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News and Alerts

Helping California’s Public Interest Organizations think about, respond to and take advantage of Law Firm Deferred Associate Volunteer or “Fellowship” Programs

Monday, March 23, 2009

  • The Legal Aid Association of California

**Please do a short online surveys so we can raise YOUR concerns and questions

and help YOUR PROGRAM participate in the opportunities that exist**

DEADLINE: Friday March 27

As you may have heard in the news, a growing number of law firms are deferring the start dates for their incoming classes of new associates. Some firms are actively encouraging these deferred associates to work at public interest organizations during the duration of their deferral; some firms are actually creating "fellowship" programs to allow deferred associates (or even current associates and counsel) to work at public interest nonprofits as "fellows."

The State Bar of California and PIC will be working both with law firms and public interest programs to determine how this idea could help programs meet client needs in this time of economic downturn. We are also communicating both within CA and on a national level with the law firm community about programs' needs and how many "fellows" California's programs might be able to host.

We would like to help YOU by advising firms in an aggregate way about the types of "fellowships" California's programs might be interested in AND to raise your questions and concerns about these types of "fellowships." We anticipate that best practices for both firms and legal services providers will be developed, and we want to ensure that your voice is heard in that process.

To that end, we ask that you please fill out a very brief, 12-question online survey by Friday, March 27th.

IOLTA: If your organization receives IOLTA Funding, please click here to access IOLTA PROGRAMS survey.

Non-IOLTA: If your organization does NOT receive IOLTA funding, please click here to access PUBLIC INTEREST (non-IOLTA) survey.

Please feel free to circulate this email to as many colleagues and other public interest programs in CA - the more survey information we gather, the better!

If you have questions, please contact Julia Wilson, PIC Executive Director, at or Linda Kim, PIC Associate Director at

If the links above do not work, please click on or cut and paste the links below into your browser.

IOLTA-funded Programs - link is

Other Public Interest Programs - link is

Pro Bono and legal aid attorney resources - Pro Bono Net