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The Susan B. Jordan Fellowship* is the only one of its kind. It is designed to assist recent law school graduates who are in the process of taking the California Bar Exam and are interested in employment in the criminal defense community. Women Defenders will be providing at least one fellowship to a law school graduate planning to take the California State Bar Examination and planning to work in criminal defense after taking the exam. The Fellowship will be up to $2,000.00.

The objective of the Fellowship is to provide financial assistance to law school graduates during the financially unstable period of time after they take the California Bar Exam and before they secure permanent employment in the public or private defender community. Traditionally, many law school graduates do not have the financial means to pursue criminal defense work because criminal defense/public defender offices rarely offer paid positions to those who have not yet passed the California Bar Examination. Women Defenders thereby hopes to advance the important goal of achieving diversity in the criminal defense legal profession.

* We have recently changed the name of our fellowship to the Susan B. Jordan Fellowship in honor of Susan B. Jordan, a founding mother of Women Defenders who passed away May 29, 2009. Susan was a giant in the feminist and criminal defense communities, and was the creator and first Chair of Women Defenders. She is deeply missed. We are proud to offer a fellowship in her name. For more on Susan B. Jordan please visit


Women Defenders will give priority to Fellowship applicants who meet at least one of the following objective:

* Work in state or federal public defender offices in the state of California.
* Work for a criminal defense practitioner not in a public defender office and practicing in the state of California.
* Creative projects not included in these guidelines will be considered.


To apply, please submit the following:

1. A personal statement explaining your interest in criminal defense work. Please also include a detailed explanation of your financial need, including whether your employment in criminal defense while awaiting bar results will be paid or unpaid.

2. A description of the legal services to be provided, the length of the project, and the population to be served.

3. Name, address and telephone number of the legal services provider where you plan to work. Include a letter of confirmation of your employment from the program director or project supervisor. The letter should include information regarding the exact nature of the work that you will be performing, salary (if any), and length of time you have committed to the assignment.

4. One or more letters of recommendation from a former employer or faculty member at your law school.

August 15, 2009.

Submit your completed application to:

Women Defenders

Attn: Susan B. Jordan Fellowship Committee
1010 Grayson Street, Suite 1
Berkeley, CA 94710


Donations to the Fellowship Fund are tax deductible and should be made to:
Women Defenders' Susan B. Jordan Fellowship Fund.
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Who Joins Women Defenders?

Our membership includes public defenders, solo practitioners, investigators, dependency attorneys, appellate and habeas attorneys, legal workers, law students, and professors.

Anyone (male or female!) dedicated to the practice of criminal defense is welcome to join.

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1010 Grayson Street, Suite 1 Berkeley, CA 94710. P (510) 214-6414
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