Simpson Thacher proudly offers several types of intensive public service programs for associates. Each program reflects the Firm’s robust belief in public service.
Year-Long Public Service Fellowship Program
The Firm offers first- through third-year associates the opportunity to spend a full year on a public service project they select supported with a stipend and benefits. At the conclusion of the Fellowship, associates may return to Simpson Thacher. The Fellowship Program is designed to enable developing lawyers to provide public-service assistance to organizations, communities or individuals—both in the United States and abroad.
The Fellowship Program allows Simpson Thacher lawyers to make a sustained commitment to public interest organizations—at a time when many are facing budgetary constraints and an increased need for services. The Firm also expects that its ongoing pro bono practice will benefit from Fellows’ experiences and connections when they return to the Firm after their fellowship.
Simpson Thacher sponsors a number of Public Interest Fellowships for summer associates. Fellows in the program spend eight weeks at the Firm, and then four to six weeks on a significant public service project of their own choosing.
We also sponsor the Cyrus Vance Fellowship for one summer associate from Yale Law School. A Vance Fellow spends a minimum of eight weeks at Simpson Thacher, and then the remaining weeks of the summer on a human rights project. The Fellowship was created to honor our former partner Cyrus Vance, who graduated from Yale and melded a distinguished career in private practice with public service. The Vance Fellowship is offered in conjunction with Yale Law School’s Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights.
Public Interest Fellows and Vance Fellows receive a full summer-associate salary.
Legal Services Externship
The Firm supports a corporate associate who works full-time at Brooklyn A Legal Services’ Economic Development Unit in New York for 4 months, while receiving their full pay and benefits from the Firm. The associate typically works on a range of “in-house counsel” services that community-based organizations do not have the financial resources to obtain, such as: contract review, drafting and negotiation; corporate, tax, real estate and financing matters; representation in administrative, licensing and regulatory proceedings; and strategic consultation for long-range community planning.
Equal Justice Works Fellowship
Together with Morgan Stanley, the Firm sponsors a two-year Equal Justice Works Fellowship, allowing a recent law school graduate “to create a just society by mobilizing the next generation of lawyers committed to equal justice.” The fellowships are awarded to lawyers who have developed new and innovating legal projects that can impact lives and serve communities in need of legal assistance. The Simpson Thacher/Morgan Stanley fellows have worked at Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, representing public housing tenants living in deplorable conditions, Human Rights First, fighting for immigration reform and policy changes, the ACLU Women’s Rights Project, providing legal representation, policy advocacy, and community outreach to domestic violence victims whose housing and safety are threatened by discriminatory local laws in New York and Pennsylvania; and at Sanctuary for Families, addressing the legal needs of sex trafficking victims in New York by providing representation in criminal, family and immigration cases.