Yale Law School — Abrams Clinical Fellowship

19 Nov 2014 4:02 PM | Maritza Karmely (Administrator)

Abrams Clinical Fellowship

Abrams Clinical Fellowship

The Yale Information Society Project (ISP) is now accepting applications for an Abrams Clinical Fellowship at Yale Law School beginning in July 2015. The fellowship lasts one year and may be renewed for a second year.  Working with Yale faculty and experienced media attorneys, the Abrams Clinical Fellow will co-teach and help supervise, the Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic (MFIA), which is part of the Abrams Institute for Freedom of Expression.

About the Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic and the Abrams Institute for Freedom of Expression

The Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic (MFIA) is dedicated to increasing government transparency, defending the essential work of news gatherers, and protecting freedom of expression  in the digital age through impact litigation, direct legal services, and policy work. The clinic’s mission is to support robust investigative journalism and to promote the public’s right of access to information in the defense of democracy.  The MFIA Clinic’s docket of cases is diverse, but focuses primarily on litigation matters in four areas: (1) Government Operations and Transparency; (2) Constitutional Right of Access to Official Proceedings, Records and Actions; (3) National Security and Democratic Oversight; and (4) Privacy, Infrastructure Freedom and Freedom of Speech. Visit the MFIA website to learn more at the Clinic’s work.

Yale law students in the clinic represent a range of clients, including journalists, news organizations, non-profits, researchers, activists and others.  Students work under the supervision of a full--time Clinical Lecturer, the Abrams Clinical Fellow, and, on occasion, outside supervising attorneys. Students are involved in all aspects of representation, including client contact, research, drafting of legal documents, and appearing in court to argue on behalf of clients.  The clinic is currently directed by Clinical Lecturer and media attorney David Schulz and by Professor Jack Balkin.

The MFIA Clinic is part of the Abrams Institute for Freedom of Expression and administered by the Yale Information Society Project.  The Abrams Institute for Freedom of Expression promotes freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and access to information as informed by the values of democracy and human freedom. The Abrams Institute is made possible by a generous gift from Floyd Abrams, one of the country's leading experts in freedom of speech and press issues, who both graduated from and has taught at Yale Law School. The Yale Information Society Project is an interdisciplinary center that studies the implications of the Internet and new information technologies for law and society.  Both the Abrams Institute and the Yale ISP are directed by Professor Jack Balkin

About the Abrams Clinical Fellowship

The Abrams Clinical Fellowship is designed for practicing attorneys in the fields of access law, freedom of expression, freedom of information, and media law who are interested in a career in clinical legal education. The goal of the fellowship is to develop clinical teaching skills and research agendas for scholarship.

The Abrams Fellow's duties will include:

  • supervising student casework and participating in the clinic’s classroom activities, in coordination with the clinic’s full time Lecturer and co-Director;
  • supervising the clinic’s organizational responsibilities, including docket planning, syllabus planning, scheduling, website maintenance, compliance with student practice rules, and related matters;
  • conducting outreach to partner organizations, managing the clinic’s case intake process and otherwise helping to develop and expand the breadth impact of the MFIA Clinic’s work;
  • covering the clinic’s cases during summers and semester breaks, including supervising the work of a summer law student intern;
  • organizing the annual Freedom of Expression Scholars Conference hosted by the Abrams Institute at Yale Law School; and
  • participating in the scholarly activities of the Yale ISP, including regular academic lunches, workshops, conferences, and talks. Fellows are strongly encouraged to produce at least one piece of publishable academic scholarship per year.

The clinical fellowship seeks to attract lawyers with at least three years of practice (or equivalent experience) who are interested in a career in law school clinical teaching. Experience in media, FOIA, Internet, and First Amendment law is preferred.

Fellows must live in the New Haven area during their fellowship. Each fellowship starts on July 1st and lasts for one year, with a stipend of $60,000 per year. Fellows receive health benefits and access to university facilities, as well as a travel budget. Fellows currently in residence may apply for a second year of support.


Application materials for the clinical fellowship should include the following:

(1) A brief (one to five page) statement describing the applicant’s interest in clinical teaching, relevant practice experience, and proposed scholarly agenda;

(2) A copy of the applicant’s resume;

(3) A law school (and any graduate school) transcript;

(4) At least one sample of recent legal writing, preferably a brief or memorandum;

(5) Two letters of recommendation, at least one by a practicing attorney.

Applications must be received no later than January 15, 2015. Awards will be announced by the end of April 2015.

**Please indicate in all application materials that you are applying for the Abrams Clinical Fellowship.** Application materials should be sent (in electronic copy) to Deborah Sestito at deborah.sestito@yale.edu


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