Taft Fellowship Scholarship Program

Purpose of Taft Fellowship

At Taft, we are deeply committed to creating an inclusive culture of individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds. This commitment allows us to fulfill our primary mission of serving our clients to the highest standards of professional excellence. Additionally, an inclusive culture benefits our professionals as well: it fosters teamwork and opportunities for professional growth and personal satisfaction.

Taft is pleased to offer an academic Fellowship program that is open to all first-year law school students.


Each year, Taft awards up to eight fellowships to highly motivated, first-year law students who have demonstrated excellence in their backgrounds and who bring to Taft unique life experiences and perspectives.

Fellows receive paid summer associate positions in one of the firm’s eight offices (Chicago, Illinois; Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, and Dayton, Ohio; Detroit/Southfield, Michigan; Indianapolis, Indianapolis; Minneapolis, Minnesota) following the completion of their first year of law school. Salaries for the 10-week summer program are as follows:

  • Chicago: $41,350.
  • Cincinnati: $33,650.
  • Cleveland: $35,555
  • Columbus: $33,650.
  • Dayton: $33,650.
  • Detroit: $33,650.
  • Indianapolis: $33,650.
  • Minneapolis: $38,460.

Assuming satisfactory performance during the first-year summer program, fellows have the option to return as second-year summer associates.

Those awarded fellowships will participate in our 10-week summer program between their first and second years of law school. It is our goal to provide every summer associate with a realistic experience of what it is like to practice law at Taft. Summer associates work on a variety of actual client matters and attend depositions, hearings, closings, conferences, and trials as well as perform the careful research expected of all our lawyers. Summer associates are evaluated throughout the summer on an informal basis, and will also have formal mid-summer and end-of-summer reviews.

Students selected for the Fellowship, and who accept an offer to return to Taft as a second-year summer associate, will be awarded a one-time $10,000 signing bonus, paid to the student, upon acceptance of the offer.

Application Process

Applicants for Taft’s Fellowship must be enrolled in a J.D. program at an accredited U.S. law school as a first-year law student. Applications will be accepted beginning Dec. 1 each year, but final decisions will not be made until first semester grades are received.

Interested law students should apply online on Taft’s website:  Click here to apply

Application materials must be received by Jan. 31, in order to be considered. The following materials should be submitted:

  1. Completed application form.
  2. Cover letter.
  3. Resume.
  4. Law school transcript — the transcript does not need to be official but does need to be complete.
  5. A typed essay — no more than one page, double spaced and not to exceed 500 words that describes any special circumstance or incident in your life that created adversity or an obstacle for you that you needed to overcome and what you did to overcome it.

Selection Process

Recipients of the Taft Fellowship will be selected based on careful review of the application materials provided. All Fellowship applicants will be notified of the firm’s decision by March 1. Payment of the Fellowship awards will be made in accordance with the Taft Fellowship program guidelines.


If you have questions or need further information, please contact:

Lisa Watson Lisa Watson
Chief Recruiting Officer
(317) 713-3502