional information, please go to