Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Fellowship

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The Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights fellowship for attorneys is a signature endeavor of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, which lasts for a three-year term, with possible extension. The Lawyers’ Committee views the causes we champion as broadly related to positions and ethical stances taken by Justice Thurgood Marshall during his distinguished legal career. This fellowship is designed for an attorney who has practiced for a minimum of three years and has a demonstrated commitment to civil rights law. It is our hope that the fellowship will enhance the Fellow’s understanding of civil rights law and prepare the Fellow for a career of promoting social justice.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

FLSA Status

Full-­Time, Exempt


Senior Litigation Attorney

Duration of Fellowship

Fellowship is available for a three-year term from September 2019 through September 2022, with possibility of extension.

Description of Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights

Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area (LCCR) works to advance, protect, and promote the legal rights of communities of color, and low-income persons, immigrants, and refugees. Assisted by hundreds of pro bono attorneys, LCCR provides free legal assistance and representation to individuals on civil legal matters through direct services, impact litigation, and policy advocacy.

LCCR was founded in 1968 when the country was reeling from the shock of the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Bobby Kennedy. Today, LCCR continues to partner with pro bono attorneys to support communities that face racism and discrimination. Our racial justice, education, immigration, and economic justice work is driven by the clients and communities we serve.

General Summary of Work Performed

The Thurgood Marshall Fellow is an integral part of LCCR’s commitment to cutting-edge civil rights work. At a historic time of need and possibility, the Fellow will primarily assist with our impact litigation, policy advocacy, and direct services work in the area of racial justice, including advocacy related to bail reform, discriminatory policing, debtors’ prison/fines and fees, and constitutional challenges to state civil seizures including towing and personal belongings. The Fellow may also have the opportunity to work on projects in the area of immigrant justice.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Assist with impact litigation on our civil rights docket, including investigation and fact development, legal research, drafting and reviewing filings and correspondence, discovery, motion practice, trial advocacy, and appellate advocacy.
  • Provide direct services through LCCR’s criminal justice and Glide clinics, to benefit low-income clients and to identify broader issues for litigation and policy advocacy.
  • Work in coalition, attend task force and community meetings as appropriate, and obtain feedback from community stakeholders to ensure that LCCR’s advocacy is rooted in the experiences of people directly affected by injustice.
  • Engage in legislative and administrative advocacy, including drafting regulations and legislation, meeting with client organizations, representing groups before administrative and legislative bodies, and providing technical assistance to policy makers.
  • Seek opportunities to engage in public education and media advocacy consistent with our identified program strategies and in consultation with Communications staff.
  • Assist as necessary with other organizational needs to further LCCR’s advocacy.

Knowledge, Skills, & Experience

  • A minimum of three years’ postgraduate legal experience (this may include up to two years of post­graduate judicial clerkship(s))
  • Bar membership (membership in California Bar strongly preferred)
  • Knowledge of and demonstrated interest in civil rights law
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Demonstrated success in building and maintaining relationships with people from a variety of backgrounds
  • Solution-oriented mindset, including the ability to work independently and on a team, and demonstrated willingness to take initiative while juggling several priorities all with personal enthusiasm, optimism, and a sense of humor
  • Connection to low income communities of color or immigrant communities in the San Francisco Bay Area
  • Strong project and time management skills, including demonstrated capacity to manage and prioritize competing projects
  • Proficiency in a foreign language (particularly Spanish, Cantonese, or Mandarin) is desired but not required
  • Adept at computer programs such as Microsoft Suite and Google Suite; preferred but not required skills with Adobe Creative Cloud Suite


$65,000 annual salary plus a competitive benefits package, including medical, dental, vision, disability, bar dues, and other benefits.

To Apply

To apply, please complete the application form below or submit materials via email to

Applicants should submit: 1) a cover letter; 2) a resume; 3) contact information for a minimum of three references; and 4) a writing sample.

In your cover letter, please respond to the following question:

LCCR serves highly diverse communities. To ensure that we are best positioned to serve these communities, we strive to promote behaviors, attitudes and policies that help us work effectively in cross-cultural situations with clients, our coworkers, and our communities. We seek to create an inclusive and respectful workplace in which differences are acknowledged and valued. How have your background or experiences, professional or otherwise, prepared you to contribute to our commitment to cultural competency and racial equity? Feel free to think broadly about your response to this question, applying various aspects of your life and personal experiences.

Questions regarding this position may be submitted to

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer. People of color, LGBTQ candidates, women, people with disabilities, people over 55, and people who have had contact with the criminal justice system are encouraged to apply.