/ Press Release
78 public interest lawyers will spend the next two years serving at legal services organizations across the nation to increase access to justice.
The 2020 class of Fellows received sponsorship from 89 law firms, corporations, private foundations, and individual donors.
WASHINGTON, D.C., May 12, 2020—Equal Justice Works, the nation’s largest facilitator of opportunities in public interest law, today named its 2020 class of Equal Justice Works Fellows. Seventy-eight law school graduates will launch their careers through an Equal Justice Works Fellowship project of their own design.
“The Equal Justice Works Fellowship program is an incredible opportunity for passionate public service leaders to put their legal skills to work in communities most in need,” said David Stern, executive director at Equal Justice Works. “We are proud to welcome these new Fellows who will join the national effort to help respond to current and emerging legal issues arising from the coronavirus pandemic.”
Selected from 432 applications, the 2020 class of Equal Justice Works Fellows includes graduates from 46 law schools who will work at 74 legal services organizations across 21 states and Washington, D.C. Among this year’s sponsors are 30 leading law firms recognized in the Am Law 200 and 25 Fortune 500 corporations.
Equal Justice Works Fellows in the 2020 class have created projects to address a wide range of legal issues, including those associated with COVID-19. Examples of these projects include:
- Josephine Herman will be hosted by Catholic Charities of New York, where she will establish a new medical-legal partnership, the first focused on indigenous Central American immigrant youth in New York. Josephine, a graduate of Harvard Law School, is cosponsored by KPMG and Sidley Austin LLP.
- Vallen Solomon will provide legal advocacy to young adults experiencing or exiting systems of care into homelessness, through holistic, youth-centered services and increased legal literacy on evictions and tenant rights. Vallen, a graduate of Seattle University School of Law, is cosponsored by Costco Wholesale and The Raikes Foundation and will be hosted at the King County Bar Association’s Housing Justice Project.
- KyMara Guidry, a graduate of the University of Mississippi School of Law, will be hosted at Georgia Appleseed Center for Law and Justice, where she will expand legal advocacy available to Georgia foster youth to keep them in schools with appropriate supports and accommodations. KyMara’s Fellowship is cosponsored by Southern Company and Troutman Sanders LLP.
- Deborah Choi will be hosted by Muslim Advocates, where she will disrupt the exclusion of communities of color from American citizenship by challenging denaturalization and related immigration policies through direct representation, impact litigation, and advocacy. Deborah, a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, is sponsored by an anonymous supporter.
- Shana Tomenes, a graduate of the University of St. Thomas School of Law, will be hosted at the Housing Justice Center, where she will advocate for Minnesotans state-wide who struggle to secure and preserve affordable housing in their communities. Shana’s Fellowship is sponsored by the Target Corporation.
Each year, Equal Justice Works selects a class of public interest lawyers who have designed innovative projects in partnership with legal services organizations to address unmet legal needs and underserved communities. These projects are funded by the generous support of law firms, corporations, private foundations, and individuals.
“Community engagement is closely aligned with Target’s purpose of helping all families,” said Don Liu, Target’s executive vice president and chief legal & risk officer. “We’re proud to be a sponsor of the 2020 Equal Justice Works Fellowship program and honored to be included in this important work.”
Over the past three decades, Equal Justice Works has awarded more than 2,000 Fellowships to lawyers who are committed to ensuring equal access to justice for underserved communities across the country. On average, 85% of Equal Justice Works Fellows remain in public service positions, continuing to help fulfill our nation’s promise of equal justice for all.
Click here for a full list of the 2020 Equal Justice Works Fellows, host organizations, and sponsors.
About Equal Justice Works
Equal Justice Works is the nation’s largest facilitator of opportunities in public interest law. We bring together an extensive network of law students, lawyers, legal services organizations, and supporters to promote a lifelong commitment to public service and equal justice. Following their Fellowships, more than 85% of our Fellows remain in public service positions, continuing to pursue equal justice for underserved communities across the country.
Email: [email protected]
Community engagement is closely aligned with Target’s purpose of helping all families. We’re proud to be a sponsor of the 2020 Equal Justice Works Fellowship program and honored to be included in this important work.
Don Liu /
Executive Vice President, Chief Legal & Risk Officer