Business Fellowship Program
The Business Fellowship Program offers companies and institutions the opportunity to meet their business and legal needs while fostering the professional development of the next generation of law and business leaders.
The Clerkship Model
The fellowship is intended as an elite experience and uses the judicial clerkship as its structural model. Like judicial clerkships:
- Business fellowships are temporary positions and employers are not expected to offer permanent employment to fellows.
- The fellow’s specific responsibilities are determined by the employer, but are likely to include legal work in the business counsel’s office or assignments in the employer’s business operations that draw on the fellow’s legal knowledge.
Benefits of the Program
The fellowship is designed to add value to the business by bringing energetic and thoughtful junior talent to the partnering organization.
At the same time, fellows gain knowledge, experience and mentoring that will speed their transition to a business or legal position following their fellowships.
Types of Fellowships
The program targets highly accomplished young lawyers who are interested in using their legal education in business—either in the law department of an organization or in business operations.
- Summer Fellowships are for rising 3L students who work with employers for 10 weeks during the summer. Students apply during the Winter semester of their second year. The fellowship includes a stipend covered by the employer and an alumni donor.
- Postgraduate Fellowships are for new alumni who work with employers for a year. Students apply during their last year of law school. Employers are responsible for their stipend.
Employers that are participating in the program
What kind of responsibilities are fellows expected to handle?
Law school staff will work with employers to identify their needs and the scope of specific responsibilities that are responsive to them. Possible responsibilities may include:
- Working in the organization’s business operations to help achieve its business goals.
- Assisting the organization’s attorneys with transactions.
- Reviewing contracts and other legal documents.
- Researching legal issues for business operations or for the legal department.
- Assisting with business compliance issues, including federal, state and local regulatory requirements.
- Attending meetings with the organization’s leaders and clients or customers.
- Participating in relevant employee training programs.
What are employers’ obligations to fellows?
They are expected to:
- Provide a staff member to coordinate the fellow’s experience within the organization.
- Include fellows in group and client meetings so they gain experience with the organization’s legal and business issues and teams.
- Introduce fellows to the company’s legal and business leadership teams.
How are fellows selected?
In addition to meeting hiring criteria established by each employer, fellows in the summer and postgraduate fellowships must:
- Know and understand legal research, contracts, commercial transactions and corporate structure and governance.
- Submit a formal application to the law school that includes a resume, academic transcript, professional references and other materials, as specified by the employer.
- Be a good team player with a positive attitude who is interested in helping a variety of people and teams within the business.
- Have demonstrated ability to prioritize tasks, communicate well with others, and manage a portfolio of diverse responsibilities.
- Be highly motivated individuals who are entrepreneurial and able to complete tasks with minimal supervision
- Understand the importance of safeguarding the confidentiality of their work product and exercising professionalism during their fellowships.