FJD Seeks Applicants for Judicial Fellowship Program
Philadelphia judges are seeking to host law school graduates as judicial fellows to provide the graduates with substantive legal experience while benefitting the court system with additional legal talent, as part of the First Judicial District's Judicial Fellowship Program. The program was created in 2011 to address the difficult hiring climate for lawyers that many recent law graduates are facing. Participating law schools include the Earle Mack School of Law at Drexel University, the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Temple University Beasley School of Law, Rutgers University Law School, Villanova University School of Law, Penn State University Dickinson School of Law and Widener University School of Law but the judges welcome applicants from any accredited law school.
The Judicial Fellowship Program provides high-caliber law graduates professional development opportunities. At the same time, the judicial fellows help the busy court carry out key functions and maintain its superior quality of service to the Philadelphia community. Judicial fellows work in the civil, criminal, family and orphans divisions of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas and Municipal Courts, carrying out the same duties as paid judicial clerks. The fellowships help recent graduates gain valuable experience and strengthen their marketability for obtaining a paid position in law. Judges select judicial fellows through an application process administered by the court. Each judge and fellow team designs a flexible schedule (minimum of 20 hours per week) that ensures reliable service to the judge but permits the fellow to seek a paid position elsewhere and to leave the fellowship with two weeks' notice upon obtaining paid employment.
Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Lisa M. Rau developed the program with help from Professor Chapin Cimino of the Earle Mack School of Law at Drexel University as well as faculty and administrators from career services offices at the University of Pennsylvania's Law School and Temple's Beasley School of Law. The Philadelphia Bar Association is a supporter of the Judicial Fellowship Program.
During the first year of the program's existence, 88 percent of the 30 judicial fellows left their fellowships having successfully secured paid positions.
For additional information and fellowship application forms, please visit courts.phila.gov/jfp