The Gibbons Fellowship, originally conceived as a 5-year commitment, recently celebrated its 27th anniversary. Throughout its history, it has litigated the most significant legal issues of our time -- from the death penalty to same-sex marriage, from the rights of detained enemy combatants at Guantánamo and elsewhere (including the right of the public to know about their treatment) to equal funding for education, from the law of domestic violence to the rights of pregnant women, juvenile defendants, persons with AIDS, immigrants and prison inmates, among others.
The Gibbons Fellows, under the direction of Lawrence S. Lustberg, long-time director of the Gibbons Fellowship program, undertake public interest and constitutional law projects and litigation. Requests for representation or advice are considered from all sectors, public and private, including public interest organizations, legal services or public defender offices, government agencies, private non-profit corporations, courts and individuals. Working with a broad cross-section of public interest groups, the Fellowship Program has become widely known in New Jersey and nationally as a voice for the poor and underrepresented.
The Fellowship has been and remains involved in the most significant and controversial issues that confront the Federal and State courts today. For example, in this past year alone, we won significant victories in the New Jersey Supreme Court in a number of significant cases, including cases involving the right to affordable housing, especially given New Jersey’s uniquely segregated housing patterns and the prohibition on the imposition of long sentences against juvenile defendants; in lower courts, we won important cases regarding the admissibility of hearsay in both juvenile criminal and abuse and neglect proceedings. We were less successful in cases in which we advocated for stringent protections against the seizure of tweets and for rigorous enforcement of state statutory requirements assuring that the advent or expansion of charter schools do not have a segregative effect. We continue to fight for a strong Citizens Complaint Review Board in Newark, and for progressive legislation that will assure that convicted felons re-enter the community on fair terms, that give them a real chance to succeed in society. Throughout, we continue to be a force for an expansive interpretation of New Jersey’s State Constitution.
On the federal level, we spent a great deal of our time this past year litigating a case brought by three victims of CIA torture (including the family of one, who died as a result) against the psychologists who were the architects of the torture program. That case settled on the eve of trial on very favorable (albeit confidential) terms. Meanwhile, we continued our string of successes in Freedom of Information Act cases, with regard to seeking transparency in such areas as gun violence, prisoner treatment and government-sponsored torture, where our landmark litigation, now in the Second Circuit on a government appeal, is responsible for much of what the public knows about U.S. abuse of detainees. We continue to represent the innocent who are wrongfully imprisoned, as well as death row inmates, including acting as co-counsel in the first direct appeal of a death sentence in the Third Circuit in a century. We are counsel in several cutting-edge immigration cases, in a significant First Amendment challenge to a New York statute seeking membership lists from non-profit entities, and in ongoing litigation seeking redress from the profiling of Muslims in New Jersey, among many other matters. Of course, these are but examples of our recent activities and successes.
Gibbons P.C. annually sponsors the nationally recognized John J. Gibbons Fellowship in Public Interest & Constitutional Law and the firm is doing so again for the 2018-2020 time period. Applications are hereby solicited. In order to continue our great tradition, the 2018-2020 Gibbons Fellow should be a person of high academic achievement and professional accomplishment. Preferably, the person selected should have served a judicial clerkship or been actively working in the field of public interest law; only in extraordinary cases will persons who are currently third-year law students be considered for the Fellowship. The Gibbons Fellow must have demonstrated a real commitment to public interest work. The deadline for applications is December 18, 2017, but applications will be considered beginning on November 30, 2017, at which point a Fellow may be chosen based upon the applications already received. At the latest, we anticipate having hired our 2018-2020 Fellow by the end of January, 2018.
Fellowship candidates must complete the following application, along with the following:
- Law School Transcript;
- Two (2) Letters of Recommendation;
- Resume; and
- Writing Sample.
Please send applications and materials to:
GIBBONS FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM
One Gateway Center
Newark, New Jersey 07102-5310
Attention: Lawrence S. Lustberg, Director, John J. Gibbons Fellowship in Public Interest & Constitutional Law
Click here to view the application for a Gibbons Fellow position for 2018-2020.