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2020 Scales of Justice Highlights

2020 Highlights

The Scales of Justice Highlights

More than 1,500 friends and supporters from all corners of the legal community tuned in on October 13, 2020 for The Scales of Justice virtual event to celebrate Equal Justice Works Fellows and honor Laura Stein, executive vice president and general counsel—Corporate Affairs at The Clorox Company, with the Scales of Justice Award. Michel Martin, Weekend Host of NPR’s All Things Considered, served as emcee for the event.

Thanks to generous donors, we raised $2.9 million to support our efforts to mobilize a community of lawyers committed to public service and equal justice.

Throughout the program, we shared powerful stories of Fellows who are answering the needs of their communities. Fellows Joseph Longley, Crystal Pardue, and Daniel Pham spoke about how they are helping clients disproportionately affected by the health and economic repercussions of the pandemic; and Fellows Emma Shakeshaft, Mitchell Brown, and Molly Griffard shared how they are challenging systemic injustice and building a better future for everyone. These stories highlight how Equal Justice Works Fellows are bringing lasting change to our communities, our justice system, and our country.

A memorable moment in the program occurred when Fellow Clarence Okoh spoke about his work to address how artificial intelligence is being used to shape and govern lives, and how this technology is specifically harmful to Black people and people of color.

During our event, we had the opportunity to watch 2020 Scales of Justice honoree Laura Stein in conversation with her father, Robert Stein. Laura reflected on her family values, commitment to pro bono work, and hopes for our justice system.

“I know the power of an Equal Justice Works Fellow. Fellows challenge systems of injustice to make meaningful and lasting change in their community and help us realize our nation’s promise of equal justice for all,” said Laura.

The program was rounded out with special appearances from longtime friend and CNN political analyst, David Gregory who encouraged attendees to support the public interest law community; and from our former Board member Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, who echoed David’s sentiments and shared her organization’s experience hosting Fellows.

Thank you to our Champion of Justice sponsor Greenberg Traurig, LLP, our other incredible event sponsors, the 2020 Steering Committee, and all who attended and supported us in making The Scales of Justice a momentous success. The generosity and dedication of our community is helping to bring us closer to fulfilling our nation’s promise of equal justice for all.

I know the power of an Equal Justice Works Fellow. Fellows challenge systems of injustice to make meaningful and lasting change in their community and help us realize our nation’s promise of equal justice for all

Laura Stein /
2020 Scales of Justice Award Honoree

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Your tax-deductible gift brings us closer to fulfilling our nation’s promise of equal justice for all.

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2020 Scales of Justice Sponsors

CHAMPIONS OF JUSTICE

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SUSTAINERS OF JUSTICE

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Morgan, Lewis & Bockius Logo
O'Melveny & Myers Logo
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Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz Logo

PILLARS OF JUSTICE

Amazon Logo
Amgen Logo
Arnold & Porter Logo
Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP Logo
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP Logo
Fenwick logo
Fidelity Investments Logo
International Paper Logo
Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein, LLP Logo
Paul, Weiss Logo
Thomson Reuters logo
UPS Logo
Verizon Logo
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Weil Gotshal & Mange Logo
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The Scales of Justice Highlights

On October 11th, 2022, Equal Justice Works gathered hundreds of leaders and supporters from the legal community for the first in-person Scales of Justice since 2019. This year’s event gathered our community of Fellows, Alumni, and supporters in Washington, D.C., to support our mission and to honor Teresa Wynn Roseborough, Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary at The Home Depot.

Thanks to generous event sponsors and donors, we raised more than $2.9 million to support our efforts to mobilize a community of lawyers committed to public service and equal justice! 

This was a landmark year for Equal Justice Works and the Scales of Justice event, as we introduced our new CEO, Verna Williams, to our community for the first time in person. During her remarks, Verna touched on what drew her to Equal Justice Works and the recent successes of the organization. She also shared her vision for the future of Equal Justice Works: “Looking forward, I see great opportunity ahead for this organization and the communities we serve.”

