Nancy Bergeson Ardent Advocate Law Student Fellowship

The Oregon Federal Public Defender is seeking applications for a funded law clerk fellowship, in honor of Nancy Bergeson, an Assistant Federal Public Defender and ardent advocate for her clients, who passed away in 2009. Applicants for the Nancy Bergeson Ardent Advocate (NBAA) Law Clerk Fellowship should have a demonstrated commitment to indigent defense, should have personal or professional experience with the indigent defense population that we serve, and should have a commitment to becoming an ardent advocate.
 
The Federal Public Defender represents indigent people charged with federal crimes, including bank robbery, gun and drug crimes, immigration violations, and various frauds. The Federal Public Defender is committed to the pursuit of justice through zealous advocacy in federal court for the constitutional rights and inherent dignity of individuals who are accused or convicted of crimes and cannot afford their own lawyer. We advance the rights of all individuals by developing innovative approaches in our representation that promote systemic change and by serving as a valuable resource to the larger legal community.
 
Fellows will assist defenders by researching legal issues and drafting trial memoranda, motions to suppress, jury instructions, appellate briefs, and other legal writing. Typical research topics involve search and seizure issues, the right to counsel, outrageous government misconduct, evidence questions, and constitutional issues in habeas cases. In addition to the research and writing, clerks also have the opportunity to watch proceedings in the U.S. District Court and the Ninth Circuit, and to attend attorney staffings, meetings, and moot court arguments. Students also help interview clients and negotiate cases on the monthly violation and misdemeanor docket (and certified law clerks may have the opportunity to represent clients in misdemeanor bench trials).
 
In addition to working in the Oregon Federal Public Defender office, the fellow will have the opportunity to network and connect with the board members of the NBAA committee. Members include prominent members of the Oregon criminal defense and civil rights bar.
 
Requirements:
 
• Applicants must have demonstrated experience with, knowledge of, or sensitivity to the needs of culturally diverse and oppressed populations. (We encourage applications from individuals underrepresented in the federal defender professional community).
 
• Applicants must have completed at least one full year of law school by June of 2021.
 
• Applicants must have excellent research and writing skills.
 
• Applicants must have a commitment to working with the indigent criminal defense population.
 
• Applicants must commit to working for our office for a minimum of 10 weeks starting in early June 2022.
 
To apply:
 
• Send your resume, writing sample, cover letter, transcript, and reference list to Jessica Snyder (jessica_snyder@fd.org) with “FPDFellowship” in the subject line.
 
• Fellows will be considered on a rolling basis. If the positions remain open, applications will be accepted until January 31, 2021, but may be filled well before then. The first round of interviews will be scheduled in late September, so applications received by then will be given priority

Nancy Bergeson Ardent Advocate Law Student Fellowship