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Become a Fellow

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.


Fellowship Opportunity for LGBTQ 3Ls of Color - Application Due February 28, 2018


Equal Justice Works has confirmed funding for one Fellow who identifies as an LGBTQ+ person of color and who will lead a two-year Fellowship project of their own design, serving LGBTQ+ people of color in New York City. Candidates must work with a NYC-based non-profit organization of their choice to design a project proposal, and submit an application online. Applicants must prepare a personal statement, two letters of recommendation, and resume in addition to the project proposal. Fellowship begins September 2018 and ends September 2020. Applications submitted before February 28th will receive priority consideration, with additional applications accepted on a rolling basis. We highly encourage interested applicants to submit an application; all eligible proposals will be considered. Start an application online here and direct questions to


Want updates on our post-graduate Fellowships and new internship opportunities as they come available? Join the JDs for Justice Network to stay in the loop on public interest opportunities: Join JDs for Justice Now


2019 Application Timeline 


June 2018 Application opens online
September 2018 Application Due
December 2018 Interviews with sponsors begin for selected candidates
December 2018 - April 2019 Interviews continue; Fellowships are offered on a rolling basis
September 2019 2019 Fellows begin service



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

Read more about Fellow support here


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 

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.

How Do You Apply?
Candidates and prospective host organizations work closely together to design a project and apply for the Fellowship. Read on learn how to identify an organization to support your vision, then work collaboratively to design an innovative legal project and submit a competitive application.

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:

     -   Sample Application 1
     -   Sample Application 2

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 September 2018 (precise deadline to be announced). The application requires a project proposal, personal statement, two letters of recommendation and a resume.
Where Can You Learn More?