Promoting innovative partnerships between lawyers and community organizations


In honor of Harvard Law School Professor David Grossman’s memory as a mentor, teacher, and advocate for the poor, the David Abraham Grossman Fund for Social Justice works to promote social justice by fostering innovative partnerships between lawyers and community organizations. The Fund supports fellowships and grants that enable law students and young lawyers to engage in and to develop law and organizing partnerships and new approaches to fighting poverty.

The fund is managed as a dedicated fund at Harvard Law School that is set aside to create new fellowships and grants that enable lawyers to work with community organizations toward positive social change.  The Fund’s goal is to raise $1 million in order to permanently endow a fellowship.


The DAG Fund supports work in the following areas:

  • Fellowships for lawyers and community organizers to work at the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau toward community organization-lawyer partnerships
  • Fellowships for Harvard Law School graduates to work in community organization-lawyer partnerships
  • Grants for Harvard Law School students to create partnerships between law students, lawyers, and community organizations

We are thrilled to announce that Rebecca Donaldson, HLS ’16, has been named the DAG Fund fellow for 2017-2018. Rebecca, who just completed a clerkship with the Hon. Virginia M. Kendall in the Northern District of Illinois, already has impressive experience as a women's rights advocate, having worked with both the National Women's Law Center and the ACLU on issues including sex discrimination, unfair labor practices, housing, and domestic violence


Established in 2015 in honor of David Abraham Grossman, a clinical professor at Harvard Law School and a lifelong advocate for social justice, the DAG Fund awards annual $50,000 fellowships to fund law students/judicial law clerks who demonstrate exceptional promise as public interest attorneys to work at existing nonprofits.

In selecting its fellows, the fund works alongside Harvard Law School’s Office of Public Interest Advising to identify fellowship proposals that are impactful, sustainable, and offer an innovative blueprint for social change. In the spirit of David Abraham Grossman’s legacy and memory as an innovative community lawyer, the DAG Fund prioritizes funding community/movement-based lawyering and law and organizing projects.

Applicants for the fellowship should be Harvard Law School 3Ls, LL.M.s, or alumni in clerkships with no intervening work experience who:

  • Have demonstrated a consistent commitment to public interest advocacy, especially community/movement-based lawyering and/or law and organizing;
  • Have participated successfully in law school clinics;
  • Have a long-term interest in living in the location of their fellowship;
  • Intend to obtain a law license in the location of their fellowship;
  • Are familiar with and have contacts in the community in which they want to work; and
  • Will be enthusiastic advocates and spokespeople for the DAG Fund.

Fellowship proposals:

  • Should be designed to advance social justice in the areas of poverty, housing, consumer, labor and employment, civil rights, family, immigration, health law, or criminal justice reform;
  • Should be based in the United States;
  • Should meaningfully involve community partners, particularly organizing groups; and
  • Should be designed to deliver results that are achievable within a year but sustainable.

Priority will be given to projects that focus on providing representation in collaboration with community groups to effectuate social change. That can take many forms, such as providing eviction defense in conjunction with a community organizing group focused on housing rights or providing wage and hour representation in coordination with a labor organizing group or workers’ center. Applicants are encouraged to be creative in incorporating organizing strategies into their proposals.

Potential organizations with law and organizing experience include the Community Justice Project (Miami), Law for Black Lives, City Life/Vida Urbana (Boston), and JusticeLabs (Baltimore), Community Activism Law Alliance (Chicago). However, projects hosted at any direct services/poverty law organization will be considered.  If you have questions about your project’s eligibility, please contact HLS alumna and DAG Fund Committee member Marielle Macher at


featuring Congressman Joe Kennedy

The David Abraham Grossman Fund for Social Justice hosted its second annual fundraiser on Saturday, November 20, 2017 at Harvard Law School featuring a keynote speech by Congressman Joe Kennedy.