Post-Graduate Fellowship Program (2023)

The City of Chicago Department of Law invites applications from graduating law students seeking full-time or part-time placements for law school funded post-graduate fellowships.

Fellows will work on interesting cases with an unusually high degree of responsibility and independence. Our supervisors have extensive experience guiding recent graduates through the transition from school to legal practice.

Application Process

Applications are accepted year round, but we place most of our post-graduate fellows in August and September.

In order to begin the application process, a hard copy of your materials must be mailed or hand delivered to the address below. E-mail applications will not be accepted.

  • Cover letter, please include the following:
  1. Indicate that your application is for the Post-Graduate Fellowship Program;
  2. Identify funding source;
  3. Identify your top three Division preferences; and
  4. Include the terms of your availability (i.e. how long and how many hours per week)
  • Resume
  • Law School Transcript
  • One writing sample (Writing Sample Policy)

Forward Application Materials to:

(Video) Insight into the Postgraduate Fellowship programme

Legal Recruiter
City of Chicago
Department of Law
30 N. LaSalle - 1640
Chicago, IL 60602

NOTE: Failure to submit all materials may result in your application not being considered.

Division Placements

The Department of Law is made up of 14 divisions that handle affirmative and defense litigation, transactional projects and legislative projects. Divisions consider hosting fellows on a case-by-case basis. Please click on a division to learn more about its practice.


The participant would be responsible for research, reading the record, and drafting the brief, and would receive detailed feedback on the draft. If oral argument is set, and it is appropriate for the participant, we would provide further supervision and support through a moot court and at oral argument.

Aviation, Environmental, Regulatory and Contracts (AERC)

Working in AERC would offer the participant the opportunity to work on a broad range of projects including advice and counsel, transactional, and litigation projects.Some of the work would include: observing and supporting attorney court appearances, preparing and offering legal opinions in response to clients' requests, research and drafting (motions, briefs, substantive legal correspondence).Work on The O'Hare Modernization Program (OMP) would introduce the participant to a broad range of issues including contract negotiation, municipal procurement issues, and sustainable design and would involve working with federal and other local agencies, as well as construction litigation. Participants would also gain first-hand experience in every phase of the preparation and drafting of contracts, including the following: (1) discussion with a client department about how to structure a transaction to meet the client's objectives, (2) identification of business risks for the client's consideration, (3) contract drafting, and (4) negotiation with counsel for the City's contractors.

(Video) 2020 Post-Graduate Fellowship Opportunities Webinar

Building and License Enforcement (BLE)

Participants in the BLE Division would have the opportunity to try cases in the Circuit Court of Cook County (Criminal, Civil and Chancery Divisions) as well as in the Department of Administrative Hearings and in the Department of Business Affairs and Licensing.A participant would be assigned a case to handle from start to finish which would include discovery, trial strategy, negotiations and trial/settlement. The matters would include prosecution of the following areas:Conservation/Code Enforcement; Licensing; Zoning; Demolition; and Drug and Gang House Enforcement.The participant would also be involved in policy meetings with various Departments to streamline processes used to enforce the Building and Zoning Code of Chicago.

Collections, Ownership and Administrative Litigation (COAL)

Participants in COAL would have the opportunity to draft memos and negotiate settlement agreements, file and take citations to discover assets at the circuit court and argue motions at the Department of Administrative Hearings. Participants may also get hands-on experience conducting hearings before Administrative Law Officers and dealing with a wide variety of cases, including vehicle impoundments, gun registration denials and revocations, animal control issues, and myriad other Municipal Code violations, plus experience in dealing with police witnesses.

Participants would have the opportunity to work on complex legal issues, including constitutional law issues. They will draft arguments for motions, participate in court hearings and both answer and draft discovery.

Employment Litigation (ELIT)

Participants in ELIT would practice in state and federal courts and handle employment cases that involve extensive motion practice, intensive discovery, depositions, settlement negotiations and trials.A participant may be able to answer complaints, file motions to dismiss, answer discovery, take depositions, and actively participate in all stages of the litigation.All participants would be assigned to a case with a partner and a supervisor who would supervise all aspects of the case.

