New Clifford Chance Foundation Legal Fellowship Will Help Increase Access to Education

NEW YORK, NY – The Vera Institute of Justice (Vera) today announced a new year-long legal fellowship for a first-year attorney funded by the Clifford Chance Foundation.

Working primarily in Vera’s in-house legal department with its corporate counsel and special counsel on transactions, policies, and compliance, the Clifford Chance Foundation Fellow at Vera will also support Vera’s Expanding Access to Postsecondary Education Project.

The federal Department of Education recently announced the Second Chance Pell Pilot initiative to allow eligible people incarcerated in state and federal prisons to pursue postsecondary education through Pell Grants—federal financial aid to which they had been denied access by the 1994 Crime Bill. Through the Expanding Access project, Vera will provide technical assistance to correctional facilities that partner with colleges and universities as part of the experiment. The pilot program will generate a greater need among states to understand what their own regulatory options are—for example, some states have independent bars to funding higher education for people who are incarcerated. The Fellow will assist with researching these requirements, in addition to general organizational legal needs including nonprofit compliance; negotiation of a wide gamut of agreements; lobbying law and regulation; and employment law.

“We are thrilled and grateful for the opportunity to partner with the Clifford Chance Foundation on our shared goal of ensuring that our society lives up to both its promise of education and its rule of law,” said Vera President Nicholas Turner. “Vera’s attorneys play a critical role in our organization by allowing it to function efficiently, so that the only obstacles to our complex work are those inherent in it. We gladly welcome the addition of the Fellow to our team.”

Clifford Chance is a global law firm with U.S. offices in New York and DC. Since 2007, the Clifford Chance Foundation has provided funds at both a local and global level to community and international charities.

The Clifford Chance Foundation Fellowship at Vera will serve as the anchor of a broader pro bono relationship between Vera and Clifford Chance, enabling the organization to take advantage of the firm’s experienced attorneys while the Foundation invests in its mission of improving access to education.

The fellowship is open to all law school students in their third year and will begin in the fall of 2016. More information, including the full application, is available online.