Work-Study Opportunities

The Bluhm Legal Clinic is hiring eligible 1L and 2L Northwestern Law students for the summer federal work-study program. The Federal Work-Study Program (FWS) was established by Congress to help students find employment to meet educational costs while providing work experience related to academic majors and interests. The work done by the Clinic often contributes to reform initiatives arising from representation of individuals and groups.

Interviews for the positions in the Clinic will take place during the month of February. Below is additional information about this Clinic opportunity:

Application packet:
Northwestern Law 1L and 2L students must submit a cover letter (addressed to the professor), resume, unofficial transcript, a writing sample, and your NU student identification number (to verify your eligibility) during the application period.  Students who are applying for FWS must complete both the current year's FAFSA and the upcoming year's FAFSA prior to submitting the application packet to the Clinic. 

Work Study positions are full-time at 37.5 hours a week and receive $16/hour. Overtime is prohibited under the FWS program.

The Clinic Work Study program typically runs for 12 weeks, starting the third week of May and concluding the beginning of August.

Eligibility and Financial Aid:
Northwestern Law students who have finished their first year and are currently receiving or eligible to receive a federal loan.  If you are not eligible to apply for a federal loan you are not eligble for this opportunity.

Eligibility to participate in FWS will be based on the Chicago Office of Financial Aid's review of the current year's FAFSA and the upcoming year's FAFSA.  Federal regulations assume that a portion of awarded work-study funding will be used towards educational expenses in the following academic year.  Receiving work-study funding may impact the amount of loan funding that the Chicago Office of Financial Aid can offer eligible students in the upcoming academic year.  Please contact the Financial Aid office at (312) 503-8722 or for additional information.


2018 Summer Federal Work-Study Opportunities in the Bluhm Legal Clinic

Below is a list of of the summer work study opportunities in the Clinic. Current Northwestern Law students may apply to a maximum of three. If you apply to more than one, you must rank the supervising attorneys in your order of preference. 

Although we cannot guarantee an interview with each of your choices, we will do our best to accommodate all candidates with more than one interviewing opportunity. Your application packet should be e-mailed before 5pm on Friday, February 2, 2018.

Bluhm Legal Clinic

  • Thomas Geraghty or Maria Hawlio - Our work includes both direct representation of clients charged in criminal matters and policy work dealing with the criminal system and international criminal justice issues. Summer students will assist in pre/post trial representation of children and young adults charged with crimes in juvenile and criminal courts. Students will meet with clients, assist in the investigation of cases, draft legal motions, and help prepare for court hearings. Our work will also include policy projects focused on decreasing the rates of incarceration, providing access to justice, and reforming the criminal system.

Center for Criminal Defense

  • Jeff Urdangen - The work-study student will assist with trial and motion preparation in several pending cases.  There will be opportunities for client contact, including those who are incarcerated.  A particular focus will be on the case of a client we represent who will be presenting a Battered Woman’s Defense. Her homicide jury trial will begin in late June. The student will help with legal analysis, witness prep, working with our private investigator, and analyzing computer forensics, among other tasks. There will be the opportunity to attend sessions of the trial and to assist there when needed.  

Center on Negotiation and Mediation

  • Alyson Carrel - The summer student would provide research assistance to finalize the new edition of the Dispute Resolution and Lawyers casebook. This edition will be one of the first casebooks in their new “Interactive” series.  So not only will the student research and writing on topics such as client counseling & interviewing, negotiation, mediation, arbitration, and online dispute resolution, but the student will also help develop and test new online components to enhance the new “interactive” format.  This would be a great fit for a student interested in studying dispute resolution, but also a student interested in the use of technology, legal education, and/or scholarship.
  • Daniel Gandert - The student will work on research related to current issues in sports dispute resolution.  This will include looking at the cases relating to Russian athlete participation at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games as well as the allegations of Russian athletes involved in doping during past Olympic Games. The student will also look at the procedures for the new Basketball Arbitration Tribunal (BAT) as well as research recent developments in sports mediation. Other projects include looking at the Court of Arbitration for Sport split in cases regarding what constitutes an intentional doping offence and helping with an article describing why Puerta, one of the major Court of Arbitration for Sport cases, remains valid case law. There is hope that the student can also work to create a sports dispute resolution simulation. Additionally, the student will work on other projects pertaining to the Center on Negotiation and Mediation which can include other areas of dispute resolution.