During the program, we highlighted the incredible work of our Fellows, including 2021 Fellow Joey Carrillo’s work, which provides identity-affirming legal services, outreach, and education for low-income LGBTQ+ survivors of domestic violence in Chicago. Joey also spoke at the event, and shared stories from his clients who benefit directly from the services that he provides through his Fellowship. Joey’s project is sponsored by Greenberg Traurig, and he invited Ernest LaMont Greer, the co-president of Greenberg Traurig and Equal Justice Works board member, to the stage to share that as of this spring, Greenberg Traurig will have sponsored 200 Fellows with Equal Justice Works!

Our 2022 Text-to-Give Fellow, Alexandra Zaretsky, took the stage to discuss her project reuniting refugee families by exposing and challenging anti-Muslim immigration policies. In response, attendees texted in donations totaling more than $76,000 to fund one more 2023 Fellow who will pursue their passion to help individuals and communities in need.

We also shared a video in conversation 2012 Fellow alumni Hillary Schneller and 2021 Fellow Ndome Essoka, who discussed their important work advocating for reproductive justice and maternal health care. In this fireside chat, Hillary and Ndome spoke to the recent developments challenging reproductive rights and other intersecting issues, such as maternal healthcare.

During the award presentation, Teresa was introduced by her long-time colleague from Eversheds Sutherland, Mark Wasserman. She then took the stage to speak about the importance of public interest work in achieving justice. During her remarks, she touched on some of the incredible work that our Fellows do to advocate for their causes. She cited projects that focus on youth with behavioral and mental needs;  aim to stop the solitary confinement of children in Georgia’s prisons; and help people navigate complicated property laws, such as Heirs’ law, to ensure that generational wealth is passed down. She also discussed the importance of using the law as a tool of empowerment to create equal access to justice for all.

Teresa stated in her remarks that, “No single person… can fix the tremendous problems before us. None of us alone can do the great things that need to be done to make our country and our world what they were intended to be. But if each of us will simply bite off what we can chew, I believe we can achieve equal justice for all.”

The program was rounded out with special appearances from General Counsel and Secretary, Medtronic, Inc., Ivan Fong; Managing Partner and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Eversheds Sutherland LLP, Mark Wasserman; and co-president of Greenberg Traurig, LLP Ernest LaMont Greer. The 2022 Scales of Justice event was co-hosted by emcees Michel Martin, Weekend Host of All Things Considered and Consider This from NPR, and Billy Martin, Partner at Barnes & Thornburg.

Huge thanks to everyone who made this program possible: Champion of Justice sponsors The Home Depot and Greenberg Traurig, LLP, our other incredible event sponsors, the 2022 Steering Committee, and all who attended and supported The Scales of Justice!

The generosity and dedication of our community is greatly appreciated and will help to bring us closer to fulfilling our nation’s promise of equal justice for all.

If each of us will simply bite off what we can chew, I believe we can achieve equal justice for all.”

Teresa Wynn Roseborough /
2022 Scales of Justice Award Honoree

Support Equal Justice Works

Your tax-deductible gift brings us closer to fulfilling our nation’s promise of equal justice for all.

Donate Now

Throughout our country, individuals and families face unfair barriers to accessing basic needs—such as housing, education, and healthcare—but rarely are these individuals able to exercise their rights and have their voices heard.

No matter the issue or community in need, the guidance of a lawyer often makes the critical difference.

Through our Fellowship opportunities, we mobilize lawyers to work at legal services organizations across our country, where they help build sustainable solutions and expand capacity to respond to the dire need for free legal support.

Our committed partners make our work possible. We rely on generous support from law firms, corporations, foundations, individual donors, and the government to help us build a community of lawyers committed to public service and equal justice.

Join us to mobilize more passionate public service leaders who will help fulfill our nation’s promise of equal justice for all.

