Equal Justice Works provides a blueprint for new lawyers to turn their passions into public interest careers that are truly their own. With the support of their host organizations, sponsors, and Equal Justice Works, Fellows pursue projects of their own design, and create lasting change for their communities over the two-year Fellowship.
|June 28, 2017||Application opens online|
|September 27, 2017||Application Due by 11:59pm EDT|
|December 2017||Interviews with sponsors begin for selected candidates|
|December 2017 - April 2018||Interviews continue; Fellowships are offered on a rolling basis|
|September 2018||2018 Fellows begin service|
Before You Begin
Why Become a Fellow?
Equal Justice Works aims to break down the financial and structural barriers that prevent talented candidates from pursuing careers in the public sector. Throughout the two-year project term, Fellows will receive the support they need to focus on their professional goals, including:
- Competitive salary
- Health and fringe benefits
- Generous loan repayment assistance
- 3-Day Leadership Development Training and ongoing personalized staff support
- Lasting relationships with the private sector sponsor(s) of your Fellowship
Are You Eligible?
You must be a third year law student, a recent law school graduate who has not held a full-time, permanent public interest attorney position, or an experienced private attorney looking to begin a public interest career. Your law school must be an Equal Justice Works member law school at the time you apply. If your school is not on this list, please email Fellowships@equaljusticeworks.org
Host organization must be non-profit in the United States or its territories willing to employ you during the two-year Fellowship, if selected. They must commit to providing health insurance, fringe benefits, and any salary in excess of $50,000 per year. They must also provide legal supervision, a work space, and the materials (computer, internet access, phone, etc.) needed for the project.
Host Organizations and Candidates must collaboratively design a new project that serves individuals, groups or issues not adequately represented in our legal system. Projects may be in any issue area except standard criminal defense or international law. Projects must serve individuals and/or groups residing in the United States.
IDENTIFY THE ISSUE
Before seeking potential host organizations with which to collaborate, identify the issues that resonate with your passions, your goals, and the needs of the communities you want to serve. Equal Justice Works has funded projects in every issue area from legal technology/access to justice, to medical-legal partnerships, voting rights, corporate/government accountability, criminal justice reform, immigration and more. Looking for somewhere to start? Take a peek at what our current Fellows are doing right now for some inspiration.
Equal Justice Works does not match Fellows with their host organizations; rather, Fellowship candidates and organizations must come together to design the project and complete the application. We encourage candidates to begin collaborating with potential host organizations early in the process, so that both parties’ objectives are aligned every step of the way. Explore your options:
- Reach out to organizations with which you have volunteered or interned
- Talk to your law school's career services or public interest office about potential Fellowship host organizations
- Search the free Public Service Jobs Directory for host organizations seeking candidates to apply with (Also search NLADA and idealist)
- Reach out to organizations currently hosting Fellows
Once you have committed to partnering with an eligible host organization, you can begin work on your application. We encourage applicants to begin the application as early as possible, as the process will require significant planning and preparation. Striking a balance between your own passions and the organization’s strategic goals is paramount to success. Pay particular attention to opportunities for pro bono involvement from sponsors, ongoing sustainability of the project, connection to the community, and the needs of the community being served. Take a look at a list of known sponsor preferences which will be updated throughout the summer. A well-designed proposal addresses each of these considerations and many more. Check out these applications from superstar Fellows for inspiration:
BE THE SOLUTION
Ready to get started? Make sure to download our Application Guide for tips on finding a host organization, designing a project, and submitting a competitive application. Submit your application online by September 27, 2017 at 11:59pm EDT. The application requires a project proposal, personal statement, two letters of recommendation and a resume.