Law School Partnership Project

 2016 Law School Partnership Project

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Student Application   Law School Application

Testimonials Partner Offices

Click Here to Read Our Most Recent Press Release

Application Disclaimer PLEASE READ! Note: Your law school will compensate you for up to one year from the time of the start date and decide what benefits, if any, to provide during that period.  The start date will be determined between you and the host office.  The host office is not obligated to pay compensation, nor provide benefits, beyond that provided by your law school.  The host office agrees to move you into a permanent position within a year of your start date.  The exact timing of your move to a permanent position, and the terms of employment once this happens, is between you and the host office.

Application Timeline

October 25: Online applications due to Gideon’s Promise. 

October 28 -November 4: Candidates will have telephone interview with Gideon’s Promise. Gideon’s Promise may request an early interview  for candidates who complete applications early.

November 6: All selected candidate application packets forwarded by Gideon’s Promise to partner public defender offices.

November – December: Partner public defender offices conduct candidate interviews.

January 2016: Gideon’s Promise extends offers  to candidates during first two weeks of the month. Candidates decline or accept offers by January 22.

The Challenge

Before Gideon’s Promise, public defender offices in the South were not viable career options for law students seeking careers in public defense. Before Gideon’s Promise, many offices in the region did not look beyond their own communities to hire lawyers. Because of Gideon’s Promise, law students across the country are eager to join this growing public defender movement in the South and defender offices in the region are excited to recruit the best future public defenders nationally. Together we can populate public defender offices where the need is greatest with the country’s most dedicated prospects…but there is a challenge.

Graduating law students need a job offer in hand by early Spring of their third year, early enough to allow them to meet Bar exam registration deadlines. Southern offices, facing the challenges of heavy caseloads and limited resources, are not able to leave positions unfilled for several months while qualified law students finish their third year and go through the process of getting licensed to practice. As a result, despite an army of law students eager to join the community we are building, and many public defender offices anxious to employ them, graduates who could help transform indigent defense are unable to do so.

What Law Schools Can Do

In 2013, we launched the Law School Partnership Program to help us build partnerships between Gideon’s Promise, our partner public defender offices and law schools committed to justice.  We are asking law schools to support their graduates for up to one year. In return, Gideon’s Promise will place the graduate in a Gideon’s Promise partner public defender office and provide three-years of training through our CORE 101 Program.  The partner public defender office will guarantee that within the first year, the graduate will be moved into a full-time position.  Therefore, by providing support up front, law schools can help their graduates secure permanent employment, acquire the training and support they need, and join a transformative movement as important as any in the legal profession.


The 2015 Gideon’s Promise Law School Partnership Project was a huge success.  We increased the number of partner law schools to 18 and the number of partner public defender offices to 13.  Through this initiative we were able to place 22 law school graduates with public defender offices, in areas of need, committed to reform! 

 To learn more about the exciting inaugural LSPP year, please read the press release here.


2015 LSPP Participants:

American University Washington College of Law

UC Berkeley School of Law 

Boston University School of Law (click here to view press release of partner school)

Georgetown University Law

George Washington University Law School

Harvard Law School

Hofstra University  Maurice A. Deane School of Law 

New York University School of Law (click here to view press release of partner school)

Northwestern University School of Law (click here to view press release of partner school)

University of Oregon  School of Law

Stanford Law School

University of Chicago Law School (click here to view press release of partner school)

The University of Michigan Law School

University of Pennsylvania Law School

University of Southern California- Gould School of Law  

University of Texas School of Law

UCLA School of Law (click here to view press release of partner school)

Vanderbilt Law School (click here to view press release of partner school)

William & Mary Law School







1 On March 18, 1963, the Supreme Court decision in the landmark case, Gideon v. Wainwright, held that under the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution, legal counsel is to be provided in criminal cases for defendants who are unable to afford their own attorneys.