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Eligibility and Criteria

All applications for an Equal Justice Works Fellowship will be judged according to the quality of the proposed project, the individual fellowship candidate, and the host organization, taking into consideration other factors such as issue area, geographic diversity and sponsor preferences. Sponsors may want to support projects based in cities in which they have offices. In many cases, however, sponsors will simply indicate an interest in funding an innovative project anywhere in the country. If a sponsor expresses a particular geographic or issue area preference, Equal Justice Works will post that information here.


Project Evaluation Criteria

  • Project is a carefully designed initiative that involves innovative, effective legal advocacy on behalf of individuals, groups or issues that are not adequately represented within the legal system.
  • Goal is to create new public interest positions.
  • Equal Justice Works Fellowships are not used to fund general staff attorney positions within existing organizations. They should provide Fellows with the opportunity to exercise leadership on a discrete project. Individuals and host organizations work together to generate project proposals.


Fellowship Candidate Evaluation Criteria

  • The candidate's demonstrated or stated commitment to public interest law generally, and specifically to the community in which s/he is planning to work.
  • The candidate's professional, volunteer and/or subject matter expertise indicating that they possesses the relevant skills and initiative to make the proposed project a success.
  • Equal Justice Works requires Fellows to sit for the bar exam before beginning their Fellowship. For most Fellows, this means sitting for the July bar exam the summer before their Fellowship begins. 
  • Equal Justice Works will not fund an applicant who has had a previous postgraduate legal fellowship through Equal Justice Works or any other major fellowship program (e.g. Skadden, Soros, Echoing Green). However, Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellows are eligible to apply, as well as those candidates who have previously received a law school fellowship such as a clinical fellow position or a judicial clerkship.


Host Organization Evaluation Criteria

  • The nonprofit organization's commitment and ability to provide training, support and supervision throughout the Fellowship project.
  • The role of the project in the scheme of the larger organizational priorities.
  • The organization's commitment and ability to provide health insurance and other standard employee benefits to the Fellow during the Fellowship, as well as any salary in excess of $50,000 per year.


Download our application guide for more details about the process.


View our frequently asked questions or send an email to Include your name, email address, and phone number.