The Sullivan & Cromwell Fellowship at Public Counsel

Public Counsel and Sullivan & Cromwell are pleased to announce a recurring two-year salaried fellowship opportunity to work with Public Counsel, open exclusively to Stanford Law School students following graduation.

About Public Counsel
Public Counsel is the nation’s largest not-for-profit law firm specializing in delivering pro bono legal services, working with major law firms and corporations to change people’s futures. Its staff of 71 attorneys and 50 support staff—along with more than 5,000 volunteer lawyers, law students and legal professionals—directly assists nearly 30,000 individuals each year and provides services benefiting more than 350,000 underserved people, including thousands of vulnerable children and hundreds of nonprofit organizations, small businesses and micro-entrepreneurs. Founded in 1970, Public Counsel works to achieve three main goals: protecting the legal rights of disadvantaged children; representing unaccompanied minor immigrants, and immigrants who have been the victims of torture, persecution, domestic violence, trafficking and other crimes; and fostering economic justice by providing individuals and institutions in underserved communities with access to quality legal representation.

About Sullivan & Cromwell and Its Commitment to Pro Bono
S&C provides the highest-quality legal advice and representation to clients around the world. Through its network of 12 offices on four continents located in leading financial centers, S&C provides highly integrated legal services to many of the world’s leading companies in their most important domestic and cross-border matters. S&C considers pro bono work to be an important commitment of every lawyer and a tool with which lawyers can supplement and bolster their skills. S&C’s efforts include individual pro bono initiatives and ongoing, long-term “signature projects.” The variety of matters handled and the results the Firm achieves represent expertise across practice groups.

Franco-Gonzalez v. Holder
The Sullivan & Cromwell Fellowship is a result of the work Sullivan & Cromwell did, in partnership with Public Counsel and others, in the landmark Franco-Gonzalez v. Holder case. Sullivan & Cromwell donated all of the fees it was awarded in the Franco case to its public interest co-counsel.

Franco-Gonzalez v. Holder has resulted in what commentators have noted is the first major expansion of Gideon v. Wainwright. Sullivan & Cromwell, Public Counsel and our co-counsel secured a right to counsel for those suffering from severe mental illnesses in immigration hearings, bond hearings with counsel, and joint motions by the government to reopen immigration cases brought by eligible class members.

The Fellowship
The Sullivan & Cromwell Fellowship at Public Counsel is a two-year salaried fellowship. The Sullivan & Cromwell Fellow will work as a full time attorney in one of Public Counsel’s practice areas, in accordance with the Fellow’s interest as expressed in the application. Applicants may apply to work in one of the following practice areas for the 2024-2026 term:

  • Children’s Rights (including adoptions, guardianship, education rights, transition age youth, or children with disabilities),
  • Homelessness Prevention (including housing, benefits advocacy, and individual rights),
  • Immigration Rights (including work for unaccompanied minors, victims of crime and persecution, and immigrants in detention),
  • Center for Veterans Advancement (veteran and caregiver benefits, and discharge upgrades),
  • Opportunity Under Law (impact litigation),
  • Women & Girls’ Rights, and
  • Community Development (housing justice and non-profit/small business transactional).

See Public Counsel’s website for more information about these practice areas. Applicants are encouraged to contact the Directing Attorneys of the relevant Project for more information.

The original announcement and further information about the creation of this fellowship are available here.

The first Sullivan and Cromwell Fellow at Public Counsel was Katie McKeon, JD ’17. Deanna Rafla-Yuan, JD ’20, and Alero Egbe, JD ’22, are also previous Sullivan and Cromwell Fellows.

Interested applicants should consult with a member of the Levin team to work with us on the application. The fellowship is offered every two years. The next cycle will be for alumni seeking to start the fellowship in Fall 2024. 

View the 2024-2026 Application