Joan L. Ellenbogen Memorial Fellowship- Lakeville


The Joan L. Ellenbogen Memorial Fellowship 

with host organization LAWNYⓇ


Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc.® (LawNY) is a not-for-profit law firm providing free legal services to eligible clients in civil cases through seven regional offices covering a 14-county area in Western New York. LawNY receives funding from the Legal Services Corporation, New York State Office of Court Administration, Interest on Lawyer Accounts (IOLA) Fund of the State of New York, United Way, AmeriCorps, Equal Justice Works, and numerous municipalities, foundations and donors. Our workforce includes approximately 145 attorneys, paralegals and support staff. It is LawNY’s mission to increase access to justice through excellent legal representation, advocacy and service. LawNY’s vision is a society where access to justice is not determined by one’s social or economic status. LawNY seeks to address systemic inequalities and injustices and foster racial, social and economic justice.



This fellowship was established by the New York State Bar Foundation in memory of Joan L. Ellenbogen with the goal of encouraging lawyers and law students in the practice of matrimonial law, so that more New York State residents will have access to representation and a greater understanding of their legal rights in matrimonial and family law proceedings.



LawNY seeks to host an Ellenbogen Fellow from September 2020 through November 2020 in our Lakeville, New York office. This opportunity is available to a third-year law student enrolled in a law school in New York State, or to a newly graduated law student who has been awarded a degree from a law school in New York State. If a law student, the Fellow will work 20 hours/week for 10 weeks. If a law school graduate, the Fellow will work a minimum of 30 hours/week, but no more than 40 hours/week, for 10 weeks.


The goal of the Fellowship is to provide targeted, holistic, civil legal assistance to domestic violence survivors in rural Livingston County. The Fellow will work with LawNY advocates to assist survivors who cannot afford legal representation, typically those below 200% of the federal poverty level. The Fellow will plan a legal clinic to provide information about child support, custody modification, and/or divorce issues. Legal information will also be provided through know-your-rights presentations. Further, the Fellow will conduct intakes and connect clients to resources and legal representation, and will work closely with LawNY’s regional pro bono team to make connections with the local legal community and to engage in outreach to community agencies to establish referral systems. Through their work, the Fellow will serve at least 15 Livingston County domestic violence survivors with family law issues, including child support, divorces, maintenance issues, and related matters. From the 15 cases, the Fellow will prepare at least three cases for divorce filing.



Fellows will receive $4,000 for 10 weeks of work.



Applicants must either be a third-year law student enrolled in a law school in New York State, or a recent graduate of a New York State law school. Applicants must have excellent advocacy and writing skills, and must be able to communicate effectively with disadvantaged people from diverse backgrounds and cultures.  Preference for applicants familiar with community agencies in Livingston County, especially organizations that provide supportive services to survivors of domestic violence.



Please submit a cover letter, resume, and list of three references to Kelly McGovern, Esq., Director of Pro Bono Affairs, LawNY, 1 W. Main Street, Suite 400, Rochester, NY 14614 at by July 17, 2020. Applications will only be accepted via email. 


LawNY encourages applications from diverse candidates. LawNY welcomes applications regardless of race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy, national origin, age, disability, genetic information or any other consideration protected by law. 


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