(Video) Google PhD Fellowship Program

Federal Civil Rights Litigation (FCRL)

FCRL, the Division that defends the City and police officers sued in federal court for alleged misconduct pursuant to Section 1983 as well as state law claims, offers participants the opportunity to manage a case in federal court from its inception.They would be responsible, under the supervision of an experienced attorney, for answering complaints, drafting and answering written discovery, motion practice, taking and defending depositions, preparing pretrial orders, engaging in settlement negotiations and trying cases.

Finance and Economic Development

Participants would have an opportunity to work in a Division that handles a variety of types of transactions that advance, among others, economic development, affordable housing, and the removal of blight. Many economic development transactions utilize the tool of tax increment financing (“TIF”). Participants will be given training in understanding the TIF Act, both as relate to the establishment of TIF Areas and the implementation of TIF plans through negotiated redevelopment agreements. Other learning opportunities in the area of economic development will come from assisting Division attorneys regarding other tax incentive programs involving Enterprise Zones, Special Service Areas and the Cook County Classification Ordinance. Affordable housing projects also rely on tax incentive programs as well as loans, grants, and allocations of tax credits to raise capital. Opportunities will be made available to learn how housing deals are structured and various funding sources are needed and brought to the table. Another core area of the Division’s practice is public finance. This Division acts as issuer’s counsel on various bond transactions of the City, the proceeds of which allow for the City to address operating and capital costs and to operate certain enterprises involving water and wastewater facilities. There are significant contracts and documents required that the Division prepares, such as redevelopment agreements, loan and grant documents, bond documents and intergovernmental agreements. Participants will also be involved in due diligence reviews and researching important issues. The City generally acts through its corporate authorities, i.e. the Aldermen comprising the City Council. The Division prepares authorizing ordinances for City Council approval of the relevant transactions. Participants can assist with preparing drafts of ordinances and will be able to see City Council and relevant committees thereof in action.


Participants will assist with investigating and defending charges filed at the administrative level in employment discrimination, harassment and retaliation and, in doing so, gain knowledge and experience in a broad range of employment-related issues, including compliance with the ADA, FMLA, and the City's Sexual Harassment Policy.Participants will also have the opportunity to second chair grievance arbitration hearings and disciplinary proceedings before the Police Board and the Human Resources Board.

Legal Counsel

Participants will help attorneys prepare ordinances for introduction at City Council meetings, and help research and provide advice in response to requests by City departments and officials. Accompanied by division attorneys, participants will have the opportunity to attend City Council Committee meetings where proposed ordinances are debated, as well as meetings of the full City Council. Working with division attorneys, participants write ordinance drafts, research memoranda, and ceremonial resolutions for introduction at City Council meetings.


Legal Information, Investigations and Prosecutions (LIIP)

Participants will be immersed in electronic discovery issues and will track and respond to preservation requests received by the City and issue legal holds on electronic public records. The participants may have the opportunity to research and advise on electronic discovery issues. Participants will also provide legal advice concerning the new Freedom of Information Act, and act as counsel for the City for FOIA appeals filed with the Attorney General’s office. It is anticipated that the participants would be able to independently handle appeals with supervision from more senior staff. Participants will be responsible for locating documents, preparing appropriate responses to subpoenas and arguing motions to quash, or motions to show cause for failure to produce. Additionally, participants would get a wide variety of practical experience prosecuting violations of the Municipal Code in several different forums. Participants in the Traffic Unit would get experience trying cases before circuit court judges and handling a high-volume practice. Participants in the Branch Courts Unit would get experience handling a variety of Municipal Code violations, including city misdemeanor charges before judges in various branch courts, plea-bargaining and trying cases, dealing with police witnesses, and working with the State's Attorney's office.

