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LAW STUDENTS

Disaster Resilience Program

Explore your passion for equal justice by providing legal support to underserved communities in California, Louisiana, and New Mexico as they work to rebuild their lives and prepare for the next disaster.

Disasters, including the COVID-19 pandemic, devastate lower-income communities, creating new poverty and further entrenching inequality. As a law student, you have an opportunity this summer to play a critical role in improving disaster preparedness and recovery by working alongside an Equal Justice Works Fellow in our Disaster Resilience Program. 

The need for legal services is especially critical for parts of the country hard hit by the pandemic and prone to natural disasters such as hurricanes, flooding, and wildfires. Our Disaster Resilience Program mobilizes full-time lawyers (Equal Justice Works Fellows) to provide free civil legal aid in disaster-prone areas to ensure vital legal services are accessible to rebuild lives, stabilize communities, and create resilience. As a current law student, you have an opportunity to support an Equal Justice Works Fellow as a Student Fellow. 

If you are a 1L or 2L law student, apply to the Equal Justice Works Disaster Resilience Program to be a Student Fellow this summer and work alongside a current Equal Justice Works Fellow at their host organization (virtually and/or hybrid; see host site preferences and accommodations) to help communities navigate legal issues before, during, and after disasters. This is an eight- to ten-week position available to thirteen law students during the summer of 2024. Upon completion, Student Fellows will receive a $7,000 stipend.  

Through the program, Student Fellows will have the opportunity to:  

  • Provide civil legal services 
  • Engage in community education and advocacy efforts to increase disaster preparedness and awareness of legal rights 
  • Build capacity at the legal services organization where you work 
  • Participate in trainings in disaster law prior to the start of the program in May 
  • Join networking opportunities with other Equal Justice Works Fellows and Student Fellows 

The Disaster Resilience Program is currently funded by the American Red Cross, Bigglesworth Family Foundation, California Community Foundation Wildfire Relief Fund, Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Center for Disaster Philanthropy and the California Wildfires Recovery, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and individual contributions.

Eligibility

All applicants must: 

  • Be current a law student at an Equal Justice Works member law school, who has completed at least their first year of law school by the start of their summer placement 
  • Be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or lawful permanent resident (e.g., green card) 
  • For several placements, possess a valid driver’s license and access to adequate transportation during summer placement
Funding

Participants will receive a $7,000 stipend for their service. Students have the option to apply for unlimited outside funding through their university or other sources. 

Program Participant Expectations
  • Complete 300 hours of service within an eight to ten-week period 
  • Complete all required program reporting and documentation 
Housing and Transportation

If applicable, it is the participant’s responsibility to obtain housing and ensure adequate transportation throughout the summer placement. It is not the responsibility of the host organization to provide direct housing or transportation assistance. Please pay attention to whether the opportunity you are applying for is remote or in-person. 

Questions?

If you have questions about Disaster Resilience Program, please review this website, our FAQ guide, or send an email to [email protected]. 

Resources

Learn more about participating in a Student Fellowship.

  • View Frequently Asked Questions
  • View 2024 Student Fellow Project Descriptions
Applications Now Closed

The application timeline for the 2024 cohort of Disaster Resilience Program Student Fellows is now closed. Check back next year for another opportunity to apply!

Program Host Organizations

View All Host Organizations

Programs
  • Disaster Resilience Program

LatinoJustice PRLDEF

FLORIDA / Orlando

Programs
  • Disaster Resilience Program

Southeast Louisiana Legal Services

LOUISIANA / New Orleans
LOUISIANA / Hammond

Programs
  • Crime Victims Advocacy Program
  • Disaster Resilience Program
  • Rural Summer Legal Corps

Legal Aid of Arkansas

ARKANSAS / Newport

Programs
  • Crime Victims Advocacy Program
  • Design-Your-Own Fellowship
  • Disaster Resilience Program
  • Rural Summer Legal Corps

Kentucky Legal Aid (KLA)

KENTUCKY / Bowling Green

Programs
  • Disaster Resilience Program

Disability Rights Louisiana

LOUISIANA / New Orleans

Programs
  • Disaster Resilience Program

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Equal Justice Works is a great organization to remind people of why they went to law school in the first place and offers real opportunities for people who want to work in public interest law.

Camilo Rodriguez /
2017 Equal Justice Works Student Representative