Center on Wrongful Convictions

  • Greg Swygert - The Center on Wrongful Convictions (CWC) represents persons convicted of serious crimes who have claims of innocence, and advocates for reform of the criminal justice system to avoid conviction of the innocent. The summer student will assist in one or more of the following activities: pending investigation and litigation on behalf of current CWC clients; intake and case screening; and policy research. Specific tasks may include: reviewing inmate requests for legal representation; gathering and analyzing documents from courts, police departments, and laboratories; factual investigation though internet research, witness interviews, expert consultations, and other means; legal research; drafting internal memos and/or court documents; assistance in preparing for court hearings; and client communications and counseling.
 Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth
  • Steve Drizin and Laura Nirider - Summer student will assist in representation of a number of pending cases of wrongfully convicted individuals who were accused of crimes when they were teenagers or children. I work primarily on cases on appeal, in the post-conviction process, or as counsel amicus curiae. Tasks may include investigation, legal and factual research, motion and brief writing, and assistance in preparation for court proceedings. Student will also spend a portion of time assisting with policy-related matters relating to juvenile interrogation reform.
Children and Family Justice Center
  • Shobha Mahadev, Carolyn Frazier and Scott Main - Student in this work-study position will have the unique opportunity to represent youth in conflict with the law in a wide variety of settings and gain valuable litigation and policy advocacy experience in the process. Student may advocate for youth in delinquency proceedings and pre/post-trial hearings in juvenile court; juvenile appeals; and/or various collateral proceedings (e.g. educational, criminal records expungement, and registry hearings). As part of a national litigation effort following the groundbreaking 2012 U. S. Supreme Court decision in Miller v. Alabama (which banned mandatory life sentences for youth), student may also work on amicus briefs or represent individuals who were given life or other lengthy sentences for crimes they allegedly committed as children and/or provide research support and expertise to attorneys around the state litigating such cases. Interested student will also gain public policy advocacy experience by working on one of the CFJC's many policy initiatives. Student can expect to develop many critical skills in this course that will prepare them for the practice of law, including interviewing, counseling, investigation, legal research, negotiation, written and oral advocacy, client relations, and professionalism.

Environmental Advocacy Clinic

  • Nancy Loeb and Debbie Chizewer - The summer student will assist in ongoing projects to protect the environment and advocate for environmental justice, including the clinic's representation of the residents of East Chicago, Indiana through litigation and advocacy to ensure a better and faster clean up of lead and arsenic contamination at their residences, litigation and advocacy challenging silica sand mining in LaSalle County, IL, and environmental justice advocacy to protect neighborhoods in the south side of Chicago and to ensure that energy efficiency and renewable energy programs are introduced into economically disadvantaged Chicago neighborhoods.

Investor Protector Clinic and Complex Civil Litigation

  • Sam Tenenbaum - Students will be given the opportunity to learn the practical aspects of complex civil litigation. Complex civil litigation will cover the range of lawyering skills, including client relations, drafting of pleadings, the discovery process, depositions, arguing motions in court, bench and jury trials as well as appeals. In addition, students will be exposed to the economic considerations that are involved in the litigation process and will become involved in marketing, fee negotiation and budgeting, as well as related ethical concerns. Students will work on a range of cases, such as: civil rights litigation, business disputes, real estate, insurance, product liability, personal injury, shareholder rights litigation and securities litigation.

    Students in this course will also work in the Investor Protection Center, which provides representation to investors with limited income and have disputes with stockbrokers, investment advisors, or securities firms. Students will be given the opportunity to learn the practical aspects of securities mediation and arbitration. Students will be responsible for interviewing and counseling clients, explaining the arbitration and mediation process, investigation and selecting potential arbitrators, conducting discovery, negotiating settlements, and participating in arbitration trials and mediations. Finally students will be exposed to the economic considerations that are involved in securities arbitration.

MacArthur Justice Center

  • Sheila Bedi, Locke Bowman, Alexa Van Brunt, Vanessa del Valle, David Shapiro - Working jointly with and under the supervision of the MacArthur Justice Center attorneys, students will participate in litigation and other advocacy relating to criminal justice issues. The work of the Center varies as its docket of cases changes and evolves. In the past, the Center has litigated cases relating to the federal government's detention of "enemy combatants" at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba detention facility; prison reform; parole practices; compensation for the wrongfully convicted; and the adequacy of funding for indigent public defense. In appropriate cases, the Center has also engaged in the direct representation of criminal defendants at the trial, appellate, and post-conviction levels.

    The MacArthur Justice Center is focused on the litigation of complex civil rights cases and other advocacy projects relating to the improvement of the Illinois criminal justice system. Working jointly with and under the supervision of the MacArthur Justice Center attorneys, students will participate in litigation and other advocacy relating to criminal justice issues. The work of the Center varies as its docket of cases changes and evolves. Currently, the Center is litigating cases relating to prison reform, parole practices, and transparency in public government. The Center also has cases involving the use of torture by police officers under the command of Jon Burge to extract confessions, as well as cases in which wrongfully accused persons are suing police for damages for the consequences of the false charges.

    Students' work will vary depending upon their level of commitment and energy and the demands of the particular litigation. Typically, students research and draft pleadings and legal memoranda, including briefs to trial and appellate courts; assist with and/or conduct formal and informal discovery; and assist in the in-court presentation of evidence and argument. The MacArthur Justice Center aims to provide students an opportunity to apply the principles they have learned in the classroom in a concrete procedural context, where they and an experienced attorney attempt to use the law to achieve a goal. It is hoped that students in the course will face and address issues of professional responsibility in a real life context; that they will reflect upon the connection between their practice and their personal values; and that they will begin to learn how to be effective colleagues.

revised 1/29/18