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LEIF Program

LAFLA’s Leadership, Equity & Inclusion Fellowship (LEIF) Program is designed to engage and empower law students who are historically underrepresented in the legal profession in their pursuit of public interest legal careers.

 

About the LEIF Program

The 2024 summer application cycle has closed. Thank you for your interest.

LAFLA awards fellowships to a select number of eligible summer law clerks through the LEIF Program, launched in 2021. LAFLA recognizes social and economic inequity in the educational system and proposes to increase diversity in legal services. LAFLA also acknowledges the importance of a legal community that represents our client community.

  • Students who have already accepted a formal offer to join the LAFLA Summer Law Clerk Program;
  • Identify as a member of a group that is historically underrepresented in the practice of law (e.g., first-generation law students, socio-economically disadvantaged, students from underserved communities, persons with disabilities, queer, etc.);
  • Demonstrate a commitment to LAFLA’s mission to achieve equal justice for people living in poverty;
  • Be willing to join and remain a member of the LEIF Program community during and after the summer law clerk program, to connect with future fellows and support the continued growth of the LEIF Program.
  • At this time, LEIF fellowships may be awarded to a student only once. Former LEIF fellows may return to the Summer Law Clerk Program, but may not be awarded the LEIF fellowship.

If you find that you do not meet all the qualifications, we highly encourage you to still apply. We recognize that organizations may miss out on strong applicants who screen themselves out of the process because they do not meet every qualification. 

The first step to applying for LEIF is to apply for the LAFLA Summer Law Clerk Program. You can apply online here or through a law student hiring event. For details about the Summer 2024 Law Clerk Program, please visit our Law Students page.

Once you accept an offer to join the Summer Law Clerk Program, you can apply for LEIF by completing the LEIF Application Form and sending your personal statement to fellowships@lafla.org.

Again, please note you must have already accepted an offer to join the Summer Law Clerk Program. Otherwise, your application will not be considered.

The LEIF Application period has begun and ends on April 14, 2024.

When selecting fellows, LAFLA will consider:

  • Demonstrated commitment to LAFLA’s mission to achieve equal justice for people living in poverty
  • Financial need
  • Demonstrated leadership ability
  • Community service
  • Personal and academic achievements
  • Bilingual fluency as a plus

Fellows will be selected through the application review process described below to advance to the interview stage.  

The LEIF Review Committee includes LAFLA staff members across the foundation, including the members of LAFLA’s Law Student Recruitment Committee and Race Equity Initiative. Each application will be carefully considered by several members of the LEIF Review Committee.

Interviews will then be conducted with a LAFLA Director and/or Manager.

Those selected to interview will be invited in late April and interviewed early May. Those chosen for the LEIF Program will be notified in May, before the Summer Program begins.

Please consider this timeline if you decide to apply.

In addition to participating in all Summer Law Clerk Program events, LEIF fellows also participate in weekly LEIF meetings and engage in a final summer project. 

LEIF fellows will receive up to a total of $10,000 in reimbursements for payments made for school tuition or school loans over the span of two years.

Please note: LEIF Fellows will be required to show proof of payment on tuition or student loans within the last 12 months in order to receive reimbursement. LAFLA cannot consider a list of financial aid received. To ensure that tuition reimbursements are tax exempt under the program, reimbursements are split into three payments – the first to be sent at the end of June, the second at the end of July, and the third the following January.

Please consider these requirements and timeline if you decide to apply.

The 2024 summer application cycle has closed. Thank you for your interest.

Yes. We understand that your circumstances may change following submission. Please update us as soon as possible by emailing us at fellowships@lafla.org.

Thank you for taking the time to learn more about LAFLA! Please see our mission statement and check out our 90+ year history. We also encourage students to get familiar with our services and workgroups by going to our ‘Get Help’ page.

