Summer Public Service Fellowship Program

Overview

The University of Arkansas School of Law Summer Public Service Fellowship Program provides paid public service fellowships to promising law students interested in public service careers. It offers meaningful employment opportunities and provides legal services to nonprofit, non-governmental, and government entities that cannot otherwise afford summer interns. During the summer of 2021, the program will offer fellowships to 10 students.

Abigail Meharg

Legal Aid of Arkansas – Pro Bono Program
Jonesboro, Arkansas

I learned that as an attorney, you have the ability to change a person’s life, and that should not be taken lightly. My fellowship experience was crucial in shaping the type of lawyer that I want to be.”

2021 Fellows

  • Abigail Meharg (Legal Aid of Arkansas – Pro Bono Program)
  • Brandi Green, Gearhart Family Endowed Diversity Fellow (Criminal District Court Dallas County)
  • Brittany Hawkins (Lone Star Justice Alliance)
  • Crystal Smith (Federal Public Defender’s Office)
  • Elise Baroni, Rose Law Firm 200th Anniversary Public Service Fellow (Shelby County Public Defender)
  • Imogen Ryan, Raffaelli-Lineberger Public Service Fellow (Benton County Circuit Court – Judge Green)
  • Kristina Ranney (Maricopa County Attorney’s Office)
  • Mason Gates, Rose Law Firm 200th Anniversary Public Service Fellow (Mississippi Center for Justice)
  • Rafael Quimbo, Squire Patton Boggs Foundation Public Interest Fellow (Buffalo River Watershed Alliance)
  • Samantha Doss (Legal Aid of Arkansas Economic Justice Work Group)

Rafael Quimbo

Squire Patton Boggs Foundation Public Interest Fellow

Buffalo River Watershed Alliance
Northwest Arkansas

“This is the perfect introduction to working in public service. You get the opportunity to work with incredible people who love their work.”

Past Summer Fellows

2020 Fellows

  • Madison Miller, Squire Patton Boggs Summer Policy Fellow (Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law, Washington DC)
  • Ciera Runner, Public Interest Litigation Fellow (Federal Public Defender)
  • Zachary Joseph Rivera (Oklahoma Innocence Project)
  • Kara Butler, Public Interest and Rural Community Sustainability Fellow (Arkansas Access to Justice)
  • Taylor Carpenter, Public Interest Litigation Fellow (Washington County Public Defender)
  • Jessica Kloss, Raffaelli-Lineberger Summer Public Service Fellow (Securities and Exchange Commission)
  • Dana McGee, Public Interest Litigation Fellow (Shelby County Public Defenders)
  • Marcus Clouse (U.S. Magistrate Judge David Rush)
  • Marion Humphrey, Gearhart Family Diversity Fellow (Arch City Defenders)
  • Martha-Kay Mettler, Delta Fellow (University of Arkansas School of Law)

2019 Fellows

  • Marion Humphrey, Squire Patton Boggs Summer Policy Fellow (1L) (Campaign for Youth Justice)
  • Alexis Acello (1L) (Center for Arkansas Legal Services)
  • Badria Mryyan (1L) (YWCA Tulsa)
  • Clinton Summers (1L) (U.S. Magistrate Judge David Rush)
  • Derick Dillard (1L) (Federal Public Defender for the Western District of Arkansas)
  • Mitchell Dowden, Tyson Summer Public Service Fellow (2L) (Harvard Law School’s Food Law and Policy Clinic)
  • Nicholas Linn, Raffaelli-Lineberger Summer Public Service Fellow (2L) (U.S. Department of Justice)
  • Maria Baez de Hicks (2L) (Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families)

Samantha Doss

Legal Aid of Arkansas Economic Justice Work Group
Jonesboro, Arkansas

“Getting to see how a small group of people could fight for meaningful policy change, successful or not, was incredibly rewarding.”

Commitment

Fellows will receive $5,500 for 10 weeks of full-time work for a qualifying public service employer and will be enrolled in a one-credit course. They will complete duties assigned by their host organization during the summer of 2021 and submit a written summary of their experiences to the School of Law in August. See the Summer Fellowship Application Overview 2021 for additional details on the course credit and funding.

Brandi Greene

Gearhart Family Endowed Diversity Fellow

Criminal District Court Dallas County – Judge Riley
Dallas County, Texas

“My time with the Criminal District Court has greatly impacted my plans for the future, because I was able to witness and interact with the State, Defense, and the Court rather than just one side of the table.”

