On November 26, Gideon’s Promise—the nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring adequate legal representation for all—announced its Law School Partnership Project (LSPP). NYU School of Law, UCLA School of Law, and American University Washington College of Law are the first three schools to take part in this new venture.

The LSPP will recruit exceptional third-year law students, placing them in public defender offices where they are needed most. Selected law students will be guaranteed a fellowship from a sponsoring law school as well as a permanent position within a year at the office where they are placed.

By 2016, the program projects an expansion to 20 participating law schools and 20 public defender offices.

Gideon’s Promise was named for Gideon v. Wainwright (1963), in which the Supreme Court ruled that the Fourteenth Amendment guaranteed legal representation to everyone. The organization takes that ruling seriously, emphasizing representation for indigent defendants in particular; it supports public defenders with continuing education and mentorship programs. One of its key projects is the Core 101 program, a three-year training program that gives public defenders the skills to provide meaningful representation to their clients.

Posted on December 3, 2013