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Post-Graduate Legal Fellowship

Mission and Programming

Since 1969, Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts (VLA) has been the leading provider of low-cost and pro bono legal services to low-income individual artists and nonprofit arts organizations in the New York tristate area.  VLA addresses a broad range of needs that low-income artists cannot otherwise afford, including legal counseling, educational programs, advocacy, and alternative dispute resolution. Without our help, some of the most creative and vulnerable members of our society would be left without a means to protect themselves and their creative endeavors.

Legal Fellowship

VLA is offering a year-long paid post-graduate legal fellowship commencing in September 2024. The VLA Post-Graduate Legal Fellowship is available to one recent graduate of an accredited U.S. law school, who has a demonstrated interest in the arts and public service. The VLA Legal Fellow will interact daily with clients and gain hands-on experience with analyzing arts-related legal issues, including contract, copyright, trademark, corporate, non-profit, and dispute resolution matters. 

Duties include (but are not limited to):

  • Interviewing potential clients and identifying key legal and factual issues to determine potential clients’ suitability for VLA services.
  • Participating in client consultations and administering client case files in preparation for referral to pro bono counsel. 
  • Drafting legal memoranda for client files.
  • Training and supervising VLA law student interns in their daily activities.
  • Assisting with VLA’s education and development programming by creating presentation materials, and teaching classes on legal issues that affect artists and arts organizations.
  • Assist with fielding pro bono inquiries from volunteer attorneys and managing an active list of pro bono cases.

Essential skills

  • Multitasker with attention to detail
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Ability to work well with a team in a fast-paced environment
  • Strong legal research and writing skills
  • Demonstrated interest in the arts and public service

The VLA Post-Graduate Fellowship pays a stipend of $65,000 for one year of full-time work. Fellows must commit to work full-time (at least 35 hours per week) for 12 consecutive months. 

Application Procedure

To apply, please submit a cover letter, resume, legal writing sample and law school transcript to Emma Frean at Subject line:  VLA Post-Graduate Legal Fellowship. 

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

We regret it will not be possible to communicate with candidates except those who most closely match our requirements.

Vaccination against COVID-19 Required — NOTE:  VLA requires all employees to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 prior to starting work.  As noted below, VLA is an equal opportunity employer, and will consider requests for exemption from this policy as a reasonable accommodation where it can do so absent undue hardship, consistent with federal, state, and local law.

Equal Employment Opportunity: VLA is committed to enhancing our diverse workforce and actively encourages applicants from all cultures, races, educational backgrounds, socio-economic classes, sexual orientations, age, gender, gender identity and physical abilities to apply. We do not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, familial status, marital status, caregiver status, or any other category protected by applicable federal, state, or local law. We take pride in our pluralistic community and continue to seek excellence through diversity and inclusion. EO/AA Employer. 

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