Real Estate

Service in the Real Estate Division would provide the participant with experience in the City's purchase, sale, leasing, condemnation and zoning of land, the management of the public way and public open spaces, "green" initiatives, and the execution of the City's affordable housing and urban redevelopment programs.Participation would include drafting redevelopment agreements, attending negotiating sessions, preparing ordinances and assisting at closings.

Revenue Litigation

A participant in this division could expect to draft petitions; attend court calls and administrative calls; interact with taxpayers regarding tax assessments; review discovery; engage in settlement negotiations; perform factual investigations; draft memoranda, briefs and settlement agreements; perform legal research; and perform other duties related to tax litigation and advising the Department of Finance.


Participants in the Torts Division will receive their own docket of personal injury cases.Participants will answer pleadings, draft, file, and argue contested motions, propound and answer written discovery, depose witnesses, conduct Rule 90 arbitrations, and try cases in the Circuit Court of Cook County.

(Video) Post-Graduate Fellowship Online Information Session – August 11, 2014


Why should you be chosen for this fellowship answer? ›

By articulating a vision for your career or future academic life, it is easier to explain why you have decided to pursue a specific fellowship. Identify the skills and experiences you would gain from the fellowship that would directly help you achieve your professional and academic goals.

How will the fellowship program assist you in reaching your future academic or life goals? ›

Practical Experience – The unique responsibilities and project work associated with a fellowship program will help you develop the skills and experience required to work in a real job. Many employers consider the fellowship in lieu of entry level work experience. This may help you get a better job after graduation.

What questions do they ask in a fellowship interview? ›

More medical fellowship interview questions to practice with
  • Why did you choose this specialty?
  • Are you interested in research activity?
  • Why did you decide to become a doctor?
  • What about yourself are you most proud of?
  • Do you have any publications?
  • Tell us about your clinical experience?
19 Oct 2022

Are fellowships worth it? ›

Fellows get valuable exposure and experience while learning under the guidance and mentorship of an experienced professor. They gain new insights and perspectives while also getting the opportunity to meet other experts in the field.

Why do you think you are a good fit for this scholarship? ›

You Deserve This Scholarship Because You Have Passion and Persistence. Letting your passion show through in your answer allows the committee to see your dedication. You deserve this scholarship based on your love of learning, your enjoyment of your field, or your passion for growth.

Do fellowships help your career? ›

If you're interested in your personal and professional development, you may consider applying for a fellowship or internship. These programs can help you gain knowledge and experience in a particular professional industry or another area of interest.

Why are graduate fellowships important? ›

Why might someone want a fellowship? Experts say obtaining a fellowship not only allows aspiring grad students, medical fellows and postdocs to gain the financial means necessary to achieve their academic goals, it also helps them bolster their professional reputation as scholars.

Is fellowship a work experience? ›

Fellowships usually focus on professional development and/or academic research, rather than professional experience. An internship can basically be thought of as an opportunity to gain experience working for a company or organization that otherwise only hires more advanced professionals.

Is fellowship hard to get? ›

It is usually very difficult to get into a fellowship program, and this is one of the reasons why fellowships aren't typically required in order for students to complete their degrees. Fellowships are highly competitive because there is a limited amount of funding and many people want to complete one.

What happens if you don't match to fellowship? ›

If you don't match, which hundreds to thousands don't every year, you can't try again until the following year. Even for those that match, however, the news can be overwhelming and sobering.

What are the hardest fellowships to get into? ›

The more applicants (particularly U.S. MD degree graduates) there are per subspecialty fellowship position is a marker of how competitive that subspecialty is.
Highly competitive subspecialties
  • Obstetrics & Gynecology. ...
  • Surgery. ...
  • Pediatrics. ...
  • Internal Medicine. ...
  • Emergency Medicine.
30 Mar 2022

How do you pass a fellowship interview? ›

Interview Tips
  1. Expect more than 1 interviewer. ...
  2. Dress Accordingly. ...
  3. Preparation is essential. ...
  4. Re-read Your Application (repeatedly). ...
  5. Keep Up on Current Events. ...
  6. Give Short Answers. ...
  7. Body Language and Speech are Key. ...
  8. Be Yourself.
21 Jan 2022

