The Texas Civil Rights Project (TCRP) is a public-interest law firm that uses legal advocacy to empower Texas communities and create policy change. In our twenty-eight year history, we have brought thousands of strategic lawsuits to protect and expand voting rights, challenge the injustices in our broken criminal justice system, and advance racial and economic justice. Today, with dozens of high-caliber attorneys and legal professionals across Texas, and an extensive network of pro bono counsel and community allies, TCRP is among the most influential civil rights organizations in Texas. Learn more at www.texascivilrightsproject.org.
Every year, the Texas Civil Rights Project sponsors multiple legal fellows across our three programs (Racial and Economic Justice, Criminal Justice Reform, and Voting Rights) and in all of our five offices across the State (Austin, Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, and Rio Grande Valley). These fellows are recent law school graduates or judicial clerks who obtain external funding to work with us, usually on a specific project for a predetermined period of time, usually 1 or 2 years. Opportunities for external funding are extremely diverse, including law firms, law schools, government agencies, advocacy organizations, and private foundations of all sizes. Over the last few years, fellows working at TCRP have been awarded fellowship funding from the following sources, among others:
- Equal Justice Works
- Justice Catalyst
- Open Society Foundations
- Kloiber Foundation
- Yale Law School
- Columbia Law School
- University of Texas School of Law
Fellowship applicants are usually required to seek sponsorship approval from a host organization (like TCRP) before applying for fellowship funding. While we are sensitive to time constraints, our process for approving a potential fellow for sponsorship at TCRP is extensive, including application reviews within the organization, interviews, review of past work product and references, and a thorough evaluation of the applicant’s proposed project. This process ensures we only sponsor fellowship applicants who have developed a project proposal that significantly advances our mission of seeking justice for Texas communities, but it also means that we are only able to sponsor a small number of the qualified applicants seeking to work with us. Limiting the number of fellows that we sponsor also allows us to work closely with applicants to develop a strong proposal for funding and to ensure that we have the resources to properly manage and train fellows once they get here.
Because this process takes time, fellowship applicants are encouraged to apply for sponsorship at least 60 days in advance of any funding application deadline. If circumstances prevent an applicant from complying with this timeline, we encourage the applicant to contact our Fellowship Coordinator to discuss the situation.
Because of the widely varying application deadlines for fellowship funding, TCRP accepts applications from fellowship applicants throughout the year. Major fellowship funders (e.g. Equal Justice Works) usually have early fall deadlines, while many smaller funders (e.g., law schools) have deadlines in early spring.
To be eligible for a fellowship at TCRP, an applicant must meet the following basic criteria:
- Graduation from an ABA-accredited law school by the time the fellowship would begin;
- Completion of the bar exam of any U.S state or territory prior to beginning the fellowship;
- Willingness to work in Texas at one of TCRP’s established offices; and
- Development of a project proposal that fits one of the three subject-matter areas in which TCRP works.
If you will be able to meet these criteria and wish to complete your fellowship at TCRP, please submit the following sponsorship application materials:
1. Cover letter indicating:
- Why you are interested in working with TCRP
- Preferred practice group (REJ/CJR/VR)
- An idea for a proposed fellowship project
- Names and deadlines for any particular fellowship applications to which you are applying
- Interest in working in Texas
2. Detailed resume
3. Writing sample of no more than 10 pages, preferably related to the subject matter of your proposed project idea.
4. A list of at least 3 references with at least 2 of these being professional references.
TCRP values a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture — women, people of color, individuals with disabilities, veterans, and people from other underrepresented communities are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.
We do not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, age, creed, religion, physical ability, gender, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, sexual orientation, previous incarceration, veteran status, union membership or activism, or any other characteristic protected by local, state or federal law.
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