FVAP is available to sponsor a post-graduate 2019 or 2020 fellow seeking funding from another source, but may be able to supplement secured funding commensurate with local salaries. We value diverse experiences and backgrounds. FVAP’s clientele is extremely diverse, and we serve individuals and advocates throughout the state, including rural, suburban, and urban populations. The ideal candidate will bring skills and experiences enabling the candidate to serve these diverse populations adeptly in the context of domestic violence and appellate litigation.
Family Violence Appellate Project is the only organization in California dedicated to appealing cases on behalf of survivors of domestic violence. We are committed to social justice and are dedicated to shaping California law to prioritize the safety of survivors and children by representing clients in the California Courts of Appeal, submitting amicus curiae briefs in cases of statewide importance, monitoring unpublished cases daily and requesting publication of important domestic violence cases, and engaging in legislative and systems change advocacy efforts. We are also committed to supporting the statewide network of domestic violence and legal aid service providers by providing trainings, technical assistance, and written informational materials, and by facilitating information exchange among statewide stakeholders supporting survivors. If you are interested in being part of this exciting social justice movement and resource for domestic violence survivors and advocates across California, this is the place for you! You can learn more at www.fvaplaw.org.
Prior to applying to outside funding sources, students may discuss with our staff a possible fellowship project tailored to their particular interests. Some opportunities include:
- Outreach, training, and legal representation in rural California counties or to specific, underserved populations;
- Developing a writs project to enable FVAP and our pro bono partners to quickly intake, assess and successfully file writs on behalf of domestic violence survivors facing 1-2 specific issues, such as violation of California’s rebuttable presumption against granting custody to a domestic abuser, or refusing to issue temporary restraining orders requested on an ex parte basis;
- Developing our pro se legal information program, including an assessment of the needs of pro se domestic violence survivors, the ethics of providing legal information to pro se litigants, creation of pro se information materials, outreach concerning our services, and provision of these services;
- Developing our technical assistance program, including an assessment of the needs of legal services agencies who work on domestic violence issues, development of technical assistance content and materials, and provision of these services to agencies statewide;
- Developing materials to help other states replicate the formation of FVAP in California;
- Exploring the intersection between domestic violence and other forms of gender-based, intimate partner, and family abuse.
Required Qualifications and Experience
- J.D. degree received by beginning of fellowship;
- Knowledge of, or strong interest in, domestic violence law and/or family law, either through law school course work or work experience;
- Experience working with clients in crisis strongly preferred;
- Litigation or appellate experience preferred but not required;
- Excellent communication and writing skills;
- Strong organizational skills;
- Ability to work independently and as part of a team;
- Ability to work with low‐income clients;
- Ability to adapt to and work in a fast-paced environment and complete time-sensitive assignments thoroughly and on time; and
- Eagerness to help clients in need and gain hands-on experience with trial court records, appellate procedure, and domestic violence issues.
Fellowship should begin in late summer or early fall 2019 or 2020. For fall 2019, your funding source would likely be limited to those law schools foundation or other funding organizations whose deadlines are in spring 2019 (i.e. not Skadden or Equal Justice Works). The fellow will be located in our office in Oakland, California. Daily supervision will be provided by the Director of Programs or Staff Attorney.
To Apply: Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, and reviewed as received, until the position is filled. For 2019 fellowships, applications need to be received far enough in advance of funding source deadlines that FVAP can meaningfully work with you on developing a project proposal. For 2020 fellowships, applications should be received no later than July 10, 2019. Students are encouraged to apply early in the process.
Jennafer Dorfman Wagner, Director of Programs
Family Violence Appellate Project, 449 15th St. Suite 104, Oakland, CA 94612
Your cover letter should speak to: 1) what funding sources you will apply to, and when their deadlines are; 2) why you are interested in working at FVAP; 3) how your background or experiences, educational or otherwise, have prepared you to contribute to our work and perform the required duties and any preferred qualifications, and; 4) how your background or experiences, educational or otherwise, have prepared you to contribute to our commitment to diversity and cultural humility amongst our team of staff and interns. Feel free to think broadly about your response to these questions, applying various aspects of your life and personal experiences.
To promote social justice and best serve our clients, FVAP is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to maintaining a diverse staff and providing culturally competent services. Individuals of all races, ethnicities, national origins, religions, ages, sexes, sexual orientations, and gender identities, as well as differently abled persons, survivors of domestic violence, candidates from traditionally underrepresented communities and historically oppressed groups, bilingual and bicultural candidates, and those who are the first in their family to complete college or graduate school, are encouraged to apply.
FVAP is located in Oakland, California. We are convenient to multiple bus lines and are 1 block from the 19th Street BART station.
Thank you for your interest in FVAP!