Quick Exit / Salida Rapida
Quick Exit / Salida Rapida


Free to Be Youth Project – Legal Fellowship 2025

The Free to Be Youth Project (FYP) seeks to sponsor third-year law students, judicial law clerks, and recent law graduates for Skadden/Equal Justice Works/Justice Catalyst public interest law fellowships starting in Fall of 2025. The fellow will join the legal team and will work collaboratively with FYP to design a project focused on the collateral consequences that LGBTQ+ youth experience as they navigate the foster care system in New York City.

FYP is one of eight independent projects at the Urban Justice Center. FYP is a legal services, systemic advocacy, and community education project that focuses on the legal needs of unhoused and streetinvolved lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ+) young people (up to age 24) in New York City.

FYP works to interrupt the cycles of poverty and criminalization that prevent LGBTQ+ youth from living fulfilling, enriching lives. We advocate for LGBTQ+ young people living in poverty on a wide range of issues, including safe and affirming access to shelter, benefits, accurate identification documents, employment, and legal immigration status.

Fellowship Project

LGBTQ+ youth are overrepresented in foster care; with more than 1 in 3 NYC foster youths from 13-20 identifying as members of this community. LGBTQ+ youth are often driven out of and rejected by their families because of their identities. They are more likely to be placed in group homes or state-run residential care, and more likely to experience homelessness. LGBTQ+ youth, especially those of color, are also often over policed. That over policing can lead to arrest, conviction, possible prison time, and a host of secondary consequences that threaten their safety and stability as they transition to adulthood.

The cohort of LGBTQ+ youth navigating these systems can become trapped in a foster care-to-prison pipeline. At FYP we want to fill this critical gap in legal services by providing these young people with representation. Through providing these young people with legal representation we will work with them to achieve the necessary stability to divert them from this pipeline. Aiding LGBTQ+ youth with affirming and culturally aware legal representation can make the difference in systems that were not initially designed for them to thrive Providing these youth with representation will remove barriers to stable housing, employment/education opportunities, and work to ensure LGBTQ+ youth interacting with the criminal-legal system can minimize the attendant collateral consequences. A successful project will expand the number of clients that FYP can serve, and will center their legal and social service needs in a holistic manner.


  • Rising third year law student, judicial law clerk, and/or recent law school graduate.
  • Demonstrated commitment to social justice and LGBTQ+ issues.
  • Committed to client-centered representation.
  • Good oral and written communication skills.
  • Ability to work effectively and collaboratively
  • Willingness and ability to commit time to write, including meet interim and final deadlines, for one or more fellowship applications, with input, guidance, and supervision from FYP.

Position Information

This is an exempt, salaried position. The normal schedule is Monday to Friday 9am-5pm. The position is based at FYP’s offices. There is a two-day per week in-person requirement for all attorneys. Attorneys are also expected to handle all of their own cases in court, as well as meet with clients as needed, even if that results in additional days in-person.

Salary: UJC is a unionized workplace, and salaries are set pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement. This is not a bargaining unit position. The current salary range for this position is between $64,000-70,000. UJC offers comprehensive benefits including health insurance and a 401(k) retirement plan. In order to support work/life balance and family-friendly policies, UJC has generous vacation, sick, holiday,
family, and medical leave policies.

Application Instructions

Please submit a cover letter describing your proposed fellowship project and a copy of your resume. We will ask for writing samples and references before interviewing. Applications will be reviewed until the position is filled.   Please address it to Amy Leipziger, Project Director, at aleipziger@urbanjustice.org. We recommend you submit your application by July 23, 2024.

Contact Urban Justice Center

We welcome your questions and comments

Main Office

40 Rector St., 9th Floor
New York, NY 10006