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Legal Fellow

Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education

Position: Legal Fellow
Classification: Management 170

Introduction and Background:

The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (the “State System”), was created pursuant to Act 188 of 1982, as amended, and contains 14 Universities located throughout the Commonwealth.  The State System’s Office of Chief Counsel provides legal services to the State System and its Universities.  The Office of Chief Counsel is led by the Chief Counsel and employs a number of University Legal Counsel (“ULC”).  The Office has established the position of Legal Fellow to assist the Chief Counsel and the ULC in serving the State System and its Universities.

The Legal Fellow position is a one-year position, with the option for a second year when it is mutually beneficial for both the Office of Chief Counsel and the Legal Fellow.

General Description:

The Legal Fellow will perform beginning level professional legal work to support the Chief Counsel and ULC.  The position is designed to provide important service to the attorneys who serve the State System and its Universities while simultaneously providing the Fellow with valuable experience and skills in the practice of higher education law.


The Legal Fellow will perform routine legal work and assist attorneys in the performance of varied legal assignments.  Generally, the work will involve conducting legal research; drafting legal documents; reviewing documents; keeping and maintaining legal files; and performing other tasks as needed.

Some specific examples of work include the following: 

  • Conducting legal research on a range of topics.
  • Reviewing, summarizing, and reporting on legal developments in higher education.
  • Conducting online research on various matters.
  • Drafting legal documents including:  memoranda; correspondence; portions of briefs and pleadings for court matters; and position statements in administrative agency matters.
  • Reviewing documents for litigation and Right to Know Law requests.
  • Reviewing contracts for compliance with legal requirements.
  • Organizing and maintaining legal files.

Work is subject to review in process and upon completion, and assistance is available as needed.

In addition, the Legal Fellow will participate in the Office’s regular staff meetings, during which a wide range of legal and administrative issues are discussed among the Chief Counsel and all ULC.  The expectation also is that the Legal Fellow will be invited to participate in meetings involving ULC and State System and University clients.


The Legal Fellow must have graduated from an accredited U.S. law school.  Bar admission at the time of application is not required.

The Legal Fellow position is designed as an entry-level position.  Thus, the expectation is that candidates will have two years or less of experience after law school graduation.  Judicial clerkships will not be counted against that experience maximum.

Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

Is a strong writer:  this includes both legal writing and general writing.

Possesses strong research skills, both legal research and research of non-legal online resources.

Understands how to apply legal principles to individual cases or problems.

Has the ability to understand and interpret constitutional provisions, statutes, and administrative regulations.

Analyzes facts, evidence, and precedents and arrives at logical interpretations.

Communicates effectively both verbally and in writing.

Acts professionally at all times.