/ Press Release
77 public interest lawyers will spend the next two years helping to increase access to justice for underserved communities across the United States.
The 2021 class of Fellows received sponsorship from over 75 law firms, corporations, private foundations, and individual donors.
WASHINGTON, D.C., May 12, 2021—Equal Justice Works, the nation’s largest facilitator of opportunities in public interest law, today named its 2021 class of Equal Justice Works Fellows. Each of the 77 law school graduates, in collaboration with a legal services organization, has designed a two-year Equal Justice Works Fellowship project to address the unmet legal needs of the community where they will serve.
“We take great pride in launching the careers of passionate public service leaders through an Equal Justice Works Fellowship,” said David Stern, executive director at Equal Justice Works. “We look forward to supporting our new Fellows in bringing critical legal services to communities still reeling from the effects of the pandemic, and in their work responding to ongoing racial injustice throughout our country.”
Each year, Equal Justice Works selects a class of public interest lawyers who have designed one-of-a-kind projects in partnership with legal services organizations. These projects are funded by law firms, corporations, private foundations, and individual supporters.
Selected from 466 applications, the 2021 class of Equal Justice Works Fellows includes graduates from 47 law schools who will work at 70 legal services organizations across 20 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. Among this year’s sponsors are 26 leading law firms recognized in the Am Law 200 and 22 Fortune 500 corporations.
Equal Justice Works Fellows in the 2021 class have created projects to address a wide range of legal issues. Examples of these projects include:
- Jina Kim (she/her/hers), a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, will be hosted by Communities for a Better Environment, where she will advocate with low-income residents of color in East Oakland, California for environmental justice and community resilience. Jina’s Fellowship is sponsored by The Clorox Company.
- Carlos Ramos-Hernandez (he/him/his) will empower citizens to proactively demand public accountability by strengthening Puerto Rico’s constitutional right to access government information and promoting transparency and participatory democracy. Carlos is the first University of Puerto Rico School of Law graduate to be awarded an Equal Justice Works Fellowship. He will be hosted by the Center for Investigative Journalism and his project is sponsored by an anonymous supporter.
- Michelle Mapp (she/her/hers), a graduate of Charleston School of Law, will be hosted by the ACLU of South Carolina, where she will help to enact Tenant Right to Counsel legislation in South Carolina to prevent the eviction and displacement of low-income and African American households. Michelle’s Fellowship is sponsored by the Alston & Bird Racial Justice Fund.
- