The Ackerman Fellowship program
For the past 16 years, thanks to the generous support of the Ackerman Foundation, Charleston Pro Bono Legal Services has hosted an annual summer fellowship program for rising second and third year law students. The Ackerman Fellowship Program is an intense clinical practice experience that involves:
Former Ackerman Fellowships included opportunities to work with the City’s Homeless Commission, assist on cases of unaccompanied minors seeking status, and help with pandemic-related legal issues.
- Client intake including eligibility determination and fact gathering to support our attorneys by assisting in preparation of pleadings, affidavits and other legal documents;
- Courtroom observation opportunities along with an in-house sessions provided by Charleston attorneys; and
- Outreach in low-income communities through our various nonprofit partners.
During Summer 2023, Charleston Pro Bono will award several paid Ackerman Fellowships over two, six-week sessions from May 15 - June 23 and July 3 – August 11. Rising 2L and 3L students interested in participating should submit a cover letter, resume, and references. Applications accepted December 15, 2022, through January 16, 2023.
"I served as an Ackerman Fellow during the Summer of 2008 and it was one of the best experiences I've ever had during my legal training. From meeting directly with clients to sitting in on discussions about law and policy, I truly cherished the impact Charleston Pro Bono Legal Services had on my understanding of practical application of the law and the opportunity it gave me to serve the community."
- Angele Russell, Charleston Law, 2008 Fellow
“My experience as an Ackerman Fellow taught me how to be a good lawyer. An attorney’s job is to serve, and there was no better place to exercise that passion for serving than at CPBLS. I worked with the brightest minds in our profession and was trusted to handle client matters autonomously. The hands-on experience I gained as an Ackerman laid the foundation for my career.”
- Amber Daniels, Charleston Law, 2016 Fellow
“I was an Ackerman Fellow in the summer of 2018. When I applied for law school, I was sure I wanted to practice environmental law. Before joining the Ackerman Fellowship Program, all of my internships were in environmental law. I applied for the Ackerman Fellowship in the interest of trying something new. I'm so glad I did. I loved working with and helping people directly. I learned about estate planning, probate, family law, and landlord/tenant law. Plus, I got to spend the summer in Charleston, SC! The Ackerman Fellowship reshaped my entire career trajectory, and I now work (happily) for an estate planning firm in Salem, Oregon. Thank you, CPBLS!!!”
- Marie Loiseau, Temple University, 2018 Fellow
"Being an Ackerman helped me solidify what type of law I wanted to practice. After being able to sit second chair on an annulment case with one of the staff attorneys, it ignited the fire that I currently have for the practice of family law. Without the Ackerman Fellowship and Charleston Pro Bono Legal Services, I would not be the compassionate and detailed oriented practitioner that I am today. What’s unique about the Ackerman Fellowship is that the program lets you dive right into going to Court with the attorney, drafting pleadings, and the overall practice of law. This is unlike other programs/internships, where you are behind a desk only doing research and preparing in-office memorandums for the supervising attorney and rarely ever going to Court. I’m so grateful for the experience, and I would recommend it to anyone who has a servant heart and a strong desire to learn from an outstanding team of attorneys and staff at CPBLS!"
- Alexis Coleman, Charleston Law, 2018 Fellow
"As an Ackerman Fellow it allowed me to see the legal profession in real time, with real clients, and alongside real people who genuinely care. My favorite part about the Ackerman Fellowship is being allowed to assist in drafting legal documents to help a client get their desired outcome. Above all I enjoyed learning from other fellows and the director, Alissa Lietzow. Alissa’s passion for CPBLS is contagious! I truly appreciate and will never forget how she constantly reminded us to be ourselves with each client and handle each case with compassion and grace. Being an Ackerman Fellow has been one of the greatest gifts in my legal career."
- Kamairi Fayall, Charleston Law, 2018 Fellow
"The Ackerman Fellowship Program provided a strong foundation for my legal career. As an Ackerman Fellow, I was given the opportunity to serve the Charleston community and gain a “real world” understanding of the day-to-day work of a public interest attorney. Participating in the Ackerman Fellowship Program also provides mentorship and guidance even after the program with CPBLS and other Ackerman Fellows. I would absolutely recommend applying to be an Ackerman Fellow!"
- Hannah Green-Holloway, Wake Forest University School of Law, 2018 Fellow
"The Ackerman Fellowship is what solidified my interest in the legal field, most importantly working with nonprofit and pro bono organizations. This fellowship not only taught me skills about the law, but the program also gave me invaluable mentorship and insight that I will carry throughout my career. Another reason why I love the program is because the fellowship does not just end after six weeks. The relationships I still have with everyone at CPBLS makes me want to continue being an active part in service projects such as Arts on the Beaches. The Ackerman Fellowship changed my life, and I am eternally grateful for being selected to be a fellow in 2019."
- Destinee Wilson, University of South Carolina School of Law, 2019 Fellow