Eligibility

  • First- and second-year law students are eligible, and preference will be given to first-year students.
  • Preference will be given to students with an interest in – and demonstrated commitment to – public service.
  • Students must be in good financial standing with the University of Arkansas School of Law.
  • Students may not transfer to another school for the 2021-22 school year.
  • Preference will be given to students based on their financial need.
  • One fellowship will be awarded to a student with a qualified employer whose work addresses problems of access to justice and rural economic development created by a low number of attorneys per capita. This work can be performed for the public interest which may include, but is not limited to, non-profit organizations; and federal, state, or tribal government agencies.

 

  • Students are responsible for securing a qualifying public service employer willing to host and supervise them.
  • Qualifying employers include 501(c)(3) organizations, other non-profits, and local, state, or federal entities, including tribal governments.
  • For-profit law firms that perform public interest work will not be considered.
  • Funding preference is made for students working for an organization that cannot otherwise afford summer law clerks.
  • Consult the Summer Fellowship Application Overview 2021 for additional details.

Note: There are additional requirements for those applying for the Squire Patton Boggs Fellowship. More information about the fellowship program is available on their website and 2020 Fellows Brochure featuring the most recent class of fellows.

Brittany Hawkins

Lone Star Justice Alliance
Austin, Texas

“The Summer Public Service Fellowship is an inspiring and oftentimes unique experience that provides more opportunities to do hands on work. Those skills can be utilized in whatever you decide to do next.”

Application Process and Timeline

For more information on how to apply, see the 2021 Summer Fellowship Application Instructions and 2021 Application Form. All application materials must be uploaded to the Public Service Fellowship TWEN site by 8 p.m. on March 19, 2021.

Programmatic deadlines and milestones include:

  • 11/20/20: Application forms and information available
  • 03/19/21: Application deadline
  • 04/02/21: Notification of awards
  • 04/09/21: Deadline to accept

Crystal Smith

Federal Public Defender’s Office
Fayetteville, Arkansas

“This fellowship provided me with the opportunity to get an up close and personal look at our justice system in action. I will cherish the knowledge I gained and the connections I made there for the rest of my career.”

Other Public Service Summer Opportunities

Students interested in a paid placement in the public service sector may go to the online law school Career Center to search and apply to jobs, research employers and funding opportunities, schedule career advising appointments and more. The law school’s Office of Career Services is also helpful when looking for paid positions.

Elise Baroni

Rose Law Firm 200th Anniversary Public Service Fellow

Shelby County Public Defender
Shelby County, Tennessee

“This is the perfect time in life to explore your career options within the law and this fellowship is an invaluable tool that will help you get to where you want to be.”

Public Service Externships

Students interested in earning academic credit while participating in public service legal opportunities may consider a summer externship. Details are available on the Externships page or contact professor Angie Doss (amdoss@uark.edu). Summer externship applications are available in February each year.

Imogen Ryan

Raffaelli-Lineberger Public Service Fellow

Benton County Circuit Court – Judge Green
Benton County, Arkansas

“My experience has shown me that I want to be a prosecutor, and it is a job I would feel very passionate about. It is a great opportunity to protect victims in NWA, and a great learning experience.”

Public Service and Pro Bono

Placements through the law school’s Public Service and Pro Bono Program are another way to advance a career in the public service sector. The program offers opportunities for service and recognizes students who engage in substantive pro bono work. Pro bono opportunities are available on GivePulse in the law school’s Pro Bono subgroup or contact professor Annie Smith (abs006@uark.edu).

Kristina Ranney

Maricopa County Attorney’s Office
Maricopa County, Arizona

“Most public service jobs are unpaid, so this is an amazing opportunity to get some funding while being able to see firsthand if you want to go into public service.”

Potential Work Areas

Offices and organizations where students can gain substantive public service legal experience include, but are not limited to:

  • Public Defender
  • Public Prosecutor
  • City Government
  • City Attorney
  • University Counsel
  • Public Utilities
  • Child Protection and Family Support
  • Legislators (tribal, state, or federal)
  • Legislative Committees (tribal, state, or federal)
  • Government Agencies (tribal, state, or federal)
  • Trial Judges
  • Labor Unions
  • Foundations
  • Advocacy Groups
  • Nonprofit Organizations

Mason Gates

Rose Law Firm 200th Anniversary Public Service Fellow

Mississippi Center for Justice
Jackson, Mississippi

“We are lucky that our school has such a strong desire to educate public interest attorneys, and that the legal community in Arkansas is willing to offer support.”