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Gibbons Fellowship

The Gibbons Fellowship, originally conceived as a five-year commitment, will this year celebrate its 30th anniversary. 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 prevention of domestic violence and protection of those who survive it 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 high profile issues such as immigration/family separation, gun control, school desegregation, and police accountability.

Most recently, the Gibbons Fellowship won significant victories in federal and state cases involving the imposition of lengthy sentences on juvenile offenders (including arguing a case on the subject before the Third Circuit en banc) and requiring constitutional protections for juveniles facing criminal charges; overturning the convictions of innocent persons who had spent decades in prison; reversing a lower court decision that invalidated Newark’s Citizens Complaint Review Board; upholding state regulation of large capacity magazines for firearms and requiring the disclosure of information regarding the prevalence of the use of firearms in suicides; defeating a motion to dismiss our systemic challenge to New Jersey’s deeply segregated schools and mandating that the Department of Education ensure that charter schools not have a segregative effect; requiring the memorialization of eyewitness identification procedures in criminal investigations; invalidating a New York statute that required non-profits to disclose donor lists, in violation of the First Amendment; and requiring the disclosure under FOIA of government documentation regarding the CIA’s program of torture and abuse of enemy combatants and the deaths of detainees in United States Marshals Service custody. We settled cases involving the treatment of prison inmates, including their access to quality medical care, and advocated for the provision of rehabilitative services to those who have been civilly committed. We fought, albeit unsuccessfully, against the unfettered ability of federal prosecutors to repeatedly try criminal defendants even after multiple hung juries. We continue to litigate the constitutionality of the detention without due process of ICE arrestees who are held without bond, though the government stands little chance of ultimately deporting them. We advocated for legislative reform in the area of criminal sentencing, in an effort to address mass incarceration, and for the broader expungement of convictions so that those who re-enter society after prison can get a fresh start. And in the tradition of our namesake, the late John J. Gibbons, whom the world lost in December 2018 but whom 28 former and current Gibbons Fellows joined with the Firm and the legal community to celebrate last year, we continue our fight against the death penalty and for inmates on death row, whether federal (including the first Third Circuit death penalty direct appeal in over a century) or in states, like Alabama and Pennsylvania, where capital punishment persists, as well as of the rights of former death row inmates not to be held in indefinite solitary confinement.

The great and hardworking Gibbons Fellows, supervised by Lawrence S. Lustberg, Co-Chair of the Firm’s Commercial & Criminal Litigation Department and longtime Director of the Gibbons Fellowship Program, undertake public interest and constitutional law projects, including policy work, 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 2020-2022 time period. Applications are hereby solicited. In order to continue our great tradition, the 2020-2022 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 March 2, 2020, 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 2020-2022 Fellow by the end of April 2020.

Fellowship candidates must complete the following 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 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

Click here to view the application for a Gibbons Fellow position for 2020-2022.

Past and Present Fellows

Program Director
Lawrence S. Lustberg

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)