Our Impact

2,000+ Fellows have launched their public interest law careers through Equal Justice Works. 

85% of Fellows remain in public service following their Equal Justice Works Fellowships.

Sponsor a Fellow

By sponsoring an Equal Justice Works Fellow, you have an opportunity to invest in a skilled and passionate lawyer who has designed a one-of-a-kind project to address an unmet legal need.

Support Our Fellowship Programs

With your support, Equal Justice Works Fellowship Programs can serve more communities in need of legal services, helping to address current and emerging legal needs.

Meet our Fellows

View All

Headshot of Anne Boyle

Anne Boyle

Host: Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland

Sponsor: Housing Justice Program

Current Fellow

Headshot of Warren Buff

Warren Buff

Host: Community Legal Services of Prince Georges County, Inc.

Sponsor: Housing Justice Program

Current Fellow

Headshot of Emily Blackshire

Emily Blackshire

Host: South Carolina Appleseed Legal Justice Center

Sponsor: Housing Justice Program

Current Fellow

Headshot of Taylor Rumble

Taylor Rumble

Host: Charleston Legal Access

Sponsor: Housing Justice Program

Current Fellow

Disasters devastate low-income communities, exacerbating poverty and further entrenching inequality. In the wake of any disaster, including the COVID-19 pandemic, legal issues abound and communities are in need of lawyers to overcome barriers to recovery.

But it’s not enough only to respond to disasters after they occur. As the frequency and severity of disasters continues to rise, lawyers play a critical role in improving preparedness by working with community members and leaders to avoid or mitigate disaster-related legal challenges. The unprecedented crisis of COVID-19 has shown the need for both preparedness and rapid response.

As more people confront devastating instability due to COVID-19, there is an overwhelming demand for qualified lawyers to help tackle myriad legal issues arising from this public health crisis.

For the past three decades, Equal Justice Works has supported over 2,000 Fellows serving communities in need across our country. We mobilize Fellows and law students to serve at legal services organizations where they build capacity to respond to the ever-increasing demand for accessible and free legal help. Our Fellowship programs address issues such as  housing and immigration and serve communities including veterans and the elderly, all work that now, because of the novel coronavirus, intersects with disaster recovery.

Fellows and law students can address the current and emerging legal needs that exist as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, including:

  • Supporting statewide efforts to suspend water and power disconnections for individuals facing financial turmoil during the COVID-19 crisis
  • Navigating solutions for immigrant clients in the face of limited access to clients in detention and disruptions to immigration court
  • Advocating for the release of incarcerated individuals facing serious health and safety concerns
  • Assisting students with limited or no access to necessary educational resources, including students with special education needs
  • Securing disaster benefits, including unemployment assistance and appealing wrongful FEMA denials
  • Challenging unlawful evictions, public housing displacement, and exploitation by private landlords
  • Replacing important legal documents such as wills and advance directives
  • Tackling insurance claim disputes, consumer price gouging, and other insurance claim scams
  • Protecting individuals with disabilities from discrimination in the workplace and discrimination in accessing emergency medical services
  • Ensuring that children and families have an advocate to support a safe home

Make a Donation

Our Legacy of Service

Since 2005, Equal Justice Works has mobilized more than 80 passionate public service lawyers to deliver legal services to disaster-affected communities. And now our more than 200 Fellows across the country are supporting their communities with disaster-responsive lawyering during the COVID-19 public health crisis.

Your donation supports this work.

By the Numbers

Following the devastating hurricanes in Texas and Florida, we mobilized 20 Fellows to provide critical legal services. From 2017 to 2019, these Fellows:

  • Provided legal information to 25,481 individuals
  • Assisted 16,423  households with legal services
  • Secured $2M+ in economic benefits

Learn more about how our Fellows serve communities in need following a disaster.

Support Equal Justice Works

Your tax-deductible gift brings us closer to fulfilling our nation’s promise of equal justice for all.

