Frequently Asked Questions
How do you apply?
Both the law school graduates and Host LSOs apply using an online application, which can be accessed via our LSFN website: www.legalservicesfundersnetwork.org.
Can an LSFN Fellow receive funding from other fellows programs simultaneously?
Yes. The LSFN Fellow’s application does not ask for this information and it is not a factor in our process.
What is the source of the funds that are being paid to the Fellows and the LSOs?
The funds come from contributions made by LSFN funders. The LSO host issues the Fellow’s stipend from these contributions, which are paid as a grant to the LSO host. The payment will come from the LSFN’s fiscal sponsor, Northern California Grantmakers (NCG).
What about health insurance? And how are Fellows classified?
As noted in the program description, the LSFN Fellowship is a post-graduate learning opportunity that offers recent law school graduates firsthand experience and training in various fields of poverty law. Fellows will receive a stipend to help with living costs, educational loan payments and transportation. The stipend may be considered taxable income and we expect Fellows to do their own research and seek guidance from tax advisors as to how this may affect their personal taxes. Similarly, LSO Hosts are to use their own resources and discretion to determine how they wish to classify the Fellow. It is up to each LSO Host to decide if they wish to provide health insurance and/or other benefits.
Why are only certain law schools and counties included?
As noted in the program description, matching Fellows and LSOs in the same county is important to us to make this a "locals helping locals program", limit commutes and avoid the need for graduates to relocate.
How do LSOs in rural areas participate?
If you are an LSO based in a non-metropolitan area and/or have an office/conduct office hours in a rural part of your county, you may submit a request to be Host LSO. You do not need to be based in one of the nine primary counties identified.
Can a 2021 LSFN Fellow reside outside of the Bay Area?
We anticipate that most LSOs and courts will be operating at least partially in person by summer 2021. As a result, we cannot offer the fellowship to graduates who do not plan to reside in the Bay Area this summer and fall.
When are the Fellows expected to work?
This is a part-time fellowship. The commitment is 400hrs in total, with the requirement that Fellows work 20hours in June (leaving them time to study for the California Bar Exam), no time in July and up to full-time hours August-November. That said, the schedule is up to the Fellow and LSO Host. We also ask that LSO Hosts not expect Fellows to be available during Fellows cohort programs (usually held on the first TH of each month from 3:00-4:30pm) and Bar prep course times.
Can we apply to the LSFN Fellowship program to extend the duration of a fellow/intern we currently have?
Yes! As discussed in the program description, “joint” applications are prioritized. In 2020 close to 50% of our LSFN Fellows and LSO Hosts applied via this option.
Can additional application materials be submitted/requested:
No. We have intentionally designed this application process to be simple, straightforward and equitable. That said, you may visit internet sites such as LinkedIn to learn more about a prospective Fellow or LSO Host.
Is there a required minimum GPA to participate in the program?
No. We do not require a minimum GPA to participate in the LSFN Fellowship, nor do we request such information as part of the application process.
How many prospective Fellows/LSOs can be interviewed?
Matches for “solo” applicants are done very thoughtfully by our staff. We provide each applicant with one interview at a time. In 2020 90% of the time both the law student and LSO Host mutually agreed they were a good fit. In a few very rare situations this was not the case and we sent a second applicant to be interviewed. We do not allow consideration of more than one prospective Fellow/LSO Host at the same time.
Can we get a copy of the MOU and Evaluations in advance?
Our 2020 materials will be posted on the LSFN website. That said, we may make modest edits to these materials for 2021.
What is required in terms of reporting?
It is up to each host LSO to determine the data and measurables that they want their Fellow(s) to track, per that organization’s norm. As for what will be required in the mid-term and final reports to the LSFN, as you might expect, they will be straightforward and simple to complete.
Can I talk to a 2020 Fellow of LSFN Host to better understand the program?
At our April 22nd LSFN Fellowship Informational Session (via zoom at 3pm PT) we will have several 2020 Fellows and LSO Hosts on hand to answer questions. You are also welcome to watch the recording of the February 11, 2021 Stakeholder Briefing, which is on the LSFN website. In addition, this year we will be providing Fellows with mentors from our 2020 Fellows cohort.
When does the PTLS expire?
The State Bar of California controls the duration of the provisional license. Based on the current rules and plans for a July bar exam, the license would expire at the mid to late November, 2021.
What if we want to offer the Fellow a job after the Fellowship concluded?
That would be great! In 2020 over 2/3rd of our Fellows continued on with their LSO Hosts. In some cases, funding for these positions may be available via the State Bar of California’s LSTF grant program.
Have more questions? Feel free to submit them to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.