Program Description:

California Indian Legal Services (CILS) is a statewide, tribally controlled, non-profit corporation that provides legal services to Indian tribes, Indian organizations and low income individual Indians on issues involving Federal Indian Law.  CILS provides a variety of legal services including brief counsel and advice and extended representation on core legal issues affecting Native Americans and Indian tribes.  CILS is involved in litigation, policy analysis and advocacy and also provides transactional services to tribes involving economic development and tribal infrastructure.  The Bishop office of CILS is also home to the Eastern Sierra Legal Assistance Project and the Inyo Mono Senior Legal Program.  CILS has four offices throughout California.

Position Description:

With support from the California Bar Foundation, CILS is hiring a summer fellow for 2016. Supervised by the Staff Attorney, this fellow will conduct research, draft correspondence and legal documents, work with office staff and potentially assist with client intake.

Sample of Substantive Areas of Practice:

Land and Environmental issues, NAGPRA and Cultural Resource issues, Indian Child Welfare Act, Taxation issues, Wills and Probate, Jurisdictional issues, Tribal Justice System development, Tribal governance, Public benefits, Healthcare and senior/elder law issues.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Conduct factual research, including possible client intakes;
  • Conduct legal research and analysis;
  • Draft memoranda, pleadings and other documents;
  • Draft advice letters to clients; and
  • Complete other assignments consistent with the request of a supervising attorney.


Second and third-year law students who are interested in Federal Indian Law and serving Indian communities; those with experience in Indian communities or who have completed Indian law courses are preferred.  CILS will also accept and consider applications from 2Ls and recent law school graduates for this fellowship. Applicants must be highly skilled in legal research and writing.

To Apply:

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.  Please submit letter of interest, resume, writing sample, and law school transcripts via:

  • e-mail:
  • mail: California Indian Legal Services, 117 J Street, Suite 300, Sacramento, CA 95814



About the California Bar Foundation Public Interest Legal Fellowship Program

Launched in 2015, the California Bar Foundation’s Public Interest Legal Fellowship Program supports diverse rising 3Ls and recent law graduates who are committed to representing low-income and underserved populations in California. We fund leading California legal aid agencies who are committed to building diverse, inclusive staff environments to receive a summer or yearlong legal fellow.

Through this fellowship program, along with our diversity scholarships and grants, the California Bar Foundation is fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion in the legal profession and, by extension, the justice system as a whole. For more information about our fellowship program, please contact Sheila Bapat at