How do you stand out in a fellowship interview? ›

5 Ways to Prepare for a Fellowship Interview
  1. Do your homework. This might seem like common sense, but – read the fellowship website again. ...
  2. Re-read your application. ...
  3. Practice answering questions. ...
  4. Prepare your own list of questions. ...
  5. Be yourself.
27 Dec 2017

How many interviews do you need to match fellowship? ›

Based on historical data on applicant matching, domestic applicants should consider applying to no more than 10 to 15 programs and accept no more than eight to 10 interviews. Remember that virtual interviews are not the same and take special efforts on the part of both the programs and applicants.

What is the disadvantage of fellowship? ›

Cons Of A Fellowship

The main downside is that they are highly competitive — so just because you apply, it doesn't mean that you will be awarded a fellowship.

Are fellowships stressful? ›

Practice self-care.

The first year of fellowship can be very stressful and taxing at times, and can lead to burnout.

How do you survive fellowship? ›

Fellowship is a time for proactive, self-motivated and self-directed learning that will propel you into your desired career path.
Strategies for maximizing success
  1. Take responsibility for learning. ...
  2. Keep your eye on the future. ...
  3. Have a mentor. ...
  4. Write! ...
  5. Get involved. ...
  6. Stay well.
29 Mar 2018

What makes you a good fit for this program answer? ›

I'm confident that I can bring this type of success to this position. I am confident that I am a good fit for this position for several reasons, but most specifically because of my dedication to going above and beyond in a job. I am committed to learning any new skills on my own to succeed in this role.

How do you answer why would you be a great fit? ›

How to answer the question, "Why are you a great match for this role?"
  1. Understand why employers ask the question. ...
  2. Establish your strengths. ...
  3. Determine the institution's objectives and tailor your strengths to them. ...
  4. Practise your response. ...
  5. Deliver your answer. ...
  6. Use examples. ...
  7. Research skills.

How do you answer why would you be a good fit? ›

Try to give some examples while describing your achievements and strengths that make you a good fit for the company. For example, if you are saying that you are good at programming, give an example where your programming skills helped your current or previous company resolve a severe issue.

Which is better scholarship or fellowship? ›

Scholarships support all students, while fellowships typically fund graduate students. Fellowships generally offer more money than scholarships.

What is the purpose of a fellowship program? ›

Fellowship programs can be designed to support a range of activities including graduate study in a specific field, research to advance work on a particular issue, developing a new community-based organization or initiative, training and reflection to support the fellow's growth, and opportunities to further explore a ...

Will fellowship increase salary? ›

Depending on the program, fellows can expect to earn between $60,000 to $70,000 a year. Some fellows have reported a 20% increase in their salary post-residency. While it's true that fellows are typically better compensated than residents, fellows do not earn as much as physicians practicing in their specialty.

What is the benefit of doing fellowship? ›

Benefits of participating in fellowships

Providing guidance, institutional support, and professional development to the fellow. Receiving new ideas, tactics, and perspectives from the fellow. Taking part in social responsibility and community engagement. Opening their doors allowing for transparency.

Is fellowship equivalent to Phd? ›

A phd program is the program you are enrolled in when you are studying to get your phd. A fellowship is a research grant that you can get when you are in a phd or masters program. You have to submit a paper or abstract. or it could be a teaching grant - they pay you to teach undergrads or mark undergrad papers.

What is a postgraduate fellowship? ›

Definition. Post-graduate fellowships provide financial assistance to law students who accept a public interest position upon graduation. Post-graduate fellowships generally pay a salary or stipend to a graduate in a lower-paying public interest job. Some law schools offer public interest fellowships to their graduates ...