LAFLA is an Equal Opportunity Employer

LAFLA is committed to equal opportunity and providing reasonable accommodations to volunteers pursuant to applicable law. We value and encourage diversity and solicit applications from all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, gender, sex, age, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, marital status, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, medical condition, military and veteran status, gender identity or expression, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law. Selection will be based solely on merit and will be without discrimination. If you require reasonable accommodation as part of the application process or expect to require an accommodation if offered placement, please contact humanresources@lafla.org.

2023 LEIF Fellows

Alix Alcazar
Loyola Law School ’24
Economic Sustainability Workgroup

Joshuel Calderon
UCLA School of Law ’25
Renters Small Claims

Martin Capuchino
Lewis & Clark Law School ’25
Immigration Access Workgroup

Carolina Garcia
UC Irvine School of Law ’25
Restoring Communities Workgroup

Maia Hill
Southern University Law Center ’25
Veteran’s Justice Center

Ryenn Hubbard
Thurgood Marshall School of Law ’25
Medical-Legal Partnership

Lin Mao
University of Wisconsin Law School ’24
Asian Pacific Islander (API) Community Outreach Project

Arturo Samniego
UC Irvine School of Law ’25
Eviction Defense Center

Mikayla Tran
UCLA School of Law ’25
Santa Monica

Kathleen Won
UC Irvine School of Law ’25
Asian Pacific Islander (API) Community Outreach Project

2022 LEIF Fellows

Itzayary Aguilar
Loyola Law School ’24
Economic Stability Workgroup

Bryon Alvarez

Bryon Alvarez
Southwestern Law School ’24
Supporting Families Workgroup

Shuping Deng

Shuping Deng
Loyola Law School ’24
API Community Outreach Project

Diamond Humphrey

Diamond Humphrey
North Carolina Central University School of Law ’23
Restoring Communities Workgroup

Kassidee Lowe

Kassidee Lowe
UC Hastings College of the Law ’24
Racial Justice & Equity

Francia Orduno

Francia Orduno
University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law ’24
Eviction Defense Center

Edgar Preciado

Edgar Preciado
University of Southern California, Gould School of Law ’24
Racial Justice & Equity

Astrid Saenz Huynh

Astrid Saenz Huynh
Loyola Law School ’24
Medical-Legal Partnerships

Shawntel Williams

Shawntel Williams
University of Michigan Law School ’23
Medical-Legal Partnerships

Jason Wong

Jason Wong
UC Davis School of Law ’23
Supporting Families Workgroup

2021 LEIF Fellows

Irene Blocksom

Irene Blocksom
Chapman Law School ’22
API Community Outreach Project

Abigail Cruz

Abigail Cruz
UC Hastings College of the Law ’23
Medical-Legal Partnerships

Angel Dukes

Angel Dukes
Southern University Law Center ’23
Medical-Legal Partnerships

Myla Garcia

Myla Garcia
Penn State Dickinson Law ’22
Supporting Families Workgroup

Derrick Moon

Derrick Moon
UC Hastings College of the Law ’23
Economic Stability Workgroup

Keila Perez

Keila Pérez
University of Oregon School of Law ’23
Eviction Defense Center

Miriam Guadalupe Reyes

Miriam Reyes
Thurgood Marshall School of Law ’22
Supporting Families Workgroup

Markisha Roches

Markisha Roches
Southwestern Law School ’22
Restoring Communities Workgroup

Ryan Washington

Ryan Washington
Fordham University School of Law ’23
Restoring Communities Workgroup

Najah Williams

Najah Williams
Southern University Law Center ’22
Restoring Communities Workgroup

Other Fellowships

LAFLA invites law students and recent law school graduates interested in pursuing a public interest legal career to partner in fellowship applications. LAFLA has hosted fellows from various programs, including Skadden, Equal Justice Works, and school-based fellowships.

Careers

Start your legal career at the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, one of the largest public interest law firms, providing services to more than 100,000 people living in poverty each year.

The leadership of LAFLA is committed to a work culture of zealous advocacy, respect, diversity and inclusion, client-oriented defense, access to justice, and excellent representation.