2025 Design-Your-Own Fellowship Applications are Open

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Host: Design-Your-Own Fellows

The 2025 Design-Your-Own Fellowship application is now open! Apply by 11:59 PM Eastern Time/8:59 PM Pacific Time on September 10, 2024.

Every nonprofit organization has dream projects they would tackle, if only they had more hands on deck. Equal Justice Works offers an opportunity for applicants and nonprofit organizations to design their own Fellowship project.

The Design-Your-Own Fellowship launches the careers of passionate public interest lawyers, while working to increase access to justice for an underserved community. Applicants and Host Organizations (check out this FAQ for details) work together to design and submit a two-year project that addresses an unmet legal need. Projects must serve individuals and/or communities living in the United States and its territories and can be focused on any area of legal aid except for international law or standard criminal defense.

Organizations and candidates can partner in a number of ways—a candidate may approach an organization with a proposed project idea, or an organization may find and select a candidate with whom their goals are aligned. Candidates must attend or have attended an Equal Justice Works Member Law School and be either a third-year law student; a recent law school graduate who has not yet held a full-time, permanent public interest attorney position; or an experienced lawyer in private practice looking to begin a public interest career who has a significant public interest background.

By hosting an Equal Justice Works Fellow, your organization will:

  • Receive up to $63,500 annually toward a Fellow’s salary
  • Pilot or expand a project
  • Access prominent sponsors that have chosen to fund the project, including through pro bono support

Hosting an Equal Justice Works Fellows is open to nonprofit organizations in the United States and its territories that are able to provide legal supervision, a work space, and all materials needed throughout the two-year project. Host organizations must also commit to providing health insurance, fringe benefits, and any salary costs over the maximum Equal Justice Works contribution of $63,500 per year.

Our Fellowship Host Organization Guide explains the benefits of hosting a Fellow and offers tips for submitting a high-scoring application. Register for a webinar here to learn more and find a lot of useful information in the FAQs here. Check out the resources on this page for additional information.

To receive periodic updates/reminders on the Class of 2025 Design-Your-Own Fellowship application process, sign up here.

An Important Note on Applicant-Host Organization Collaboration 

As a prospective host organization, you will need to fill out a portion of this application in the application platform, Submittable. The applicant you partner with is encouraged to click “Manage Collaborators” once in the application workspace and add your email address(es) as soon as possible. Please refer to this Help Article for more information on collaboration in the Submittable platform. The Fellowship applicant will be responsible for submitting the completed application.

Our Fellowship Host Organization Guide explains the benefits of hosting a Fellow and offers tips for submitting a high-scoring application. Contact [email protected] to learn more.

Host a 2025 Fellow

The application for the 2025 Design-Your-Own Fellowship class is now open through 11:59 p.m. ET on September 10, 2024.

Fellowship applicants and prospective host organizations must partner to design the project and submit the application. Read our Host Organization Guide for more information on working collaboratively through this process.

Meet Our Fellows

View All

Equal Justice Works Logomark

Katherine D.

Sponsor: Greenberg Traurig, LLP, Texas Access to Justice Foundation

Current Fellow

Headshot of Alizeh M Sheikh

Alizeh Sheikh

Host: Southern Poverty Law Center

Sponsor: Greenberg Traurig, LLP, UPS

Current Fellow

Headshot of Ana Cecilia Martinez

Ana Martinez

Host: Equal Justice Center

Sponsor: State Bar of Texas’ Hispanic Issues Section, Texas Access to Justice Foundation

Current Fellow

Headshot of Allison Rubinfeld

Allison “Ali” Rubinfeld

Host: Loyola Anti-Racism Center

Sponsor: Anonymous

Current Fellow

Learn more about becoming a Host Organization