2020 NLG Leonard I. Weinglass Memorial Fellowship

NLG Leonard I. Weinglass Memorial Fellowship
2020 Announcement and Application Instructions

LeonaLeonard_Weinglassrd I. Weinglass (1933-2011) was a criminal defense attorney and constitutional law advocate. Over the course of his career, he represented political activists, government opponents, and criminal defendants—including Angela Davis, the Cuban Five, the Chicago Seven, the Pentagon Papers, and the death row appeals of Mumia Abu-Jamal—in a half century of politically significant cases. He was a longtime Guild member and served as Chair of the NLG International Committee.

Thanks to a generous bequest from the Weinglass estate, the NLG Foundation has established a fellowship for recent law graduates. Each year, one fellow will receive a stipend to work for the NLG on a specific civil rights or civil liberties project. Previous fellows have developed projects to assist with parole and sponsorship for LGBTQ+ migrants, reunite American citizen-children with undocumented parents who have been deported to their country of origin, support community bond funds, and fight a new maximum security prison planned for construction on a former coal mining site.


The Weinglass Fellowship is open to all NLG members who have graduated from law school in the past five years. Applicants must be current in their NLG dues.* Applicants must develop a project with the sponsorship of an NLG entity, which includes NLG Chapters/RegionsCommittees, Projects,** and the NLG National Office. The sponsoring entity agrees to collaborate with the fellow to create a project and to offer (or assist to help locate) a working space for the Fellow over the course of their project.

One Fellow will be chosen annually and receive a $4,250 award to work on a 10-week project that is in line with the mission of the NLG and the career of Leonard Weinglass. The Fellow will also receive free registration for one year to the NLG Law for the People Convention, and will be highlighted on the Guild website, social media sites, and Guild Notes.

To apply for the NLG Leonard I. Weinglass Memorial Fellowship, email the following materials to Director of Research and Education Traci Yoder at traci@nlg.org by Monday May 18, 2020:

  • Cover letter describing your previous experience and reasons you are applying
  • Current resume (no more than 3 pages)
  • Essay between 1,000-1,500 words describing your proposed project
  • Contact information for two references
  • Letter from the NLG entity who will be sponsoring your project

Selection and Notification
The Fellowship winner will be chosen by a committee composed of NLG Foundation Board members, NLG National Executive Committee members, and representatives from the NLG National Office. The committee will review the applications with an eye toward projects that meet the fellowship criteria, address a relevant and timely issue, and further the NLG’s mission of people’s lawyering and placing human rights over property interests. The fellowship recipient will be notified in early June.

*To join or renew, go to nlg.org/join. If you are unsure of your membership status, please email NLG Director of Membership Lisa Drapkin at membership@nlg.org.

**NLG Projects include the National Police Accountability Project, the National Immigration Project, and the Sugar Law Center.

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