2012 PILnet International Fellowship: Seeking Candidates from China; the Middle East and North Africa region; and Southeast Asia


PILnet: The Global Network for Public Interest Law is pleased to invite applications for the PILnet International Fellowship for 2012–13. PILnet will select lawyers from China, the MENA region (specifically Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, and Tunisia), and Southeast Asia (especially Indonesia, Cambodia, and Vietnam) for ten months of study and practical experience in New York
and Budapest, Hungary. The program, now in its fifteenth year, targets future leaders in various fields of public interest advocacy.

PILnet International Fellows will join other public interest lawyers from around the world. They will reside a total of eight months in the U.S. and two months in Europe, during which time they will develop a project designed to further the rule of law in their home countries. The Fellowship begins with a semester of study at Columbia University School of Law and a series of professional development trainings. In the spring, the International Fellows will participate in three-month internships at New York-based public interest law organizations and a study visit based out of PILnet’s Budapest office. Fellows return to their home countries after the Fellowship with the aim of implementing the project they developed during the Fellowship. PILnet will cover the cost of a round-trip coach airfare to the U.S. and Europe, housing in New  York and Europe, a monthly stipend, and emergency medical insurance. Selected candidates for the Fellowship are required to sign an agreement to the terms of the program, stating that they will complete it in full.

Application Instructions:

Applicants MUST submit the following documents:

  • A completed program application form;
  • A curriculum vitae or resume;
  • A nominating letter from the organization where they are employed, supporting their application to the program and indicating how the PILnet Fellowship would benefit the  organization/institution;
  • Two recommendation letters (in addition to the nominating letter), at least one from an individual outside of the nominating organization (additional recommendations welcome);
  • A description of a project that the applicant would like to work on during the first semester of the program, ideally with practical significance to their work upon returning home;
  • A copy of the applicant’s law school transcript;
  • A copy of the applicant’s bar membership if available; and
  • Information on the nominating organization/institution.

The project description should be a two- to three-page outline of a project that the candidate would like to develop during the PILnet Fellowship period. This should include:

  • A preliminary description of the project;
  • Why it is important that this project be executed;
  • How and why the project can succeed; and
  • Who will be engaged in the home country, the U.S., and Europe, in order to improve the quality of the project.

Examples of public interest advocacy projects might include but are certainly not limited to:

  • Promoting legal reform to reduce racial discrimination;
  • Improving implementation and enforcement of children’s rights law; and
  • Establishing legal education clinics in universities.

Selection Criteria:

Evaluation of Candidate:

  1. Public interest leadership potential in his or her country;
  2. The nature of the candidate’s relationship with the nominating organization (minimum of two years working experience with the organization is required); and
  3. The candidate’s ability to communicate in English.

Evaluation of Project:

  1. The quality of the proposed project and its potential for promoting public interest law and human rights in the candidate’s home country; and
  2. The track record of the nominating organization in promoting public interest advocacy.

Submission of application materials via e-mail is strongly encouraged, though printed materials may also be submitted via regular mail to the address on the application. INCOMPLETE APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED. If an application is submitted without one of the required components, it will be disqualified unless the applicant can justify why he/she cannot obtain the required information.

The DEADLINE for receiving applications at PILnet is 19 March 2012.

For more information, please contact Erin Carll, Program Coordinator.

Please note that PILnet cannot provide any financial or logistical assistance for  accompanying family members, including in securing suitable family housing. Moreover, Columbia University requires evidence of financial support for accompanying family members before it can issue official invitations required for visa applications. Providing proof of the financial support for accompanying family members will be the responsibility of the applicant.