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Law School Announces Robina Post-Graduate Fellowships

JULY 21, 2009—The University of Minnesota Law School is proud to introduce its new Robina Post-Graduate Fellowships. The Fellowships were funded by the Robina Foundation, which was established through the generosity of a Law School graduate.

The Law School will award up to 15 Robina Public Policy Post-Graduate Fellowships and up to 7 Robina Second Judicial District Public Defender’s Office Post-Graduate Fellowships.

Fellows are required to work a total of 400 hours, typically scheduled as 15-30 hours per week. However, if a special situation (e.g., the offer of a permanent job) requires early completion, an accelerated schedule can be arranged. Fellows receive an award of $5,000.

APPLICANT REQUIREMENTS

Applications are open to 2009 graduates of the University of Minnesota Law School. Graduates are not eligible if they have secured another permanent law or law clerk position, regardless of the start date of that employment.

Public Policy applicants must have obtained a firm commitment to work on a public policy project or in a public policy role at a nonprofit agency or organization. Each agency will determine whether bar admission is required.

Public Defender’s Office applicants must have taken the bar exam or be taking it in July 2009. Offers of employment are contingent on bar passage. Preference will be given to applicants with criminal law experience.

PROGRAM DESCRIPTIONS

Public Policy applicants will design a public policy project or role with a nonprofit agency and apply for funding for that specific undertaking, which can be a new project or an existing one that is unfunded. Funding is not available for alumni with positions that are 100% direct legal services.

Organizations that have public policy project openings and are willing to host a Robina Public Policy Fellow can be identified with assistance from the Career and Professional Development Center (CPDC). At present, projects are available at the Battered Women’s Legal Advocacy Project, Cancer Legal Line, Center for Victims of Torture, Children's Law Center of Minnesota, Disability Law Center, HOMEline, Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, and Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault. Interested applicants should obtain appropriate contact information from Dana Bartocci (bartocci@umn.edu) and not contact the agencies directly.

The required 400 hours are usually completed in weekly segments of 15-30 hours, depending on the organization’s needs. Fellows are paid as employees of the host agency and receive paychecks, with proper withholding, according to the organization’s regularly scheduled payroll process.

Public Defender’s Office applicants will be trained to interview and represent clients in criminal matters in felony, gross misdemeanor, misdemeanor, and juvenile courts across the Second Judicial District. They also may conduct policy research and have office hours, during which they assist attorney staff and handle incoming information phone calls.

A commitment of 15-30 hours per week during office hours (8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday) is required, and Fellows must be available to work in 4-hour increments (8:00 a.m.-noon; 12:30-4:30 p.m.) in various arraignment courts. Fellows receive a $2,500 award when they begin and a $2,500 award when they complete the 400 total hours. Fellows are responsible for all applicable taxes on their total $5,000 award.

The University requires Fellowship recipients who have maxed out their financial aid during law school to receive their award in the form of loan repayment; the award will be applied directly to the loans. Applicants who are unsure whether this provision applies to them should contact Jim Parker in the Office of Student Finance at j-park1@umn.edu.

APPLICATION PROCESS

To apply for a Robina Post-Graduate Fellowship, upload your resume and a cover letter into Symplicity.

Public Policy applicants must also upload a policy project description and a letter of intent to host a Fellow from the nonprofit agency. The deadline is 5:00 p.m. on Monday, August 17. The CPDC will notify applicants who receive an interview.

Public Defender’s Office applicants must have their documents uploaded by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, August 14. The Public Defender’s Office will notify applicants who receive an interview.

QUESTIONS

For additional information about the Robina Post-Graduate Fellowship Program, please contact Dana Bartocci, Employer Relations Coordinator, CPDC, University of Minnesota Law School, at bartocci@umn.edu or 612-625-4694.