Juvenile Law Center is accepting applications for recent law school graduates or students who seek a project-based fellowship funded by an external organization or law school, e.g. Skadden Fellowship, Equal Justice Works, Independence Foundation. With support of Juvenile Law Center, the candidate will design a project focused on decriminalization or decarceration/deinstitutionalization efforts to keep young people out of the child welfare or juvenile and criminal legal system.

Juvenile Law Center advocates for rights, dignity, equity and opportunity for all youth in the child welfare and justice systems. Juvenile Law Center uses multiple approaches to accomplish our ends: legal advocacy, policy advocacy, youth-led advocacy, and strategic communications. Our strategies are interconnected. We pair impact litigation with policy advocacy and community organizing to push for lasting and transformative change. Our policy agenda is informed by—and often conducted in collaboration with—youth, family members, and grassroots partners. Our youth advocacy campaigns respond to legal and policy opportunities in the field. In all of our work, we seek out strategic communications opportunities to enhance the work and to shape public opinion. We seek opportunities across the country to work where we can respond to identified needs in the community, build on local partnerships, leverage legislative and legal reform opportunities and create momentum for change.  Current issues can be found here


Position Purpose

The Project-Based fellow will design a project focused on decriminalization or decarceration/deinstitutionalization efforts to keep young people out of the child welfare or juvenile and criminal legal system. Once selected, Juvenile Law Center will act as the sponsoring organization and work with the selected candidate to design a project to apply for a project-based fellowship through a funding organization, e.g. Skadden, Equal Justice Works, Independence, Stoneleigh. 

The fellow will be an integral part of Juvenile Law Policing Youth and Families team or Youth Safely Home team, collaborating in a highly collegial atmosphere with attorneys, communications, development, and operations staff, and in partnership with colleagues around the state and country. The work may include legal and policy research and writing, community organizing, and technical assistance. Juvenile Law Center is committed to equity and inclusion internally and in our work. We value youth voice and the candidate must be able to work alongside youth advocates to further our mission. 

Essential Functions (include, but not limited to):

While the exact work of the Project-Based Fellow will be dependent on the project design, Juvenile Law Center’s work is centered on multiple strategies that will be employed by the Fellow.

  • Engage in legal and policy research and analysis, including analyzing statutes and regulations 
  • Engage in legal and policy research and writing for amicus briefs, litigation, and national reports as needed
  • Provide public education at conferences, convenings, and meetings
  • Work with community members to identify needs and make recommendations rooted in youth and community voice

Qualifications & Salary


J.D. by Spring 2025 

Required Skills:

  • Demonstrated commitment to civil rights, racial justice, economic justice, and children’s rights 
  • Ability to work independently and engage in project management including a demonstrated ability to prioritize requests, track and manage multiple tasks simultaneously, and meet deadlines, and support team members 
  • Excellent judgment, diplomacy, and professionalism including the ability to work well with people from different backgrounds, life experiences and levels of training and formal education 
  • Strong legal and policy research and writing, analytical, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills, 
  • Curiosity, and eagerness to continue learning new skills, grow professionally, and take an optimistic approach to new challenges 

Note: Juvenile Law Center has a commitment to professional development and will actively support candidates in further developing their skills in these areas.

Responsibility Level: 

The Project-Based Fellow will report to the Staff Attorney and Senior Managing Director on the Decriminalization and Collateral Consequences Team 


Starting salary for this position is $63,000 for an attorney with less than one year experience. 

This is a full-time position covered by any collective bargaining agreement between Juvenile Law Center and the National Organization of Legal Services Workers, UAW Local 2320.  

Juvenile Law Center offers excellent benefits, including employer paid health, dental and vision insurance for employees and their family, short- and long-term disability and life insurance, and employer contributions to 403b retirement plans. Paid time off includes fifteen (15) vacation days, five (5) personal days and twelve (12) sick days. Juvenile Law Center is closed for twelve holidays and for the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day.




How to Apply

Application Process:

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until July 31. Please submit your application materials to [email protected] in a single PDF containing your resume, list of three references and a writing sample. 

Round 2: Candidates will be invited to schedule a 45-minute video interview with members of the hiring team, including members of the relevant legal department as well as a representative of Juvenile Law Center’s Operations team.



Equitable/Inclusionary Hiring Practices

Equitable/Inclusionary Hiring Practices:

Juvenile Law Center’s mission is to advocate for rights, dignity, equity, and opportunity in the child welfare and justice systems. The diversity of our staff is critical to fulfilling this mission.

Juvenile Law Center seeks to minimize bias and the impact of structural racism in the fields we work in within our hiring practices. To that end, we focus on relevant skills and experience, and aim to de-prioritize information that can allow for implicit bias. 

Juvenile Law Center is committed to advancing equity both internally and in our advocacy work. We recognize the urgency and necessity of actively building and supporting diverse leadership at Juvenile Law Center and in the field more broadly. We are committed to actively recruiting and hiring from communities most impacted by our work. Applicants working to advance equity and who identify with these impacted communities are strongly encouraged to apply and self-identify during the application process. 

Juvenile Law Center is committed to cultivating an inclusive space that affirms and celebrates the backgrounds, learned and lived expertise, whole identities, and individual perspectives of our staff. We are committed to the diversity of our staff as it pertains to race, color, ethnicity, class, sex, marital or parental status, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, size, disability, religion, national origin, and/or child welfare or juvenile or criminal justice involvement, including prior record of arrest, adjudication, or conviction. Applicants of all backgrounds and experiences are encouraged to self-identify during the application process.

Juvenile Law Center is an equal opportunity employer. 

Additional Details

Hybrid Work Model: 

Juvenile Law Center’s physical office in Philadelphia currently runs on a hybrid work model; some of our employees work remotely, and others work in the office on certain days. This position may be remote or in person. Staff members working remotely will be expected to travel to Philadelphia for in-person staff meetings up to once every other month and may be expected to travel for other work requirements such as appearing in court, attending conferences, or joining in-person community meetings. 

COVID-19 Policy: 

Juvenile Law Center has implemented the following policy to protect against exposure to COVID-19. We encourage all staff to be vaccinated. The CDC recommends being up to date with COVID-19 vaccines as a definitive way to reduce the risk of severe COVID-19 symptoms and long COVID and can lower the risk of spreading COVID. 

Juvenile Law Center follows all masking mandates set forth by the CDC, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the City of Philadelphia. When masking is not mandated by these bodies, it is optional for staff in common areas and private offices. However, if any staff member requests that participants in small or large group meetings wear a mask, we encourage the participants to honor that request. Staff members may ask their colleagues directly or may ask a supervisor or any member of management to request that masks are worn in all relevant meetings. The CDC recommends the wearing of masks as one way of preventing the spread of COVID-19.

  • If an individual refuses to wear a mask once requested, they may be encouraged to attend the meeting virtually from another space.
  • Where people will be unmasked for a meeting because they are eating or otherwise refuse to mask or join virtually, arrangements shall be made to allow anyone who wishes to join the meeting virtually.
  • On days when a large number of people will be in the office (e.g. special events, board meetings), staff who work in common areas may request to work remotely or work in a private office.

Staff who seek a medical accommodation to decrease the risk of COVID exposure or to address the effects of long COVID should make a request to the Director of Operations.