2018-2020 Legal Fellowship


The SPLC is dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society. Using litigation, policy advocacy, education, and other forms of advocacy, the SPLC works toward the day when the ideals of equal justice and equal opportunity will be a reality.  Civil rights lawyers Morris Dees and Joseph Levin Jr. founded the SPLC in 1971 to ensure that the promise of the civil rights movement became a reality for all. Since then, we’ve won numerous landmark legal victories on behalf of the exploited, the powerless and the forgotten. Our lawsuits have defeated institutionalized racism and forced justice on segregationists; destroyed some of the nation’s most violent white supremacist groups; and protected the civil rights of people of color, children, women, the disabled, immigrants and migrant workers, the LGBT community, prisoners, and many others who faced discrimination, abuse or exploitation.

Our Five Practice Groups:

  • Children’s Rights – Our Children’s Rights practice group is focused on stopping the “school to prison pipeline;” ensuring educational equity for children from all backgrounds, particularly poor and minority students; and ensuring children’s access to mental health services in the most integrated environments appropriate to their needs.
  • Criminal Justice Reform – Our Criminal Justice Reform practice group is dedicated to ending the mass incarceration of adults, juveniles, and immigrants; stopping the practice of trying children as adults; fighting the criminalization of immigrants; and ending abusive conditions of confinement and other exploitative practices of the criminal justice system.
  • Economic Justice – Our Economic Justice Project is fighting back against deeply engrained policies and practices that punish the poor. We’re currently working to end debtors’ prisons, wealth-based bail systems, and related criminal justice practices that trap the poor in a cycle of court debt or cause their incarceration; protect low-income consumers from predatory loan practices; and ensure that the poor have access to the social safety net.
  • Immigrant Justice – Our Immigrant Justice Project is working to protect the dignity and workplace rights of guest workers and other migrants; protect the civil and human rights of immigrants from discriminatory laws; stop unfair deportation practices; and uphold the rights of immigrant children to enroll in public schools and receive English language instruction and other services which they’re entitled.
  • LGBT Rights/Special Litigation – Our LGBT Right/Special Litigation practice group is working to ensure that LGBT people achieve full equality and dignity under the law. This practice group is also fighting in the courts against hate groups and extremists who target people based on their race, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

Our Six Office Locations:

  • Montgomery, AL – The Southern Poverty Law Center was founded and is headquartered in the city that was at the heart of the Civil Rights Movement. Nearly all of our Practice Groups, as well as the rest of the SPLCs program areas and operations staff, work out of this centralized location.
  • Atlanta, GA – Our legal staff in Atlanta primarily focus on work on our Immigrant Justice Project.
  • New Orleans, LA – The legal team in New Orleans focus on Children’s Rights, Criminal Justice Reform, and Economic Justice.
  • Jackson, MS – In Jackson, our teams work across Children’s Rights and Criminal Justice Reform.
  • Miami, FL – Our teams in Miami work in the Children’s Rights and Criminal Justice Reform.
  • Tallahassee, FL – At our newest location in Tallahassee, teams work on Children’s Rights and Criminal Justice Reform.


Primary Job Functions:

The Legal Fellow will serve as an integral member of SPLC’s legal group. The Fellow’s responsibilities will include but are not limited to the following:

  • Conduct legal research and analysis and develop theories to support new litigation projects and advocacy campaigns;
  • Draft legal memoranda, pleadings, affidavits, motions, and briefs;
  • Interview witnesses and potential clients;
  • Participate in discovery and trial practice;
  • Attend meetings and/or conferences as needed.


The Fellow is selected from recent law school graduates (including those who are currently completing a judicial clerkship) and will serve for a two-year period starting September 2018.

  • J.D. or an expectation of receiving one by the Spring of 2018;
  • Excellent research, writing, and verbal communication skills;
  • A demonstrated ability to conduct complex legal analysis and fact-finding;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and a proven ability to work independently as well as within a team;
  • The initiative to see projects through to completion and be self-starters;
  • A demonstrated commitment to public interest law;
  • Commitment to the mission and goals of the SPLC;
  • Knowledge of and interest in one or more of our legal content areas;
  • Federal clerkship experience preferred;
  • Spanish Proficiency a plus.

To Apply:

Please submit your application materials by September 27, 2017. Applicants should submit a cover letter, a resume, the name and contact information of three references, and a professional writing sample of no more than 15 pages to our career portal.    In the application, you will be asked your preferences with regard to both practice groups and location, but we cannot guarantee that, if offered the fellowship, we will be able to match you with your preferences.

Other Special Considerations:

This job is performed under general office conditions, and is not subject to any strenuous physical demands or dangerous conditions.


The statements herein are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by the employee in this position.  These statements are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required of a person in this position.

An Equal-Opportunity Employer with a Commitment to Diversity

Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is proud to be an equal opportunity employer, and as an organization committed to diversity and the perspective of all voices, we consider applicants equally of race, gender, gender identity, color, sexual orientation, religion, marital status, disability, political affiliation, national origin, or prior record of arrest or conviction.

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