Can I put a fellowship on my resume? ›

You list fellowship on a resume in the Awards and Honors section, above Education. Include the name of your fellowship, the duration, who you worked under, and a brief summary of your achievements. You can even include the level of competition involved to attain your fellowship.

Are you guaranteed a job after fellowship? ›

Most professional fellowships are between three months to one year in length and are full-time. Typically, there is no guarantee of a permanent job at the end of the fellowship.

Can you practice during fellowship? ›

Fellowship programs may assign fellows to engage in the independent practice of their core specialty during their fellowship program.

What GPA do you need for a fellowship? ›

The 3.2 GPA requirement is for a cumulative GPA, which includes all courses taken at all institutions at a college/university level.

Which is harder fellowship or residency? ›

Taking a fellowship will make sense if you have the passion and the drive to hone your skills on what you really want to do. The experience of it will definitely be harder than residency so you have to make sure that you spend your fellowship on something where your passion and your skills match.

Which fellowship is best? ›

Top Fellowship programs for Indians
  • Young India Fellowship. Young India Fellowship is a one year residential post-graduate program. ...
  • Teach for India Fellowship. Teach for India is part of the global 'Teach for All' program. ...
  • Mahatma Gandhi National Fellowship. ...
  • SBI Youth for India Fellowship. ...
  • Prime Minister Research Fellowship.

Can I apply for 2 fellowships at the same time? ›

Whether you are allowed to have more than one fellowship depends on your individual school. Some will allow you to have multiple fellowships, but note that each school considers your entire financial package. Schools have the ability to reduce your fellowship amount if you receive a second fellowship.

What is the hardest residency to match into? ›

What are the Most Competitive Residencies?
  • Plastic Surgery.
  • Dermatology.
  • Neurosurgery.
  • Orthopedic Surgery.
  • ENT/Otolaryngology.
  • Interventional Radiology.
  • Vascular surgery.
  • Thoracic surgery.
7 Aug 2022

How many medical students do not match? ›

When plan A doesn't come through. According to data on the 2021 Match compiled by the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP), 46% of seniors from U.S. allopathic medical schools got the top choice on their rank-order list, while 72% wound up in their top three on Match Day.

Which fellowships are the most competitive? ›

In order, the five most competitive fellowships were Gastroenterology (GI), Rheumatology (RHEUM), Cardiovascular Diseases (CVD), Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine (PCCM), and Hematology and Oncology (HEME).

Are fellowships competitive? ›

While many prestigious fellowships are indeed highly competitive, this is by no means a reason to give up. In many cases, neither you nor the other candidates are privy to the reasons behind why a selection committee makes the decisions that it does.

What is the most prestigious fellowship in the world? ›

The Rhodes Scholarship is the oldest graduate fellowship in the world, and probably the most famous.

How do you answer why do you want this fellowship? ›

By articulating a vision for your career or future academic life, it is easier to explain why you have decided to pursue a specific fellowship. Identify the skills and experiences you would gain from the fellowship that would directly help you achieve your professional and academic goals.

What do fellowships look for in applicants? ›

A difference in applicant perceptions

Applicants believed that interview performance should be the most important factor in fellowship selection, with personal knowledge or a colleague's recommendation of the applicant coming in as the second most important factor.

How do you answer why do you want to join this fellowship? ›


I would like my summer Fellowship to be nurturing, but not overly controlling so that creative ideas are welcomed and encouraged. I am interested in learning as much as I can, however I am confident that I have information, skills, and experiences to disseminate as well.

How do you write a good fellowship essay? ›

They also want to know that you can organize your thoughts and communicate effectively in writing. Your essays need to be engaging, specific, and thoughtful.
Writing Fellowship Essays
  1. Work on your opening. ...
  2. Be specific and concrete. ...
  3. Keep your audience in mind. ...
  4. Revise, revise, revise. ...
  5. Proofread.

How long do fellowship interviews last? ›

A short conversation.

Many applicants feel that their interview is over before it has even begun, as most interviews are scheduled for 15-20 minutes.

