Douglas T. Kendall Fellowship Program 2021-2022

The Constitutional Accountability Center (CAC) is a non-profit law firm, think tank, and action center dedicated to fulfilling the progressive promise of our Constitution’s text, history, and values.  After nearly four years of the Trump Administration’s efforts to undermine constitutional rights and the rule of law, our mission has never been more important. 

At this pivotal moment in our country’s history, we are offering a one-year fellowship designed for recent law school graduates to begin their careers in legal advocacy with a grounding in the progressive promise of the Constitution’s text, history, and values.

The Douglas T. Kendall Fellowship honors Doug Kendall, progressive litigator, author, activist, non-profit entrepreneur, and founding president of CAC.  Kendall’s mission was to show that the Constitution’s text and history secure the promise of, and in fact require, racial and gender equality, marriage equality, ballot access, an effective federal government, and equal citizenship at birth.  Kendall founded CAC to tell America the Constitution’s whole story, through the courts, academia, and public conversation:  from the Founders’ decision to create a national government with the power to solve national problems, to later generations’ decisions to end slavery and enshrine in the Constitution the principle of equal protection, as well as their determination to expand the right to vote to African Americans, women, and young adults.  Under Kendall’s leadership, CAC produced original scholarship on the text and history of the Fourteenth Amendment’s key clauses and on the demise of stale debates between so-called “living constitutionalism” and “original intent,” among other topics.  Kendall, working with CAC’s current President and then Chief Counsel Elizabeth Wydra, also built an influential and creative litigation program that advocates for progressive outcomes with arguments rooted in the text, history, and values of the whole Constitution. 

For more about Doug Kendall’s legacy and CAC, please see www.theusconstitution.org.  To learn more about the Fellowship, watch how CAC supports the next generation of constitutional progressives.

Fellowship Summary

The Douglas T. Kendall Fellowship is a one-year fellowship for recent law school graduates to join CAC’s litigation team and participate in on all aspects of the litigation team’s work.  CAC’s litigation team does significant amicus work in the Supreme Court and lower federal courts, as well as some direct litigation work.  CAC has recently filed amicus briefs at the Supreme Court on topics ranging from congressional oversight and the constitutionality of the CFPB, to qualified immunity and reproductive rights.  CAC’s recent and ongoing direct litigation work includes a historic lawsuit on behalf of over 200 members of Congress against President Donald Trump for violating the Constitution’s Foreign Emoluments Clause, a defamation lawsuit against Alex Jones and others on behalf of Brennan Gilmore—witness to the murder of Heather Heyer during the alt-right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, and lawsuits challenging immigration policies adopted by high-level DHS officials who are serving unlawfully.

The Fellow will provide substantive assistance with the research and writing of CAC briefs and be lead drafter on at least one brief during the year.  The Fellow will be exposed to our methodological approach of progressive originalism, as well as to the range of substantive areas in which we work.

The Fellow will also assume responsibility for our Supreme Court Review Project, in which we review certiorari petitions that are filed with the Supreme Court to identify candidates for possible amicus support.  After identifying a potential candidate for amicus support, the Fellow will prepare a memorandum assessing the likelihood that the Court will grant review, the strength of any arguments grounded in the text, history, and values of the Constitution, and the likelihood of success on the merits for our preferred outcome, based on the past voting records of the Justices.

Based on areas of interest, CAC will provide the Fellow with opportunities to work with our public engagement, policy, think tank, and communications teams to see the full range of our work and the various ways in which litigation, policy, and advocacy can complement each other in progressive advocacy.

The Fellow reports to CAC’s Chief Counsel.

The salary for the one-year Fellowship is $70,000 plus health insurance, three weeks of paid vacation and one week paid sick leave, as well as paid leave for Federal holidays.

Qualifications

Ideal candidates will have the following qualifications:

  • A recently completed law degree with an excellent academic record,
  • Strong writing skills,
  • A demonstrated commitment to the public interest and progressive advocacy, and
  • Ability to be a team player as well as a self-starter.

To Apply

Please send a cover letter, resume, law school transcripts, and writing sample to Char Clarke at char@theusconstitution.org. CAC will collect applications beginning September 15, 2020 for the Fellowship beginning September 2021.

CAC is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to promoting a diverse workplace.