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New summer program to place Penn State Law students in non-urban PA communities

Penn State Law's new Community Fellows Program will place up to four law students in summer fellowships with solo practitioners and smaller law firms in non-urban communities across Pennsylvania.
Penn State Law Community Fellows Counties

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – A new fellowship program at Penn State Law provides funding to help place law students in summer work experiences with solo practitioners and smaller law firms in non-urban communities across Pennsylvania.

The Community Fellows Program, established with the support of an anonymous donor, is designed to expose law students to the broad range of legal practice opportunities that exist in Pennsylvania outside of the state’s three largest urban areas—Harrisburg, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh—where graduates often look to start their careers after law school.

The program will support up to four second-year law students each year in completion of a 10-week summer fellowship with an attorney or a small law firm. Fellows will receive compensation of at least $5,000 for 10 weeks of work, with $2,500 paid by Penn State Law in the form of a scholarship and the remainder paid by the employer.

“One of the goals of this program is to generate more interest among our students in working in communities outside of the Commonwealth’s largest cities,” said Professor of Practice Tom Sharbaugh, who helped design the Community Fellows Program. “Part of the fellowship selection process involves matching students who want to practice in a non-urban area of Pennsylvania with employers who will mentor our students and get them involved in the local community. Ultimately, we hope to place these students in full-time jobs in these communities after they graduate.”

Eligible employers include solo practitioners and law firms with fewer than 10 full-time attorneys in any Pennsylvania county except Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Bucks, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Fayette, Montgomery, Perry, Philadelphia, Washington, and Westmoreland.

Penn State Law J.D. students are eligible to apply to the Community Fellows Program for participation in the summer after their second year of law school.

The Career Services Office will begin reviewing employers and students on April 1, 2017. For complete program details, including student and employer applications, please visit the Community Fellows website. Questions can be directed to Randolph Reliford, assistant dean for career services, at or 814-863-0078.

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