The Fellowship

Aren’t there already numerous public interest fellowships available for students planning on careers in the public sector?

While there are some public interest fellowships available, the demand for such fellowships far outstrips their supply. There are incredibly talented students willing to work in the public sector for very little money. However, these highly qualified students are nevertheless having a difficult time finding a job because the economy has devastated entry-level hiring in non-profits, government and the like. This fellowship fulfills a need felt by both Harvard Law School graduates and public sector organizations.


Will the money awarded supplement income that the recipient is already receiving from a public interest organization or government office?

No. A One Day’s Work fellowship provides an entire one-year salary for a graduate working in the public sector. As Professor Rubenstein, a former recipient of an HLS student-funded fellowship, explains:

“When I graduated from HLS in 1986, I wanted to work on HIV-related legal issues because my friends were dying and I assumed I would too. I pleaded with the ACLU and other groups to hire me, but no money was available. My own HLS classmates came to the rescue. We had a program then called the 1% solution. Classmates contributed 1% of their income into a pool and the money was used to provide fellowships to those of us in the class pursuing public interests jobs. I secured one of these coveted Harvard Fellowships in Public Interest Law, called the ACLU back and told them I could pay my own way, and I soon joined their national legal staff and helped launch their AIDS Project. Without my classmates’ funding support, I would not have been able to undertake this public interest work at that critical moment.


How does the fellowship application process work?

To apply for the One Day’s Work fellowship, a student must (1) find a sponsoring organization, (2) develop a job description and fellowship proposal in partnership with the organization and (3) obtain a letter of support from the organization. After the sponsoring organization approves the proposal, the student must submit his or her application to the One Day’s Work Selection Committee for consideration. This is a similar process to other major public interest fellowships.


How is the fellowship awarded?

The selection process will be administered by the Office of Public Interest Advising. A Selection Committee appointed by Dean Minow will choose a recipient based on the potential for an outstanding career in public service. Selection criteria will also include the applicants’ summer jobs, clinical and externship placements, course selection and research projects that demonstrate an interest in and the skills to perform the proposed work.


When will the fellowship be awarded?

The fellowship will be awarded in the spring of 2014, to a student in the Class of 2014 entering the public sector upon graduation.



How can I donate?

First, if you haven’t yet, please fill out our donation form on the Donation page (click the button to the right). Once you’ve filled out the form, you can donate in one of two ways:

1) By check: Please bring your check to the Dean of Student’s Office and place it in the One Day’s Work mailbox located at the front desk.  Checks should be made payable to “Harvard Law School” and include “One Day’s Work” in the memo line.

2) By credit card: Please visit the Harvard Alumni Portal to make your secure credit card donation. Just click “Harvard Law School,” then fill in your information, choose “Other” from the Gift Designation drop-down and write “One Day’s Work” in the Comments/Other Designation box. Please be sure to forward your donation confirmation e-mail to Darris Saylors ( at the Dean of Students Office.


What if I don’t have the money in my bank account to pay now?

You can donate anytime – today, this summer or next fall. Please fill out a donation form and check the box that indicates you’d like to donate later. One Day’s Work will be in touch with you over the summer.


What if I can’t donate a full day’s pay?

While we encourage students to donate one day’s worth of their summer salary, any donation is greatly appreciated.


Are my contributions tax deductible?

Yes! After your donation is received, the Dean of Students Office will send you a thank you letter acknowledging your contribution. That letter can be used as documentation of your charitable contribution for tax purposes. If you donate by credit card, please be sure to e-mail your credit card donation confirmation to Darris Saylors ( at the Dean of Students Office.


What if I’m not going into the private sector but I still want to help?

Convince two friends entering the private sector that they should donate in your stead! Word of mouth advertising and shameless campaigning on behalf of One Day’s Work are greatly appreciated.


Who do I contact if I need more information?

Please email for more information about One Day’s Work.

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