AEF awards summer fellowships and grants each year to law students from around the nation. The primary purpose of the fellowships is to fund a student’s internship with a public interest organization that benefits either the metropolitan Washington, D.C. community-at-large and/or the Asian Pacific American community. Such organizations include governmental organizations and other non-profits serving the public interest. For all recipients of a fellowship, AEF requires that the internship be unpaid (except for nominal payment for such items as transportation), arranged by the student, and extend at least ten weeks or a total of 400 hours.
The Robert E. Wone Fellowship
AEF will award one applicant each year the Robert E. Wone Fellowship. Created in 2007, that fellowship is awarded to the applicant who most embodies what Robert sought to be as a lawyer—a trusted member of the community, making a difference in public policies and seeing his efforts improve the circumstances of those around him. The winner of the Wone Fellowship will receive a total stipend of $5,000. The Wone Fellow will receive $4,500 of that stipend at the beginning of the summer. The Wone Fellow will then be responsible for completing the internship to the satisfaction of his or her employer, providing a written summary of the work he or she performed, and submitting a photo of himself or herself to appear in AEF’s annual newsletter. Upon fulfilling these conditions, the Wone Fellow will receive the remaining $500 of the stipend.
AEF will also award other deserving applicants AEF Fellowships. Each AEF Fellow will receive a total stipend of $3,500. Each AEF Fellow will receive $3,000 of that stipend at the beginning of the summer. Each AEF Fellow will then be responsible for completing the internship to the satisfaction of his or her employer, providing a written summary of the work he or she performed, and submitting a photo of himself or herself to appear in AEF’s annual newsletter. Upon fulfilling these conditions, each AEF Fellow will receive the remaining $500 of the stipend.
The deadline to apply for the Robert E. Wone and AEF Fellowships for a Summer 2016 internship is 10 pm ET on May 1, 2016. See below for the application and selection criteria.
The APABA-DC Bar Assistance Grant
Created in 2009, the APABA-DC Bar Assistance Grant seeks to provide financial assistance to those who will be preparing to take the summer bar exam prior to embarking on a legal career at a public interest or government organization that benefits either the Asian Pacific American community or the metropolitan Washington, DC community-at-large. Students who are still seeking employment but who plan to pursue a public interest career are eligible for this grant. Because public interest and government organizations rarely provide direct financial support to their employees for bar-related expenses, these law school graduates often must take out additional loans or find part-time jobs while studying for the bar. Through the APABA-DC Bar Assistance Grant, AEF hopes to relieve recipients of some of the financial pressures associated with taking the bar exam, so that they can focus on passing the bar.
The deadline to apply for the Bar Assistance Grant is May 1, 2016.
Applying for a fellowship and grants
Any student at an accredited law school who is enrolled at least part-time, as determined by the school, who is in good standing, who is a candidate for a law degree, and who has not previously received a fellowship from AEF, is eligible to apply. AEF is currently accepting applications for all the grants and fellowships listed below.
Download an application form:
- Application for AEF Fellowships & Robert E. Wone Fellowship (Word)
- Deadline: 10 pm ET on May 1, 2016
- AEF Bar Assistance Grant Application (Word)
- Deadline: 10 pm ET on May 1, 2016
Fellowship and grant selection criteria
AEF considers all of the materials submitted by an applicant. The essay is heavily weighted and should be carefully prepared. Letters of recommendation should be from persons who can provide relevant information to AEF regarding the applicant’s qualifications and experience making him or her a fit candidate for an award of a fellowship. An applicant must be in good standing at his or her law school. Whether an applicant previously has been awarded an AEF fellowship or grant and the applicant’s year of study will be considered (with applicants who have not previously received an AEF fellowship and those closer to graduation possibly receiving some preference). Although a law school transcript is required, the student’s academic performance will not weigh heavily in the selection process.
Other factors AEF may consider include, but are not limited to:
- Evidence of the applicant’s maturity and responsibility;
- Placement of fellowship recipients in diverse employment settings;
- Preference may be given to those applicants interning at direct service organizations.
AEF does not discriminate on the basis of age, sex, disability, race, color, religion, ethnic/national origin, veteran status or sexual orientation in the award of these fellowships. AEF officers and directors and their immediate families are ineligible for the fellowships. Only one fellowship may be awarded to an applicant for each internship.
The amount of an award shall be determined in the discretion of AEF, taking into account relevant considerations including the length and nature of the internship.
In the absence of demonstrated economic hardship or other extenuating circumstances, a recipient shall receive two-thirds of a fellowship award at the commencement of an internship and one-third at the conclusion of the internship. Prior to being awarded the final sum, the recipient shall submit to AEF a written statement describing the services rendered by the recipient and the benefits afforded by the internship to the metropolitan Washington, D.C. community-at-large and/or the Asian Pacific American community.
A fellowship recipient immediately must notify AEF in writing if the recipient (i) leaves the position approved by AEF; (ii) changes employers; (iii) ceases to work for the required number of hours; or (iv) becomes subject to academic discipline or ceases to be enrolled in law school. In each such event, the recipient must obtain the written approval of AEF to continue under the AEF fellowship program. In its discretion, AEF shall determine whether forfeiture of the fellowship or a modification of the terms or amount of the award is appropriate.
A recipient’s failure to comply with AEF policies and/or the conditions of the fellowship may result in the forfeiture of the entire award or a portion thereof.
AEF welcomes corporate, foundation, community, and individual donations to support its charitable activities.
Current fellowship recipients:
Past fellowship recipients:
AEF 2005 Fellowship Winners
AEF 2004 Fellowship Winners