Donate Now

2020 Fellow Clarence Okoh on Artificial Intelligence and Racial Injustice

State and private actors routinely use AI and machine-learning technologies in ways that expand mass surveillance, lock in patterns of residential segregation, systematically deny access to bank loans and public benefits, and make it more likely for poor people of color to be arrested and jailed. Clarence Okoh, 2020 Fellow sponsored by the Text-to-Give Campaign, is working to defend low-income communities of color against exploitative technologies and to build community capacity to resist, challenge, and defeat automated injustice.


Equal Justice Works Fellows Challenge Racial Injustice

In a time when racial inequities are at the forefront of public consciousness, it is crucial for us to continue our mission to mobilize more lawyers who will challenge systemic injustice and help us build a better future for everyone. Emma Shakeshaft, Molly Griffard, and Mitchell Brown are just a few of the Equal Justice Works Fellows fighting against racial injustice.


Equal Justice Works Fellows Respond to COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone, though its impact has not been equally felt. Right now, access to free and low-cost civil legal aid is more important than ever. Fellows Joseph Longley, Crystal Pardue, and Daniel Pham have shifted focus to address new and exacerbated civil legal needs amid the pandemic.


2018 Equal Justice Works Fellow Katrina Feldkamp

Hosted at Bronx Legal Services, 2018 Equal Justice Works Fellow Katrina Feldkamp protects the rights of Bronx students with childhood trauma and behavioral and emotional health challenges. Katrina is sponsored by The Arnold & Porter Foundation.


Lasting Impact: 1996 Equal Justice Works Fellow Michele Johnson

Michele Johnson, co-founder and executive director of the Tennessee Justice Center, shares the lasting impact of her 1996 Equal Justice Works Fellowship helping families of children with special health care needs navigate the health care system.


2017 Equal Justice Works Fellow Alexis Piazza

Hosted at the ACLU of Southern California, 2017 Equal Justice Works Fellow Alexis Piazza draws on years of experience as a teacher to help homeless youth and children advocate for their educational rights so that they can learn, succeed academically, and reach their full potential. Alexis is cosponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP.


Lasting Impact: OneJustice

Equal Justice Works Fellow alumni Mai Nguyen, Renée Schomp, and Julia R. Wilson share the lasting impact of their Fellowships at OneJustice, where they continue to bring life-changing legal services to rural and isolated communities throughout California.


2012 Equal Justice Works Fellow Cynthia Cornelius

According to the FBI, about 70 million Americans have a criminal record--that's one in three adults. Cynthia Cornelius, a 2012 Equal Justice Works Fellow, designed a Fellowship project to provide the legal services required to expunge the records of the adult community in Chicago. Having a criminal record can prevent an individual from obtaining an education, a job, and a house. Cynthia was hosted by Cabrini Green Legal Aid and sponsored by The Albert and Anne Mansfield Family Foundation.


2013 Equal Justice Works Fellow Krista Selnau

Through her medical-legal partnership with Arkansas Children's Hospital and Legal Aid of Arkansas, Krista Selnau provided legal advocacy and outreach to low-income disabled children and their families. Krista was sponsored by the generous donations of Walmart and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld.


2011 Equal Justice Works Fellow Susan Friedman

During her Fellowship sponsored by Greenberg Traurig at the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project, Susan Friedman investigated and litigated cases where individuals were wrongfully convicted by the misuse of forensic science in Washington, D.C.

Get the latest news and updates from Equal Justice Works


We facilitate Fellowships at legal services organizations to help fulfill our nation’s promise of equal justice for all.

Founded by law students in 1986, Equal Justice Works is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that 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.

