ABA Center for Innovation-Microsoft NextGen Fellow

The ABA Center for Innovation and Microsoft are excited to announce a unique new fellowship opportunity for recent law school graduates. The inaugural ABA Center for Innovation-Microsoft NextGen Fellow will gain invaluable experience while positively impacting the delivery of legal services to those most in need of assistance.

ABA Center for Innovation

The ABA Center for Innovation encourages and accelerates innovations that improve the accessibility, effectiveness, and efficiency of legal services in the United States. Through its Fellows Program, the Center works with established and emerging leaders to develop cutting-edge legal tech and process innovations.

ABA Center for Innovation-Microsoft NextGen Fellow

Among other exciting projects related to innovation in legal services, in 2016, Microsoft announced a partnership with the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) and Pro Bono Net to create statewide online justice portals. The project’s aim is to direct low-income persons to appropriate legal aid resources in each state. It seeks to transform a system that is too often opaque, confusing, and inefficient into a single, simple, statewide access point for legal aid resources.

In residence at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Washington, the ABA Center for Innovation-Microsoft NextGen Fellow will spend most of his or her time helping to advance the LSC portal project, while also contributing to a variety of other technology initiatives. The Fellow will join an exclusive cohort of ABA NextGen and Innovation Fellows, most of whom will be in residence at ABA Headquarters in Chicago Illinois. The ABA Center for Innovation-Microsoft NextGen Fellow may therefore travel on occasion to meet with ABA members, staff, and Fellows at ABA Headquarters.

Qualifications

The Center is seeking a recent (within the last 5 years) law school graduate to spend one year in residence (August 1, 2017 – July 31, 2018) at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Washington. This Fellow will receive a $45,000 salary and benefits. Bar admission is not necessary.

Candidates should have the following qualifications:

  • Commitment to improving access to justice
  • Working knowledge of technology design and web development
  • Experience working in a collaborative environment
  • Curiosity about the evolution of legal services

Application

Applicants should submit the following:

  • A short statement (500 to 750 words) demonstrating their interest in and qualifications for the ABA Center for Innovation-Microsoft NextGen Fellow
  • A resume, including links (if available) to a website or professional social media profile
  • A short (approximately two minute) video or multimedia presentation, highlighting the candidate’s qualifications

Please submit your application to innovationcenter@americanbar.org by April 15, 2017.

Selection Process

Applications will be reviewed by ABA members and staff, as well as by Microsoft staff. Finalists will be contacted in early April to schedule an interview.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I work during my fellowship?
The Fellows Program is a full-time commitment. Fellows should not pursue outside work.

Can I work remotely?
No. The ABA Center for Innovation-Microsoft NextGen Fellow will be hosted at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Washington, with occasional visits to ABA Headquarters in Chicago, Illinois.

What will the ABA provide during the fellowship?
All fellows will have access to many of the nation’s top legal innovators, educators, technologists, and designers. Additionally, they will receive a comprehensive Boot Camp training. Fellows will receive a $45,000 salary, plus benefits.

Do I have to be a programmer?
You do not have to be a programmer. However, you should have an understanding of legal tech solutions.

Do I have to be a lawyer or law graduate?
NextGen Fellows must be recent (within five years) law school graduates

2017 Call for Fellows Now Open!

The ABA Center for Innovation is proud to announce its inaugural Call for Fellows.

There are two types of fellowships available with the ABA Center for Innovation:

NextGen Fellows Recent – within the last 5 years – law school graduates will spend one year in-residence at the ABA headquarters in Chicago, IL. These fellows will receive a stipend of $45,000, along with benefits, during their time in the program. The first cohort of fellows will begin August 1, 2017 and complete their work by July 31, 2018. Bar admission is not necessary.

Innovation Fellows Interested individuals are invited to take a 9-12 week sabbatical from their workplace and spend that time at the ABA headquarters in Chicago working on projects that will improve the legal sector and practice of law. There is no stipend for this fellowship, but the ABA will work with other legal and judicial organizations (e.g. courts, corporations, law schools and bar associations) to develop sponsorships to assist you. There are few limitations on areas of focus for these fellows; if it touches our justice system, it is ripe for intervention and innovation. The first Innovation Fellows will start in April 2017 and will attend on a rolling basis, determined by the length of their participation.

The application has two required parts:

  • Provide a 500-750 word project statement that outlines the problem you propose to address, what work you’ve done on this problem, what resources you think you would need to develop your project and what outcomes you hope to achieve.  Be sure to indicate which type of fellowship you are applying for.
  • Send a resume and include, if available, a link to your website or professional social media profile.

Optional: Send us a short, 2-3 minute video or multi-media presentation, highlighting what you think we need to know about you and the uniqueness you will bring to the Fellows Program. Be creative!

Please send applications to: innovationcenter@americanbar.org