The 2024 Design-Your-Own Fellowship application is now open! Apply by 12 a.m. ET on September 12, 2023.
Every legal services organization has dream projects they would tackle, if only they had more hands on deck. Equal Justice Works offers an opportunity for applicants and legal services organizations to design their own Fellowship project.
This Fellowship opportunity launches the careers of passionate public interest lawyers, while working to increase access to justice for an underserved community. Applicants and legal services organizations 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 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 $62,000 annually toward a Fellow’s salary
- Pilot or expand a project
- Access prominent private-sector sponsors that have chosen to fund the project, including pro bono support
Hosting an Equal Justice Works Fellows is open to legal services 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 $62,000 per year.
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.
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.