Make a meaningful impact as a PFJ Client Advocate

Become a Client Advocate and work directly with clients in the criminal legal system.

Join the PFJ Professional Fellowship

Why become a Client Advocate?

Advocates work directly to help clients avoid the devastating impacts of arrest and support clients to move forward from the criminal legal system with their future opportunities intact. Meanwhile, Advocates also receive first hand exposure to the criminal legal system and a life-changing public service experience.

Every day is different as an Advocate, whether you're working directly with a client, building awareness of your services in the community, or collaborating with a community partner.

  • Substantial impact in communities
  • Increased confidence in your ability to face new challenges
  • Make a difference in individual lives
  • Feel valued and part of a team
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A day in the life

As a Partners for Justice Client Advocate, you’ll engage in a meaningful fellowship experience designed to make a concrete difference in clients’ lives. With training, mentorship, and ongoing support, Advocates are integrated as full-time employees within public defender offices across the country, offering real life exposure to the criminal legal system.

As a Client Advocate you will:

  • Connect with clients to learn more about the problems they are facing and their goals
  • Depending on your clients’ needs, creatively assist with issues like clearing past criminal convictions, preparing for child services interventions, accessing public benefits, maintaining work licenses, finding and maintaining housing, and obtaining mental health counseling or substance use treatment
  • Partner closely with attorneys to provide relevant information and documents for clients’ criminal case and other legal issues
  • Build a network of local services, community organizations, and civil attorneys so that you can appropriately refer and advocate for clients
  • Use your detailed knowledge of court processes and requirements to help your clients navigate these institutions
  • Advocate for clients with service providers, attorneys, judges, landlords, employers, and others, telling your clients’ stories in a compelling way that gets results
  • Collaborate with your teammates at your host office and nationwide to share knowledge, brainstorm solutions, and build a community
application process

How to apply

To help applicants learn more about the PFJ program and prepare for our Advocate selection process, we offer office hours with our national team, along with resume and interview workshops.


Please complete the application to apply for the Partners for Justice Professional Fellowship Program.

1:1 Chat:

To learn more about the PFJ Professional Fellowship, Client Advocate role, or if you have any other questions, please schedule a 20 minute chat with recruiter Chloe Mims.

Schedule a chat >

Office Hours:

For those interested in becoming an Advocate, office hours are a great chance to learn more about the role and the PFJ program. This event is hosted by a PFJ national team member and is held on a drop-in basis in hour and a half blocks, depending on attendance this event may be one-on-one or in a group. Office hours are not part of our interview process and they are not evaluative, so we invite everyone to bring questions.

Learn more >

Resume Workshop:

This workshop helps attendees put their best foot forward when applying to be a PFJ Advocate or in any job they choose.

Learn more >

Advocate Panel:

Candidates who receive an interview will be invited to attend the Advocate Panel. This virtual panel provides candidates an opportunity to hear from current Client Advocates about their day-to-day experiences and ask any questions about the Advocate role or PFJ Program. More information will be provided to candidates with their interview invitation.

Supervisor Panel:

This panel is made available to candidates invited for a final interview.  PFJ organizes panel discussions with the public defender supervisors from each office where we are currently placing Client Advocates. Candidates will have the opportunity to meet potential supervisors, learn more about the placement offices, and ask any questions. More information will be provided to candidates with their final interview invitation.

important dates

Spring Timeline

Applications open

January 8

Applications close

March 25

Applications submitted by

February 19

March 25

First round interviews

February 21

March 28

Second round interviews

March 11

April 15

Placement offers

Late March

Late April

Fall Timeline

Applications open

September 25

Applications close

October 30

First round interviews

November 1

Second round interviews

November 18

Placement offers

Early December


How we work

Close up of a woman's hands typing on a computer in black and white

Advocates in action

One of our Advocates had a client who was a retired veteran with severe and chronic PTSD. He had gotten into an argument with his landlord and was being held in jail when our Advocate met him. Based on information the Advocate shared about the client’s background, the prosecutor agreed to drop the charges down to misdemeanors and let the client out of jail—if he had a place to go. The Advocate didn’t just call a housing program for veterans. She refused to take “no” for an answer and worked her way to the program’s Executive Director, impressing him with her client’s story and convincing him to offer the client a bed the next day. To secure the agreement, the Advocate promised to personally drive her client from the jail to his new housing. As a result, the prosecutor gave this client a favorable disposition and a veteran has a new home.

Learn more about becoming an Advocate ›
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Frequently Asked Questions

What does a Client Advocate do?
What type of candidate are you looking for?
Where are offices located?
How do I apply?
What does the application and selection process look like?
I have questions, where should I reach out?
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Get in touch

Have questions about PFJ, what our Advocates do, or the application process? Reach out to our team and we will get back to you.

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Make a Difference

What is the impact?

Learn more about the impact of Partners for Justice in communities across the country.

Learn More