Headshot of David Stern

David Stern

Executive Director

David Stern has served at Equal Justice Works for 30 years, and as executive director since 1992, vastly expanding the size and impact of Equal Justice Works.

With more than 35 years of experience, David has helped to develop Equal Justice Works into the nation’s largest facilitator of opportunities in public interest law. Equal Justice Works brings together an extensive network of law students, lawyers, legal services organizations, and supporters to promote a lifelong commitment to public service and equal justice.

David joined Equal Justice Works, then known as the National Association for Public Interest Law, in 1992 to establish a postgraduate fellowship program; in 1995, he was promoted to executive director. During his tenure as executive director, the organization’s budget has grown tenfold, staff has quadrupled, and more than 98 percent of ABA-accredited schools are now members of Equal Justice Works.

Under David’s leadership, the organization has facilitated over 2,500 public interest fellowships, with 85 percent of Fellows remaining in public service following their fellowship. In addition, Equal Justice Works is a national expert on student debt relief and provides tools to promote public interest law opportunities on campuses across the country.

David has been recognized as a “Champion of Change” by the White House, as one of “The 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America” by The National Law Journal, and as one of the “Greatest Washington Lawyers in the Past 30 Years” by The Legal Times. In 2006, David was honored by the Mississippi Center for Justice for bringing national attention to the legal needs of survivors of Hurricane Katrina and for creating Equal Justice Works’ Katrina Initiative, which deployed lawyers to the Gulf Coast region to help thousands of people left without homes, jobs, or social services.

David serves on the Advisory Committee for Voices for Civil Justice, a nonpartisan communications hub advancing fairness in America’s legal system. He is also a member of the Legal Services Corporation’s Leaders Council, which is dedicated to raising public awareness of the crisis in civil legal aid nationwide.

David received his B.A. from Union College and his J.D. from Georgetown University.

Media

From the Archives: Public Interest's Pitch Man

Equal Justice Works, American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, American Red Cross, and the National Disaster Legal Aid Resource Center Team Up to Launch First-ever Disaster Resilience Awareness Month

Harvard Law School LGBTQ+ Advocacy Clinic and NCLR Release First-of-Its-Kind Comprehensive Legal Resource for Transgender Youth

An Update on Public Service Loan Forgiveness: by Executive Director David Stern

Equal Justice Works Launches Alumni Engagement Program

Equal Justice Works Announces David Stern Retiring

Pioneers and Pathfinders: David Stern

Equal Justice Works Executive Director David Stern Receives 2022 Laurie D. Zelon Pro Bono Award