An Update on Law School Membership Fees
The following letter was recently sent from Deans Garry W. Jenkins and William M. Treanor as members of the Equal Justice Works Board of Directors, notifying law schools about an increase in annual membership dues.
We are writing as members of the Equal Justice Works Board of Directors to share with you that in a little more than one year (the 2022-2023 academic year), the organization is increasing its annual membership dues from $2,000 to $3,000. This will be the first increase in more than 10 years. The value Equal Justice Works provides for law schools and public interest-minded students we believe is a worthwhile investment.
As Law School Deans, we are all committed to guiding and supporting the next generation of attorneys who will shape the future of justice in our nation. The mission of Equal Justice Works is to create opportunities for lawyers to transform their passion for equal justice into a lifelong commitment to public service.
Approximately 90% of ABA-accredited law schools are members of Equal Justice Works, which provides students with access to valuable public interest resources and programs, including:
- The largest annual national public interest law conference and career fair
- Eligibility to apply to our flagship postgraduate fellowship programs
- Summer job opportunities including paid student fellowship positions
- Student debt and Public Service Loan Forgiveness webinars, trainings, and resources
- Personalized virtual and in-person school presentations about how to pursue an Equal Justice Works Fellowship and public interest law career
- Eligibility for our Regional Public Interest Awards, our Student Representative Program, and to serve on our National Advisory Committee
Through the generous support of member law schools, Equal Justice Works is able to offer these unique member benefits. While law school membership is a vital revenue source, Equal Justice Works also independently raises millions of dollars for summer and postgraduate fellowships for your students and graduates as well as to preserve Public Service Loan Forgiveness. As law school deans, we believe membership dues, even at its increased level, is a very good deal with a high return on investment.
From conversations within our community, we recognize that providing notice of this increase as early as possible is important and why we are announcing this increase a year in advance. This decision was made with careful consideration for member law schools and the value that we wish to continue to offer to you.
The value of your support can be seen in just a few examples of our shared impact:
- At the 2020 Conference and Career Fair, more than 2,600 law students attended virtually, participating in over 3,700 prescheduled interviews with over 170 public interest employers.
- Last year, 450 law students designed a fellowship project in partnership with a legal services organization, resulting in the selection of 85 Equal Justice Works Fellows.
- In partnership with the Legal Services Corporation, the Rural Summer Legal Corps has been an incredible summer opportunity for law students to address the civil legal needs of rural communities. Over the last six years, 190 students spent their summer serving rural areas across our nation.
As fellow Deans, we know these are challenging times and we are faced with many tough choices about allocation of resources. We also know that the benefits to our students, to our communities, and to our justice system are well worth the contribution we make to support Equal Justice Works. We are grateful for your continued commitment to public service and hopeful for your continued support of this vital organization.
Garry W. Jenkins
Dean and William S. Pattee Professor of Law
University of Minnesota Law School
William M. Treanor
Executive Vice President,
Dean of the Law Center, and Professor of Law
Georgetown University Law Center