Gibbons Fellowship

The Gibbons Fellowship, originally conceived as just a five-year commitment, celebrated its 30th anniversary in September 2020. Throughout its history, the Fellowship 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, and current and recently released prison inmates, among others. Today, for example, the Fellowship is particularly engaged in such high-profile issues as immigration, school desegregation, and police accountability.

During 2021 alone, the Gibbons Fellowship won significant victories in federal and state cases which, for example, set a new standard and vindicated the due process rights of immigrants subject to mandatory detention; required the consideration of a defendant’s age in deciding the appropriateness of long, consecutive sentences in criminal cases; mandated the release of police disciplinary records; required the collection of relevant data, including demographic data, during the current virtual jury selection process; assured that the Commission of Education meaningfully considers segregative effect in determining whether to grant or expand school charters; obtained an influential New Jersey Supreme Court ruling assuring that defense evidence is considered in the course of considering the sufficiency of the evidence during a criminal appeal; successfully litigated the anonymity of a plaintiff challenging the requirement that she be shackled during childbirth while being held in jail; and succeeded in obtaining records from the United States Marshals Service regarding the deaths of those held within its custody.

Meanwhile, we continue to litigate or otherwise advocate in cutting-edge matters implicating the most precious of constitutional and individual rights and freedoms. Our case challenging segregation in New Jersey’s schools is at the critical summary judgment phase. The most recent in our longstanding challenges to draconian juvenile sentences is pending decision in the New Jersey Supreme Court. We represent a class of federal prisoners challenging their medical treatment during the COVID pandemic. We remain steadfast in our defense of the rights of criminal defendants to the exercise of peremptory challenges and spend a great deal of time advocating for criminal justice reform, including humane release programs for elderly, sick, and rehabilitated inmates and expanded opportunities for recently released individuals to obtain employment and, where appropriate, expungements of their convictions. We continued to advocate for the provision of rehabilitative services to those who have been civilly committed; for a meaningful Citizens Complaint Review Board in the City of Newark and against the use of No-Knock warrants; for the disclosure of documentation regarding the CIA’s program of torture and abuse of enemy combatants. We continue our advocacy on behalf of the LGBTQ community, currently through a case challenging the treatment of an incarcerated gay man. We also have taken on work challenging felon disenfranchisement laws and expanding reproductive freedoms. And in the tradition of our namesake, the late, great John J. Gibbons, whom we lost in December 2018, we continue our fight against the death penalty, maintaining our representation of death row inmates in state and federal cases.

The great and hardworking Gibbons Fellows, supervised by Lawrence S. Lustberg, longtime 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 nonprofit corporations, courts, and individuals. Working with a broad cross-section of public interest groups, the Fellowship has become widely known in New Jersey and nationally as a voice for the poor and underrepresented.

Areas of Focus

Fellowship Application

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 2022-2024 time period. Applications are hereby solicited and will be accepted at any time. In order to continue our great tradition, the 2022-2024 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 and must make a commitment to remain as Fellow for the two-year period beginning in the fall of 2022. The deadline for applications is February 28, 2022, but applications will be considered as they are received, and it is possible that a Fellow will be selected before the deadline closes. At the very latest, we anticipate having hired our 2022-2024 Fellow by the end of March, 2022.

Fellowship candidates must complete the attached application, along with the following:

  1. Law School Transcript (can be unofficial);
  2. Two (2) Letters of Recommendation;
  3. Resume; and
  4. Writing Sample.

Please send applications and materials either by regular mail or email to:

Gibbons P.C.
One Gateway Center
Newark, New Jersey 07102-5310

Attention: Lawrence S. Lustberg, Director, John J. Gibbons Fellowship in Public Interest & Constitutional Law with a copy to

Click here to view the application for a Gibbons Fellow position for 2022-2024.

Past and Present Fellows

Program Director
Lawrence S. Lustberg

Ethan J. Kisch (2021-2023)
Brittany M. Thomas (2020-2022)
Michael R. Noveck (2019-2021)
Jessica L. Hunter (2018-2020)
Farbod K. Faraji (2017-2019)
J. David Pollock (2016-2018)
Avram D. Frey (2015-2017)
Ana Isabel Muñoz (2014-2016)
Joseph A. Pace (2013-2015)
Portia D. Pedro (2012-2014)
Benjamin Yaster (2012-2014)
Jonathan M. Manes (2011-2013)
Alicia L. Bannon (2010-2012)
Eileen M. Connor (2009-2011)
Jennifer B. Condon (2008-2010)
Avidan Y. Cover (2007-2009)
Melanca D. Clark (2006-2008)
Emily B. Goldberg (2005-2007)
Megan Lewis (2004-2006)
Gitanjali S. Gutierrez (2003-2005)
Jonathan L. Hafetz (2003-2005)
Jennifer Ching (2002-2004)
Shavar D. Jeffries (2001-2003)
Philip G. Gallagher (2001-2003)
Risa E. Kaufman (2000-2002)
Jessica A. Roth (1999-2001)
Lori Outz Borgen (1998-2000)
David Thronson (1997-1999)
Laura Klein Abel (1996-1998)
James E. Ryan (1995-1997)
Lenora M. Lapidus (1994-1996)
Jonathan Romberg (1993-1995)
Elizabeth B. Cooper (1992-1994)
John V. Jacobi (1991-1993)
Lawrence S. Lustberg (1990-1992)