Probate and Family Court Volunteer Judicial Fellowship Program

The Probate and Family Court is pleased to announce a volunteer judicial fellowship program starting in January 2011.  The volunteer judicial fellowship program is open to recently admitted attorneys who have not yet secured employment, as well as attorneys who may have been impacted by the economic downturn and are currently unemployed.  This opportunity is an unpaid fellowship.  Participants in the volunteer judicial fellowship program are asked to commit to the program for 3-6 months, for a minimum of two days per week, although a full-time option is certainly available.

Each fellow will assist the justices of the Probate and Family Court as an adjunct to the Probate and Family Court Law Clerk Program. Working with judges in various divisions, each fellow will draft findings of fact and legal research memoranda.  Fellows will receive assignments from designated court staff but will work directly with judges on the assignments. Each fellow will likely be assigned to a particular division of the Probate and Family Court for the duration of the fellowship, although some travel or rotation to another courthouse may be required.  Some fellows may also be assigned to the Administrative Office in Boston.

Fellows must comply with the Probate and Family Court's confidentiality and ethical guidelines, which, among other things, preclude any outside legal practice, whether paid or unpaid, while participating in the fellowship. Fellows must also comply with Probate and Family Court’s guidelines for avoiding potential conflicts, including those that may arise while the fellow is looking for full-time legal employment during the fellowship. Accordingly, if a fellow has interviewed with a prospective legal employer, the fellow will be required to notify Denise Fitzgerald, Administrative Attorney, as the manager of the Law Clerk Program, and may be barred from any assignments involving the prospective legal employer.  Fellows will also be subject to a CORI background check.

Interested attorneys should submit a (1) cover letter, (2) resume, including two references, (3) official transcript, (4) five- to seven-page legal writing sample (unedited by others), and (5) a certificate of good standing from the Supreme Judicial Court, to Denise Fitzgerald, Administrative Attorney, John Adams Courthouse, One Pemberton Square, Mezzanine, Boston, MA, 02108.  During the selection process, applicants will be required to identify those courthouses to which they would be willing and able to travel if selected. Probate and Family Court locations include Boston, Barnstable, Pittsfield, New Bedford, Fall River, Salem, Lawrence, Greenfield, Springfield, Northampton, Cambridge, Canton, Brockton, and Worcester. Please note that not all Fellows can be assigned to Boston.