Become a Fellow

Design-Your-Own Fellowship

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The deadline to apply for the Class of 2021 is September 17, 2020

Designing your own Fellowship project presents a unique opportunity for you to create your dream job. This Fellowship opportunity allows you to leverage your law degree in service of a community or cause of your choice. We’re here to support you each step of the way through the application process.

Follow the step-by-step instructions in our Fellowship Applicant Guide to discover how you can successfully submit an application to become an Equal Justice Works Fellow by designing your own Fellowship project. This option offers you the greatest flexibility in selecting the issue and community you care most passionately about serving. To design your own project, our application requires a project proposal, personal statement, two letters of recommendation, and a résumé, as well as information from your host organization. Together, you and your host organization submit the required components for your application.


Download our Applicant Guide

Download Sponsor Preferences

View Sample Applications

Register for a Candidate Webinar

  • July 15, 3–4 p.m. ET

Register for a Last Minute Tips Webinar

  • August 12, 3–4 p.m. ET
  • September 2, 3–4 p.m. ET

Apply for a Fellowship

Design Your Own Fellowship


Identify the Issue

Candidates for an Equal Justice Works Fellowship have the opportunity to design their own Fellowship to address an unmet legal need and underserved community. Consider the legal issues that resonate with your passions, as well as the needs of the community you want to serve.

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Find Your Host Organization

Connect with a legal services organization that wants to host you for the duration of your Fellowship.

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Design the Fellowship

Work with your host organization to design your Fellowship. Successful applications leverage innovative ideas to increase access to justice for underserved communities, complementing a candidate’s passions with the host organization’s mission and work.

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Complete the Application

To design your own Fellowship, the application requires a project proposal, personal statement, two letters of recommendation, and a résumé. A candidate and host organization submit a joint application for this Fellowship.

Complete the Application Icon

Benefits of Designing your own Fellowship

Each year, Equal Justice Works aims to launch around 70 new Fellows nationwide who have designed their own Fellowship project. Over the course of two-year project terms, these Fellows build sustainable solutions for the communities they serve, addressing areas of law as diverse as veterans benefits, access to education, immigration and asylum, community economic development, voting rights, and so much more.

Equal Justice Works aims to break down the financial and structural barriers that prevent talented candidates from pursuing careers in the public interest sector. Throughout the two-year project term, Fellows receive the support they need to focus on helping their community, including:

  • A competitive salary, equivalent to similarly qualified lawyers at their host organization
  • Health insurance and fringe benefits
  • Up to $5,000 in loan repayment assistance per year
  • Annual Leadership Development Training in Washington, D.C.
  • Ongoing guidance and support from Equal Justice Works

Fellows who design their own Fellowship project also benefit from connecting with law firm and corporate sponsors, developing hands-on experience in their chosen issue area working full-time at a legal services organization, and networking opportunities with other Fellows and alumni in the field. On average, 85% of Equal Justice Works Fellows remain in public service following their Fellowship, with many leveraging connections made and skills gained during their Fellowship throughout the rest of their career.

Contact [email protected] to learn more.

Learn more about designing your own Fellowship

Meet Some of Our Fellows

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Krista Oehlke

Host: American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts

Sponsor: DLA Piper LLP (US), John Hancock

Current Fellow

Clarisa Reyes-Becerra

Host: California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation

Sponsor: Amgen Inc., Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP

Current Fellow

Vallen Solomon

Host: King County Bar Association's Housing Justice Project

Sponsor: Costco Wholesale, The Raikes Foundation

Current Fellow

Amanda Insalaco

Host: The Center for Disability and Elder Law

Sponsor: Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, PayPal

Current Fellow