What are the qualities of a good fellowship? ›

5 Things All Fellowships Look For in Candidates
  • Self-sufficiency. ...
  • Drive. ...
  • Intellectual Curiosity. ...
  • Humility. ...
  • Poise.
16 May 2019

Is 8 interviews enough to match? ›

If you go on 7-10 interviews, your chances to match should be very high. There are people who match with only 1-2 interviews, particularly if they convince the program they will definitely go there if they get ranked high enough.

Is 6 interviews enough for a dissertation? ›

There is no magical number of interviews are considered "enough" in qualitative research. Saturation of data collected is a sign you need to observe i.e. when repetitive same / similar comments provided by the participant / informant - indicating the saturation is reached.

Do STEP scores matter for fellowship? ›

If you already matched into residency, your score doesn't matter, but it does matter that you pass the exam for both licensing and potentially fellowship applications. However, if you have only matched into a prelim or transitional year, Step 3 can help bolster your application for a categorical spot.

Why do you want to join this fellowship? ›

Fellowships are opportunities to do something exceptional. Fellowship programs are designed to support a range of activities which includes study in a specific field, research to advance work on an issue, developing a community-based organization or initiative, training, and reflecting to support the fellow's growth.

What do you say when applying for a fellowship? ›

What is a fellowship proposal?
  1. explain your proposed project and the motivations behind it.
  2. introduce yourself to the committee.
  3. reassure the committee that you are invested in this project and that you are the right person to carry it out.
  4. demonstrate the preparation you have undertaken so far.

What skills are you hoping to gain from this fellowship? ›

5 Skills You Gain From an International Fellowship
  • #1 Language skills. ...
  • #2 Cultural competency. ...
  • #3 Subject matter expertise. ...
  • #4 Diplomacy. ...
  • #5 Self-reliance.
6 Sept 2018

What fellowship means to you? ›

Fellowship is a feeling of friendship that people have when they are talking or doing something together and sharing their experiences. ... a sense of community and fellowship. Synonyms: camaraderie, intimacy, communion, familiarity More Synonyms of fellowship.

How do you express interest in a fellowship program? ›

I'd like to express my interest in [name of fellowship] and feel my educational background in [name of graduate studies] makes me a strong candidate for the award. I recently graduated from [name of university] with a [degree name]. My work with [name of research] has prepared me to [details about fellowship].

How do you write a good personal statement for a fellowship? ›

What to Include in Your Personal Statement
  1. Origins of interest in a particular field. ...
  2. Ways in which you have developed your interest. ...
  3. Reasons for changes in your interests and goals. ...
  4. Reasons for inconsistencies in your record. ...
  5. Special skills you have developed, relevant to the planned research.

How do I become a successful fellowship application? ›

Fellowship Application Tips
  1. Tip 1: Identify fellowships competitions for which you are eligible. ...
  2. Tip 2: Consider if you are competitive for a fellowship. ...
  3. Tip 3: Read the application requirements and make a list of steps and schedule for completion. ...
  4. Tip 4: Draft your research statement or proposal.

How important is personal statement for fellowship? ›

The personal statement is one of the most important parts of many fellowship applications. These awards are competetive, so a strong personal statement will help you stand out. It is also a peculiar kind of essay. It involves a narrative style of writing that some people aren't used to.

How do you answer what do you hope to gain from this course? ›

I am excited to hone my collaboration skills by working with others and to have the chance to see some glimpses into my future career path." It can also help to discuss your willingness to grow and learn as a professional when answering this question.

What skills do you have that will help you complete this program? ›

Here is a list of these skills:
  • Confidence.
  • Punctuality.
  • Organizational Abilities.
  • Scheduling of Work.
  • Superior Communication Skills.
  • Self-confidence and Self-esteem.
  • Neatness.
  • Personal Hygiene.

What are examples of fellowship? ›

Friendship; comradeship. A strong fellowship developed among them. A mutual sharing, as of experience, activity, interest, etc. A group of people with the same interests; company; brotherhood.


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