Tracy Jo Figueroa Mathis '13 received her first not guilty verdict as an attorney at the Connecticut Public Defender Office in Stamford in November 2013.


"It felt really good to be up on my feet in court. The Bridge to Practice Fellowship has given me this incredible opportunity, and I feel that Cardozo has prepared me incredibly well for my career."

Cardozo launched its Bridge to Practice Postgraduate Fellowship program in 2005. The fellowship provides financial assistance to selected graduates of the most recent graduating class who seek to contribute to the public good through legal work in the public sector before they commence permanent employment.

Overview

·  Selected Bridge to Practice Fellows will be awarded $3,000 for a ten-week period of legal employment in the public sector, with a minimum requirement of 20 hours per week.

· Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, from July 15 through September 15 of each calendar year or until the fund has been depleted. The ten-week period of employment required by the Fellowship must be completed before December 31, 2017.

· If applications received exceed available funding, award decisions will be based on a combination of a commitment to public service and financial need.

· After the fellowship is awarded, you will need to fill out a tax form.  Your award will be mailed by paper check to the address you have provided, approximately one month after we receive your tax form.

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Eligibility Criteria and Application

Placement Requirements:

Eligible placements must be 1) unpaid; 2) in public service law; and 3) legal work under the supervision of an attorney. The following types of employers are eligible:

·  City, state, or federal government agencies;

· Local, state, federal, or international judge's chambers;

· Non-profit organizations;

· International human rights or international public law organizations; and

· Private law firms with a predominantly public interest practice in which the Fellow will work solely on pro bono matters. The firm must certify in writing that the Fellow will work solely on public interest matters and that the firm will not seek compensation for the Fellow's work.

Application Requirements:

· Completed Form;

· A brief statement that addresses how this position will help in your career development and how it reflects a commitment to public service;

· Any information regarding financial need that you wish to be considered; 

· Resume and transcript; and

· Supervising attorney form.

Frequently Asked Questions

· Do I need to have a fellowship opportunity confirmed in order to apply?  Yes

· Can I still apply for the fellowship if I have secured a full-time job?  Yes – as long as you are able to complete ten weeks in a qualifying placement prior to commencement of your job, you are eligible.

· Can I still apply for the fellowship if I have secured a part-time job?  Yes – fellowship funding is contingent on working at least 20 hours per week in a qualifying position. Working part-time in a different position at the same time is not disqualifying.

· What if I am not able to complete my fellowship after I begin?  If you leave the fellowship position before completing the ten-week requirement because you have obtained permanent employment, the award will be reduced accordingly on a pro rata basis based on a full week of work. If you leave the fellowship position for any other reason, absent extenuating circumstances, you must return any amounts disbursed. 

· Can I be funded for working longer than ten weeks in a qualifying position?  Though unusual, requests for funding beyond the initial ten week period will be reviewed on a case by case basis. It will be contingent on the nature of the position, the number of funded fellowships, and other factors.


Postgraduate Placements 2005–2013