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Gillis Long Social Justice Fellowship

The Gillis Long Poverty Law Center and Southeast Louisiana Legal Services partner to offer the Gillis Long Social Justice Fellowship to a recent Loyola College of Law graduate who works for one year in one of SLLS' six offices, serving the unmet legal needs of the community.

  • 2016-2017 Fellow: Scott Ledbetter
  • 2017-2018 Fellow: Rachel Campbell
  • 2018-2019 Fellow: Kristina Bison
  • 2019-2020 Fellow: Andrew Maberry
  • 2020-2021 Fellows: Constance Tullier and Christopher Kerrigan
  • 2021-2022 Fellow: Chloe Rippel
  • 2022-2023 Fellow: Chanelle Johnson

Southeast Louisiana Legal Services (SLLS) is the largest non-profit law firm in Louisiana, serving twenty-two parishes east of the Atchafalaya basin. SLLS has offices in Baton Rouge, Covington, Hammond, Harvey, Houma and New Orleans. The organization provides free civil legal aid to low-income households and other vulnerable people.

2023 Fall Gillis Long Social Justice Fellowship

The Gillis Long Poverty Law Center and Southeast Louisiana Legal Services jointly offer the Gillis Long Social Justice Fellowship* to a recent Loyola New Orleans College of Law graduate. We are accepting applications for the 2023 Fall Gillis Long Social Justice Fellowship.

*The application deadline to apply for the 2023 fellowship has passed.

Southeast Louisiana Legal Services (SLLS) is the largest non-profit law firm in Louisiana and provides free civil legal aid to low-income households.   SLLS serves twenty-two parishes east of the Atchafalaya basin with offices in Baton Rouge, Covington, Gretna, Hammond, Houma Luling, and New Orleans.

SLLS anticipates hiring the Gillis Long Social Justice Fellow to begin in October 2023.  During the one-year fellowship, the fellow is employed as an attorney by SLLS. The applicant must be a May 2023 J.D. candidate of Loyola University New Orleans College of Law and must pass the July 2023 Louisiana Bar Exam. The fall fellow will be selected during Spring 2023.

The Fellow will be embedded in SLLS’ Family Law & Domestic Violence Unit in its New Orleans office. This Unit provides free civil legal assistance to low-income households and domestic violence survivors in divorce, custody, and protective order cases. This Unit also works closely with our Pro Bono Unit to refer appropriate cases to volunteer attorneys. Staff participate in regular strategy and advocacy meetings with SLLS’ Family Law Practice Area Group and work with a variety of community partners to provide free legal assistance to help stabilized the lives of vulnerable and underserved populations in Orleans, Eastbank Jefferson, and St. Bernard parishes. The Fellow is expected to maintain a client caseload sufficient to help support the capacity of the Family Law & Domestic Violence Unit while also working with other firm staff, government agencies, social services organizations and medical providers to coordinate delivery of legal services to clients. On-site, in-person legal clinic outreach on a regular basis and community outreach may also be required as needed.

The ideal candidate will demonstrate:

  • Proficiency in written and oral communication, client counseling, advocacy, and social service referrals.
  • Dependability, ability to respond to emergencies, good work habits, self-motivation, capacity to work well with others.
  • Commitment to working with underserved legal communities as part of a dynamic team.

The Gillis Long Poverty Law Center and SLLS are delighted to partner with Monica and Mark Surprenant to offer the Monica and Mark Surprenant Graduate Award, which provides funds that will be used as additional support for the Fall Gillis Long Social Justice Fellowship.  The attorney who accepts the fellowship may be eligible for additional funds up to $10,000.00. 

Full-time staff attorney positions, including Fellowships, require admission to practice law in Louisiana. SLLS does not permit the outside practice of law. Starting salary for a full time staff attorney is $50,000. Spanish-English bilingualism and/or Vietnamese-English bilingualism is a plus that receives extra compensation. The Fellow may qualify for loan forgiveness programs offered by the Louisiana Bar Foundation, the Legal Services Corporation, or their law school if employed for a full year with SLLS. It is incumbent upon the selected candidate to make those applications for loan forgiveness.

SLLS is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, or veteran status. 

The Monica and Mark Surprenant Graduate Award

The Gillis Long Poverty Law Center and Southeast Louisiana Legal Services are delighted to partner with Monica and Mark Surprenant to offer the Monica and Mark Surprenant Graduate Award, which provides funds that will be used as additional support for the Fall Gillis Long Social Justice Fellowship.  This award will increase the salary of the fellow who continues working for Southeast Louisiana Legal Services (SLLS). The 2023 Fall Gillis Long Social Justice Fellow will receive the 2023 Graduate Award Recipient, an installment of $5,000 upon passage of the July 2023 Louisiana Bar Exam, which will then allow the recipient to be officially recognized as a practicing lawyer at SLLS. If the recipient does NOT pass the July 2023 Louisiana Bar Exam, he/she will not receive the Award, even if he/she subsequently passes the February 2024 Louisiana Bar Exam. A second $5,000 installment will be paid to the recipient in July 2025, assuming the Fellow is still working as a lawyer at SLLS on that date. The award is contingent on continued employment at Southeast Louisiana Legal Services after the one year Gillis Long Social Justice Fellowship ends.