We do this through:

  • Connecting law students and law school professionals with opportunities to serve the public interest law community on their campuses and nationwide.
  • Collaborating with law schools to enhance and expand their public interest law programming.
  • Hosting the largest national public interest legal career fair that brings together law students and public interest employers from across the country to interview for job opportunities, build their public interest law network, and hear from noteworthy speakers.
  • Facilitating Fellowships for public interest lawyers and law students to serve at legal services organizations across the nation to increase equal access to justice for communities in need.
  • Educating law students and lawyers about options to manage their student debt and advocating for loan repayment assistance programs (LRAPs) and Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF).

Equal Justice Works is the nation’s largest facilitator of opportunities in public interest law. Through an Equal Justice Works Fellowship, recent law school graduates or private practice lawyers looking to jumpstart their public interest law career have an opportunity to design a one-of-a-kind project to address a critical legal need of an underserved community.

Sponsoring an Equal Justice Works Fellowship goes beyond the financial support—it helps foster a public service leader who shares your passion for equal justice. It also offers you and your law firm, company, or foundation the opportunity to:

  • Support the issues and communities that you are most passionate about
  • Engage more deeply in your commitment to pro bono service and corporate social responsibility
  • Join the community of law firms and corporate legal departments working toward equal access to justice for all

Meet our Fellows

Read more about the passionate public service leaders who are pioneering solutions to address the legal needs of underserved communities across our nation.

Sponsor Fellows

1

Commit to Sponsoring

Your sponsorship contributes to the salary, educational loan repayment assistance, annual Leadership Development Training, and ongoing support for our Fellows.

Commit to Sponsoring Icon

2

Identify Issue Areas and Geography

Fellows work all across the country on a range of legal issues such as housing, education, immigration, and disability rights, to name just a few. Sponsors can specify the geographic areas and the issues they are interested in supporting.

Identify Issue Areas and Geography Icon

3

Interview Candidates

Equal Justice Works interviews candidates, in consultation with each committed sponsor. Equal Justice Works strives to select Fellows whose projects align with each sponsor’s public interest goals.

Interview Candidates Icon

4

Stay Connected

During the project, sponsors receive updates from Fellows, as well as the opportunity to work directly with Fellows in volunteer and pro bono matters to increase the project’s impact.

Stay Connected Icon

5

Continue Your Support

Help us continue our mission to mobilize passionate public service leaders by renewing your commitment to sponsor Fellows. On average, 85 percent of sponsors renew their commitment.

Continue Your Support Icon

Why Support a Fellow?

Each year, Equal Justice Works receives applications from passionate law students and lawyers who have designed innovative two-year projects in partnership with legal services organizations to serve the most critical needs of their communities. We work closely with sponsoring law firms, companies, foundations, and individuals to present a slate of well-qualified candidates whose projects are focused on a community or cause of their choice. Your support ensures long-term success in our public sector—on average, 85 percent of Equal Justice Works Fellows remain in public service following their Fellowships. Join us in working to fulfill our nation’s promise of equal justice for all.

 

Take the Next Step to Support a Public Interest Leader

Become a Sponsor

To discuss the best way to structure a sponsorship, please contact Jessica Ryckman, Director of Fellowships: [email protected]

Other Ways to Support Equal Justice Works

There are many other ways you can support the public interest law community.

Meet Some of Our Fellows

View All

KyMara Guidry

Host: Georgia Advocacy Office

Sponsor: Southern Company, Troutman Pepper

Current Fellow

Photo of Zuhra Aziz

Zuhra Aziz

Host: Georgia Asylum and Immigration Network

Sponsor: State Farm

Current Fellow

Photo of MJ Smith

MJ Smith

Host: Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia

Sponsor: Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Current Fellow

Photo of Meena Roldán Oberdick

Meena Roldán Oberdick

Host: LatinoJustice PRLDEF

Sponsor: Anonymous

Current Fellow

Get the latest news and updates from Equal Justice Works


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October 11, 2022

The Scales of Justice

Each fall, Equal Justice Works honors lawyers who exemplify the values we hold dear—compassion, dedication, and commitment to achieving our nation’s promise of equal justice for all—at The Scales of Justice, a celebration of our community of lawyers.

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