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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.



Extended Deadline for Specific Fellowship Projects - November 10

Equal Justice Works has extended the Fellowship application deadline to November 10 for several specific project types. Equal Justice Works has confirmed funding in the following categories and highly encourages students to apply in these areas:

  • LGBTQIA candidates of color serving LGBTQIA communities of color in NYC
  • Immigration or Veterans projects in Seattle
  • Agriculture or poverty alleviation projects in the Quad Cities (Davenport, Bettendorf, Rock Island, Moline)

Start your application here ASAP. Candidates must partner with a host organization (see list of past host organizations here) and submit two letters of recommendation, resume, and project proposal by November 10.


2018 New Mexico Fellowship Competition – Application Opens November 13

Start preparing your materials now! Equal Justice Works will begin accepting applications on November 13 for one Fellow to be hosted at New Mexico Immigrant Law Center in Albuquerque, NM. The selected Fellow will begin September 2018. Candidates must be bilingual and have a passion for immigrant rights. Applications (personal statement, resume, and two letters of recommendation) are due online by January 31, 2018. Read the full Fellowship description and apply online here beginning November 13. 



2019 Application Timeline 


Summer 2018 Application opens online
Fall 2018 Application Due
Winter 2018 Interviews with sponsors begin for selected candidates
Winter 2018 -Spring 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 Fall 2018 (deadline to be announced). The application requires a project proposal, personal statement, two letters of recommendation and a resume.
Where Can You Learn More?