The application process for the 2013 awards is now open to public interest lawyers from a number of countries in Europe, Asia, and Africa to apply for the PILnet Fellowship for 2013-2014, which is an eight months study and practical experience in New York City. The program, now in its sixteenth year, targets future leaders in various fields of public interest advocacy.
During their eight months in the U.S., PILnet Fellows will develop a project designed to further the rule of law in their home countries. The Fellowship begins with a semester of study at Columbia University School of Law and a series of professional development trainings. In the spring, the PILnet Fellows will participate in study visits to various cities in the U.S. and Europe, as well as two-month internships at New York-based public interest law organizations. At the end of the program, the Fellows will return to their home countries ready to implement the rule of law projects they developed during their Fellowships.
Worth of Awards

  • PILnet will cover the cost of a round-trip coach airfare to the U.S., housing in New York City, a monthly stipend, and emergency medical insurance.
  • Selected candidates for the Fellowship are required to sign an agreement to the terms of the program, stating that they will complete it in full.
  • Please note that PILnet cannot provide any financial or logistical assistance for accompanying family members, including in securing suitable family housing. Moreover, Columbia University requires evidence of financial support for accompanying family members before it can issue official invitations required for visa applications. Providing proof of the requisite financial support for accompanying family members will be the responsibility of the applicant.


  • Applications for the 2013 PILnet Fellowship are invited from candidates in Brazil, China, the Middle East and North Africa region, Nepal, Nigeria, Russia, and Southeast Asia
  • For the Middle East and North Africa region, special consideration will be given to candidates in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia
  • For Southeast Asia, special consideration will be given to candidates from Indonesia, Cambodia, and Vietnam

How to Apply

  • Submission of application materials via e-mail is strongly encouraged, though printed materials may also be submitted via regular mail to the address on the application.
  • INCOMPLETE APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED. If an application is submitted without one of the required components, it will be disqualified unless the applicant can justify why s/he cannot obtain the required information.
  • Nominating NGOs in the applicants’ home countries submit letters of support to ensure that Fellows will have a platform from which to implement their projects when they return home at the end of the fellowship.

Applicants MUST submit the following documents (all non-English materials must be accompanied by an English translation):

  • A completed program application form
  • A curriculum vitae or resume;
  • A nominating letter from the organization where the applicant is employed, supporting the candidate’s application to the program and indicating how the applicant’s participation in the PILnet Fellowship would benefit the organization/institution;
  • Two recommendation letters from individuals familiar with the candidate’s professional abilities. At least one recommendation letter must come from an individual outside of the nominating organization;
  • A description of a rule of law project that the applicant would like to work on during the program, with practical significance to his/her work upon returning home;*
  • A statement of purpose describing the candidate’s motivation for applying to the PILnet Fellowship and how prior professional and academic experiences have prepared him/her to succeed as a PILnet Fellow (1000 words maximum);
  • A copy of the applicant’s law school transcript;
  • A copy of the applicant’s bar membership if available; and
  • Information on the nominating organization/institution.

*The rule of law project description should be a two- to three-page outline of a project that the candidate would like to develop during the PILnet Fellowship period. This should include:

  • A preliminary description of the rule of law project;
  • Why it is important that this project be executed;
  • How and why the project can succeed; and
  • Who will be engaged in the home country, the U.S., and Europe, in order to improve the quality of the project.

The closing date for receiving applications at PILnet is Monday, March 25, 2013. Applications are generally accepted from January through March of each year. You are encouraged to check back during this time for more details on how to apply and/or subscribe to PILnet Listings to receive notifications regarding this and other opportunities and resources.
For more details and to apply, visit here.