About the Program
Community Justice Fellowship
The fellow will provide critical assistance to the thousands of low income and vulnerable clients who are assisted by Legal Aid Center each year. The Community Justice fellowship is designed to give new attorneys valuable legal training and the opportunity to gain practical experience in the areas of practice handled by Legal Aid Center. The purpose of the fellowship is not only to assist with the great unmet legal need at Legal Aid Center, but to expose the fellow to the workings of a public interest law practice.
The fellow will rotate through Legal Aid Center’s project areas. The fellow will be exposed to all areas of practice, from interviewing vulnerable clients to processing cases to final resolution in:
- Children’s attorney Project
- Family Justice Project
- Consumer Rights project
Applications can be sent by email to Fellowship@lacsn.org
About the Sponsorship
About Paul Padda Law
I’m Paul Padda and I would like to share with you why my sponsorship of the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada’s “Community Justice Fellowship” is so vital.
For those that aren’t aware, the mission of the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada is the preservation of access to justice and the provision of quality legal counsel, advice and representation for individuals who are unable to protect their rights because they cannot afford an attorney.
This Community Justice Fellowship will be awarded to a recent law school graduate, outgoing judicial law clerk, or an attorney with less than 3 years of postgraduate legal experience who wants to work in a public interest law firm and learn how the top legal aid in Nevada assists over 125,000 individuals a year.
The Center focuses on serving low income residents and the most vulnerable among us, with programs focusing upon: abused and neglected children, domestic abuse, senior/nursing home abuse, financial fraud/exploitation and much more.
The recipient of the Fellowship will rotate through the Legal Aid Center’s project areas. As a result, the fellow will be exposed to all areas of practice, from interviewing vulnerable clients to processing cases to final resolution.
To say that this is my way of supporting a livelihood that has been good to me would only be telling half the story. During my time as an Assistant United States Attorney and Trial Attorney with the United States Department of Justice, I had occasion to observe people encountering the legal system with varying degrees of success. The one resounding conclusion I arrived at, and I am sure almost every judge and lawyer would agree, is that “justice” can be dramatically impacted by quality lawyering and advocacy.
As an attorney I have come to appreciate and realize that trouble is very random. It can hit anyone, anytime, at any place. It is the one area where you don’t find any discrimination. It was this realization, and my natural instinct that caused me to launch my own law practice in 2011 and focus upon being an advocate for the vulnerable against the powerful.
As an attorney I have been a witness to injustice and tragedy. However, I must admit that growing up I was personally very fortunate. I come from a home of loving immigrant parents who nurtured me with the values of achievement coupled with a sensitivity to the good you can do for your fellow human beings. Indeed, my parents taught me the value of honoring the dignity of all people, irrespective of their social, economic or racial/ethnic background.
So what this Fellowship will provide is a crash course on the needs of the overlooked, the under-served and the marginalized, early on in a lawyer’s career. The Fellowship will help fund an outstanding attorney that can make a significant impact in the lives of others. And over time, this Fellowship will build a “pipeline” of amazing lawyers who will grow a discipline of compassion for the disadvantaged.
Let me close with a bit more on the philosophy surrounding my law firm, Paul Padda Law. If you’ve ever joined one of my podcasts you will see that I am a super fan of Las Vegas. I have adopted this town and I appreciate how it has embraced me. But, underneath all the glitz and glamor, we are a city, not unlike any other, where there are many challenges and hard-luck stories. At Paul Padda Law we view the entire community of Las Vegas as our client. For our main practice, our slogan is: “It’s Not About The Injury, It’s About The Recovery.” This means that we see the people we serve as much more than a settlement or transaction. They are injured, be it physically and or emotionally. And as one of our clients once said, “after the settlement our grief continues.” That’s why we help our clients with more than legal services. We guide them through many stages to help with their full recovery. We call it kinship. In essence, it is that kinship mindset that we would like to see ingrained in more lawyers, regardless of their practice. And that is why this Fellowship is so important, because that is exactly what it will do for the fortunate recipient of this award. It will help build sensibilities, sensitivity, skills, and character that will benefit them and all they serve throughout their life.
And even more important, this helps build more vital resources to help the vulnerable, well, become less vulnerable! Together, we can make the world a better more just place!
The Application Process
Who Can Apply?
A law student due to graduate by May 2020, an outgoing judicial law clerk, or an attorney with less than 3 years of practice.
- Hold a Juris Doctorate from an ABA-Accredited law school by July 2020, be an outgoing judicial law clerk, or an attorney with less than 3 years of practice;
- Have a demonstrated commitment to public interest, especially in underserved communities; and a passion for assisting individuals facing injustice
- An essay, limited to 500 words, responding to the question in the application;
- Two letters of recommendation, at least one from a law school faculty member. Letters can be sent confidentially by email to Fellowship@lacsn.org
- A resume. Please include any paid or volunteer work with vulnerable populations. Also include level of written and verbal skills for any additional languages
- An applicant from a diverse group historically underrepresented in the practice e of law;
- An applicant who is fluent in a language spoken in an underserved community;
- Applicants who desire to attain full-time employment at Legal Aid Center or who wish to be one a state bar leader in the area of Access to Justice