Posted: March 3, 2014 in News and Views


03 January 2014

PILnet: The Global Network for Public Interest Law is pleased to invite applications for the PILnet Fellowship for 2014-2015. PILnet will select lawyers from Brazil, China, the Middle East and North Africa region (especially Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Syria and Tunisia), Nepal, Nigeria, Russia, Taiwan, Southeast Asia (especially Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar (Burma) and Vietnam) for eight months of study and practical experience in New York.

The PILnet Fellowship, now in its seventeenth year, targets future leaders in various fields of public interest advocacy. PILnet Fellows will join other public interest lawyers from around the world. They will reside a total of eight months in the U.S., during which time they will develop a project designed to further the rule of law in their home countries. The Fellowship begins with a semester of study at Columbia University School of Law and a series of professional development trainings. In the spring, the PILnet Fellows will participate in study visits to various cities in the U.S. and Europe, as well as two-month internships at New York-based public interest law organizations. Fellows return to their home countries after the Fellowship with the aim of implementing the rule of law project they developed during the Fellowship.

PILnet will cover the cost of a round-trip coach airfare to the U.S., housing in New York, a monthly stipend, and emergency medical insurance. Selected candidates for the Fellowship are required to sign an agreement to the terms of the program, stating that they will complete it in full.

PILnet Fellowship Announcement Russian 2014

PILnet Fellowship Announcement Arabic 2014

I. Application Instructions

Application deadline: Monday, 10 March 2014

Applicants MUST submit the following documents (all non-English materials must be accompanied by an English translation):

1. A completed program application form (application forms can be downloaded here)
2. A curriculum vitae or resume
3. A nominating letter from ­­the organization where the applicant is employed, supporting the candidate’s application to the program and indicating how the applicant’s participation in the PILnet Fellowship would benefit the organization/institution
4. Two recommendation letters from individuals familiar with the candidate’s professional abilities. At least one recommendation letter must come from an individual outside of the nominating organization
5. A description of a rule of law project that the applicant would like to work on during the program, with practical significance to his/her work upon returning home*
6. A statement of purpose describing the candidate’s motivation for applying to the PILnet Fellowship and how prior professional and academic experiences have prepared him/her to succeed as a PILnet Fellow (1000 words maximum)
7. A copy of the applicant’s law school transcript
8. A copy of the applicant’s bar membership if available
9. Information on the nominating organization/institution

*The rule of law project description should be a two- to three-page outline of a project that the candidate would like to develop during the PILnet Fellowship period. This should include:

  • A preliminary description of the rule of law project (problem statement, goal and objectives)
  • Why it is important that this project be executed (the rationale and expected results)
  • How and why the project can succeed
  • Who will be engaged in the home country, the U.S., and Europe, in order to improve the quality and impact of the project

Examples of public interest advocacy projects might include but are certainly not limited to:

  • Promoting legal reform to reduce racial discrimination
  • Improving implementation and enforcement of children’s rights law
  • Establishing legal education clinics in universities

II. Selection Criteria

Applications for the 2014 PILnet Fellowship are invited from candidates in Brazil, China, the Middle East and North Africa region, Myanmar (Burma), Nepal, Nigeria, Russia, Taiwan, and Southeast Asia.

*For the Middle East/North Africa region, special consideration will be given to candidates in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Syria and Tunisia.

*For Southeast Asia, special consideration will be given to candidates from Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar (Burma) and Vietnam.

The DEADLINE for receiving applications at PILnet is Monday, 10 March 2014. Please submit your questions and applications to Beth Miller, Program Coordinator, at pilnetfellowship@pilnet.org. You may also mail your applications to: 
        PILnet: the Global Network for Public Interest Law
        120 Wall Street, 16th Street
        New York, NY 10005 

Evaluation of Candidate:

  • Public interest leadership potential in his or her country
  • The nature of the candidate’s relationship with the nominating organization (minimum of two years working experience with the organization is required)
  • The candidate’s ability to effectively communicate in English

Evaluation of Rule of Law Project:

  • The quality of the proposed rule of law project and its potential for promoting public interest law and human rights in the candidate’s home country
  • The track record of the nominating organization in promoting public interest advocacy

Submission of application materials via e-mail is strongly encouraged, though printed materials may also be submitted via regular mail to the address on the application. INCOMPLETE APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED. If an application is submitted without one of the required components, it will be disqualified unless the applicant can justify why s/he cannot obtain the required information.

Please note that PILnet cannot provide any financial or logistical assistance for accompanying family members, including in securing suitable family housing. Moreover, Columbia University requires evidence of financial support for accompanying family members before it can issue official invitations required for visa applications. Providing proof of the requisite financial support for accompanying family members will be the responsibility of the applicant. 

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