UPC | SJSU‎ > ‎

Daniel J. Curtin, Jr. Fellowship 2012-2013 Academic Year

Daniel J. Curtin

San Francisco native Daniel J. Curtin, Jr., a former member of APA; an expert on the California General Plan, planning law, and land use regulations; and retired partner and of counsel in the Walnut Creek office of Bingham McCutchen LLP, died in 2006. A well-known author, his long list of publications — frequently cited by the California Courts — includes Curtin's California Land Use and Planning Law, a preeminent treatise on California land use law, which is in its 27th edition; and Bargaining for Development: A Handbook on Development Agreements, Annexation Agreements, Land Development Conditions, Vested Rights, and the Provision of Public Facilities, with David L. Callies and Julie A. Tappendorf (Environmental Law Institute, 2003). (Source: Northern California APA website).

The Program

The Planning and Law Division (“PLD”) of the American Planning Association (“APA”) serves those who seek to understand the diverse legal issues that affect the planning profession.  The legal issues underlying the planning of our cities and communities are important and essential components in the education and training of those who would become professional planners and land use practitioners.  The purpose of the PLD Daniel J. Curtin, Jr. Fellowship Program (“Fellowship Program”) is to foster increased interest in the study of land use planning and its interrelationship with the law at the advanced undergraduate, graduate, and law school levels.  This will provide increased participation in the planning profession, and ultimately, greater service to communities across the nation.  The Fellowship Program is open to third and fourth year undergraduate students, first and second year master’s degree students, and first and second year law students.  One fellowship with a stipend of $3,000 is awarded per academic year.  The stipend includes a $2,000 award and a $1,000 APA membership and Annual Conference stipend. The term of the fellowship is approximately ten months (the typical length of two semesters or three quarters) and will include approximately 100 to 200 total hours of work.  The fellow will conduct his/her fellowship duties remotely, i.e., from where they live or attend school.

Fellowship Responsibilities & Benefits

If selected for an award by the PLD Fellowship Committee, the fellow’s responsibilities may include, but are not limited to, assisting the PLD with preparing and conducting its annual membership survey, assisting the editor of the PLD Newsletter (published quarterly), preparing articles for publication in the PLD Newsletter, serving as a Continuing Legal Education (“CLE”) liaison between the APA and various states for the provision of CLE credits to its members, and assisting with the solicitation and review of session proposals submitted by PLD members for the annual National APA Conference. Fellowship benefits include contact with a network of nationally recognized leaders in the field; access to newsletters, webinars, educational sessions and online resources featuring current legal issues and trends relevant to planning; participation in planning and law networking events; and opportunities for leadership and volunteerism in the planning and law field.


Eligible applicants shall be students who intend to work as practicing planners or legal practitioners in the public or private sector and are:

  • Citizens of the United States; and
  • Students enrolled in any of the following during the 2012-13 academic year:[1]
    • third of fourth year undergraduate students in a planning program accredited by the PAB (“Planning Accreditation Board”);
    • first or second year graduate students in a planning program accredited by the PAB; or
    • first or second year students in an ABA-accredited law school program.

Application Requirements

Applicants for the Fellowship Program shall complete the attached application form and shall submit all of the following:

  • a two- to three-page personal and background statement written by the student, describing their interest in a career in planning and the law, and describing what impact the student wants to make in the planning and law field.
  • one letter of recommendation in support of the student's application and career goals;
  • official transcripts of current course of study – to be requested by student with adequate time for receipt by the PLD Fellowship Program Administrator no later than September 14, 2012;
  • a resume of work experience and background;
  • verification of student enrollment (for current students) or a copy of an acceptance letter from a PAB accredited graduate planning school or a law school (for incoming students); and
  • the student’s signature on the application form.

Please Note:

Incomplete applications will not be reviewed by the PLD Committee.  To verify the status of your application, send a request to crichter@gsblaw.com.

Selection Criteria

The PLD Fellowship Committee, appointed by the PLD Chair, will review applications and determine the award winner.  Applications will be judged using the following criteria, listed in order of importance:

  • commitment to planning and the law as reflected in personal statement and resume;
  • academic achievement and/or improvement during previous two years;
  • letter of recommendation; and
  • professional presentation.

As part of the selection process and at the sole option of the PLD Fellowship Committee, the top five applicants may be required to participate in a telephone interview with members of the PLD Fellowship Committee.  If required by the PLD Fellowship Committee, the applicant’s performance in the telephone interview will serve as an additional criterion for determination of the award.

The Award Process

  • The PLD Fellowship Committee meets in September to review applications and identify and award a fellowship recipient.
  • An alternate is chosen in the event the selected recipient for a PLD fellowship is unable to return to school or if a student recipient fails to submit a written acceptance within the stated period after being notified of award.
  • Award recipient is required to provide a written acceptance of the award to the PLD Chair within ten (10) days of receiving an award notification letter.
  • The PLD Fellowship Program Administrator will announce the name of the award recipient by October 15, 2012.
  • Upon receipt of these required materials, the first $1,000.00 of the award will be paid to the student by PLD.  The next $500.00 of the award will be paid to the student at the beginning of the Spring 2013 semester (or at the mid-point of the Winter quarter, if the student is on the quarter system), contingent upon the student maintaining a satisfactory level of work in the Fellowship Program, as determined by the PLD Chair.  The remaining balance of the award ($500.00) will be paid in the last month of the fellowship term, contingent upon (a) receipt by the PLD Chair of a written report from the school stating that the student is still enrolled, and (b) the student maintaining a satisfactory level of work in the Fellowship Program, as determined by the PLD Chair.
  • It is the responsibility of the applicant/recipient to notify PLD of any change in address for any and all notices and student membership services.
  • Staff will notify the appropriate APA Chapter President of fellowship recipient in their area.

Chapters are encouraged to involve recipients in Chapter activities and provide mentoring.


The application submittal deadline for the Fellowship Program is September 14, 2012.  All original application information must be received in the PLD Fellowship Program Administrator by that date.  If forwarded via FED-EX or similar courier service the delivery must be made to PLD by September 14, 2012Faxed or electronic documents will not be accepted.  Incomplete applications will not be reviewed by the Committee.

Mail completed Applications to:

Carrie A. Richter, Esq.

Planning and Law Division/American Planning Association

c/o Garvey Schubert Barer

Bank of America Financial Center
121 SW Morrison Street, 11th Floor
Portland, OR 97204-3141