Big or small, every nonprofit organization has dream projects they would tackle, if only they had more hands on deck. The Equal Justice Works Fellowship program serves a dual purpose: to jump-start the careers of aspiring public interest attorneys and build capacity at nonprofit organizations nationwide.
|Fellows and Host Organizations submit a joint proposal for Fellowship funding to bring a new project into being. Host organizations may submit as many different proposals with different candidates and projects as they can financially and structurally support, but must be capable of supporting all submitted proposals in the event all projects are selected for funding. Interested in hosting a Fellow to drive an innovative new project at your organization? Read below to find out how to apply:|
|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|
Why Host Fellows?
By hosting an Equal Justice Works Fellow, your organization will receive up to $100,000 total toward their salary over the course of the two-year Fellowship term, allowing you to expand your reach to new communities, legal issues, and pro bono initiatives. Host Organizations benefit from the Fellowship in a variety of ways:
- Up to $50,000 annually towards each Fellow’s salary during their two-year term.
- Ability to pilot or expand a project with minimal financial risk, allowing you to serve new communities or serve your communities in new ways
- Connections with prominent private-sector sponsors that have chosen to fund the project, including pro bono support and lasting relationships.
- Ambitious new public interest attorney who is uniquely suited to lead the project based on their experience and personal background
Is Our Organization Eligible?
Your organization must be a non-profit in the United States or its territories that is willing to employ the candidate during the two-year Fellowship, if selected. The organization must commit to providing health insurance, fringe benefits, and any salary in excess of $50,000 per year to provide the Fellow compensation equivalent to a similarly experienced attorney at the organization. Your organization must also provide legal supervision, a work space, and the materials (computer, internet access, phone, etc.) needed for the project.
Your candidates must be third year law students, recent law school graduates who have not held a full-time, permanent public interest attorney position, or experienced private attorneys looking to begin a public interest career. Their law school must be an Equal Justice Works member law school at the time of application. If their school is not on this list, please email Fellowships@equaljusticeworks.org
Host Organizations and Candidates must collaboratively design a new and discrete 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 Organizations Apply?
Host Organizations and candidates work closely together to design a project and apply for the Fellowship. Identify candidates that can lead the project, then work collaboratively to design an innovative legal project and submit a competitive application.
IDENTIFY THE ISSUES
Before seeking potential candidates with which to collaborate, identify the issues that resonate with your organizational mission, strategic 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.
FIND YOUR CANDIDATES
Equal Justice Works does not match Host Organizations with candidates; rather, Fellowship candidates and organizations must come together to design the project and complete the application. Organizations can find qualified, passionate candidates in many places. Before you begin reaching out, design a brief solicitation notice for your Fellowship project(s), then follow these recommendations to find the best candidates:
- Post a solicitation on the free Public Service Jobs Directory, specifically for public-interest legal job seekers (also post on NLADA and idealist)
- Talk to local law schools' career service or public interest offices about putting your candidate solicitation out to their listservs
- Discuss the Fellowship opportunity with former interns/volunteers who did great work and may be interested in the project's subject matter
- Utilize social media networks. Place an inexpensive targeted ad on your social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter) to reach new candidates
DESIGN THE PROJECT
Once you have committed to partnering with an eligible candidate, you can begin work on the application. We encourage Host and applicant teams to begin the application as early as possible, as the process will require significant planning and preparation. Striking a balance between the organization’s strategic goals and the candidate's personal passions is paramount to success. Pay particular attention to opportunities for pro bono involvement from sponsors, ongoing sustainability of the project, the candidate's connection to the community, and the needs of the community being served. Sponsors make the final decisions regarding which project they would like to fund, so 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 Host Organization Guide for tips on finding candidates, 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 from the candidate, two letters of recommendation from the candidate's references, and a resume. Have your candidate and ready to submit? They can start their application here:
Where Can You Learn More?
- Download the Host Organization Guide (Strategies for designing a competitive application)
- Attend a Host Organization webinar for tips and Q&A with our staff
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Sample Application 1, Sample Application 2
- List of current and former Fellows, projects, and Host Organizations
- Questions? Email Fellowships@equaljusticeworks.org