ABA Center for Innovation / National Center for State Courts Fellow

The ABA Center for Innovation and the National Center for State Courts (“NCSC”) are excited to announce a remarkable new fellowship opportunity for recent law school graduates. The ABA Center for Innovation / NCSC NextGen Fellow will have a unique chance to gain invaluable experience while having a positive impact on our nation’s courts.

ABA Center for Innovation

The ABA Center for Innovation encourages and accelerates innovations that improve the accessibility, effectiveness, and efficiency of legal services. Through its Fellows Program, the Center works with established and emerging leaders to build more efficient, affordable and easily accessible legal services in the United States.

ABA Center for Innovation / NCSC NextGen Fellow

The ABA and NCSC have shared a collaborative relationship for many years, but this unique effort, in part driven by the selected candidate, will be an opportunity to help both the ABA and NCSC understand how process improvement and technology can help state courts function more efficiently and be more accessible to the public.

This new Fellow will join the second class of an exclusive cohort of ABA NextGen and Innovation Fellows working across the country with other host organizations, and will have access to ABA members, staff, and resources.

While based in one of NCSC’s offices located in either, Denver, Colorado, Williamsburg, Virginia, or Arlington, Virginia, the ABA Center for Innovation / NCSC NextGen Fellow will be asked to work on one or more of the following projects for NCSC:

  • Building a secure, technology-based platform that could be employed by the courts to track community service hours completed by defendants.
  • Building technology that could play a part in making sure the accused make it to their scheduled court dates.
  • Defining process improvement methods and building technology that could be deployed to help make going to court less confusing and make associated terms of art more easily understood.
  • Measuring the effectiveness of self-help centers and resources to understand what is working for the public and perhaps more importantly, what is not.
  • Defining and perhaps building technology to help the courts better leverage social media platforms and video conferencing tools.


The Center is seeking a recent (within the last 5 years) law school graduate to spend one year in residence (August 27, 2018 – August 13, 2019). 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 and our nation’s courts
  • Working knowledge of technology, principles of design, and web development
  • Experience working in a collaborative environment


Applicants should submit the following:

  • A short statement (500 to 750 words) demonstrating their interest in one of the proposed projects listed above and qualifications for the ABA Center for Innovation / NCSC NextGen Fellowship
  • 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 June 30th, 2018.

Selection Process

Applications will be reviewed by ABA members and staff, as well as by NCSC staff. Finalists will be contacted in early July 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 / NCSC Fellow will be hosted at one of NCSC’s offices, 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 don’t need to have any programming experience. However, you should have enough knowledge and experience in tech design to provide the substantive assistance necessary to ensure the success of this project.

Do I have to be a lawyer or law graduate?

NextGen Fellows must be recent (within five years) law school graduates.

A PDF of this announcement can be found here: NCSC Call for Applications