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The Fried Frank Civil Rights Fellowship

Created to bridge the worlds of private law firm litigation and public service law, the Fried Frank Civil Rights Fellowship connects the firm with two of the country's leading civil rights advocacy organizations, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (NAACP LDF) and the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF).

The Fellowship enables an entry-level lawyer to spend two years as a litigator at Fried Frank, followed by two years as a staff attorney with NAACP LDF or MALDEF. At the end of their four-year commitment, our Fellows are encouraged to interview at Fried Frank or apply to continue at the respective organization. We are proud that a number of our former Fellows hold high-level positions at NAACP LDF and MALDEF. 

Fried Frank Civil Rights Fellows are selected annually, alternating each year between organizations. The 2023 Civil Rights Fellow will be chosen for MALDEF and will begin employment at Fried Frank with the first-year associate class in the fall of 2023.

MALDEF – Fried Frank Civil Rights Fellowship 

Protecting and Promoting the Civil Rights of Latinos

The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) is the nation's leading Latino litigation, advocacy and educational outreach organization. Founded in 1968 by San Antonio attorney Pete Tijerina, MALDEF has as its primary objective to protect and promote the civil rights of Latinos living in the United States. It seeks to empower the Latino community to participate fully in American society through impact litigation, advocacy, research, community outreach, leadership development and education, and the awarding of law school scholarships.

NAACP LDF – Fried Frank Civil Rights Fellowship

Fighting for Equality and Empowerment for African-Americans and Other Disenfranchised Groups

The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (NAACP LDF) has been fighting for the equality and empowerment of African-Americans and other disenfranchised groups since it was founded in 1940 under the leadership of late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. As the NAACP LDF's first director-counsel, Justice Marshall led the campaign against the "separate but equal" doctrine and won the landmark 1954 case, Brown v. Board of Education, which outlawed public school segregation and began the dismantling of all forms of government-sanctioned discrimination. Despite significant progress toward equality in the past half-century, numerous and complex obstacles remain. NAACP LDF continues its fundamental mission to transform the promise of equality into a social, economic, and political reality for all people. 

Who should apply

Third-year law school students graduating in 2023 and outgoing judicial law clerks who have a genuine interest in both corporate and civil rights litigation are eligible to apply.


The first two years of the Fellowship take place at our New York City office, followed by two years at NAACP LDF or MALDEF locations. 

MALDEF litigates in regional offices in Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Antonio, but all Fellows have the option to work at MALDEF's national headquarters in Los Angeles. Based on an applicant’s interests, background and MALDEF's litigation needs, we will work with applicants to identify an appropriate placement at the time of Fellowship selection.

Deadline and application information

The deadline to apply is Monday, November 14, 2022 by 11:59 pm EDT. For further application instructions, please visit the Application page

For more information, please contact:
Diversity and Inclusion
Fried Frank
One New York Plaza
New York, NY 10004


Her Justice

Associates in our litigation practice have the opportunity to apply for a year-long externship with Her Justice, which is dedicated to providing legal services to low-income women and victims of domestic violence and other crimes in the areas of matrimonial, family, and immigration law.

Participants join the organization as staff attorneys in its New York headquarters, providing counsel and litigating cases for its clients, including obtaining orders of protection, commencing divorce proceedings in abuse cases, and securing definitive child support orders and just custody arrangements. Participants can expect to gain significant litigation experience through the program, including motion and trial practice.