McCleary Law Fellows Program
As the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer civil rights organization, the Human Rights Campaign is dedicated to ending discrimination, securing equal rights and protecting the health and safety of LGBTQ Americans. With a 150-person national staff and more than 3 million members and supporters throughout the country, HRC lobbies the federal government on LGBTQ legislative and regulatory matters, advocates before the courts as an amicus curiae, participates in judicial and executive branch nominations process, leads and/or actively works on national civil rights coalitions, educates the public, participates in elections and works at the grassroots level on civil rights and political matters of national importance.
HRC Legal Department | Comprised of six attorneys, one legal assistant and up to four Law Fellows, in partnership with more than 15 outside expert attorneys, the HRC Legal Department represents the organization on cutting-edge issues before all three branches of federal government, our membership and the media. The Department specializes in legislative lawyering at both the federal and state levels and provides critical assistance to LGBTQ groups and allied legislators in pursuing positive legislative developments and defeating legislative attempts to deny equality to the LGBTQ community. The HRC General Counsel’s Office is comprised of two attorneys. It provides comprehensive corporate legal services to HRC and its Boards of Directors and Governors.
Description of Law Fellow Duties | HRC appoints up to four full-time (37.5 hours/week) or part-time (12 hours/week) Law Fellows for the spring and fall semesters and up to four full-time summer Law Fellows. Law Fellows work with HRC attorneys, outside counsel from major national law firms, lobbyists, and organizational allies and congressional and White House staff members on legislative, regulatory and internal corporate matters. Practice areas include constitutional, contract, criminal, education, employment, disability, family, benefits, tax, health care, immigration, intellectual property, media, military and real estate law. Fellows undertake projects involving sophisticated legal research and writing, analysis and drafting of legislation and administrative regulations, legislative and regulatory advocacy and national coalition work.
Qualifications | Applicants should possess a strong academic record at an accredited American law school, excellent interpersonal, legal research and writing skills and an interest in civil rights, policy and/or nonprofit lawyering. 1Ls, 2Ls, 3Ls and LL.M. candidates are eligible. Competition for Fellowships is keen, averaging at least 25 applications for each Fellowship. Past Law Fellows have hailed from law schools including American, Boston University, George Washington, Georgetown, Harvard, Indiana, New York University, Northeastern, Stanford and Syracuse, and the universities of Colorado, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin.
How to Apply | Interested candidates can apply by completing our online application. Please have readily available a resume, cover letter, transcript and writing sample.
Time Commitment and Stipends | Fall and Spring Law Fellowships are full or part-time for 13 weeks. Summer Law Fellowships are available only as full-time positions for an 11-week term. HRC will cooperate in Law Fellow’s application for additional remuneration, including public interest grants and academic credit. Stipends may be available for full-time Law Fellows.
Application Deadlines | Deadlines are as follows (because HRC receives the majority of applications well in advance of these deadlines and selects Law Fellows on a rolling basis, it is wise to apply as early as possible):
Fall Law Fellowships: First Tuesday in July
Spring Law Fellowships: First Tuesday in November
Summer Law Fellowships: 2L-First Tuesday in January; 1L-First Tuesday in February*
*These deadlines to not apply to students interviewing with HRC in a career fair or participating in a resume collect.
HRC is an Equal Opportunity Employer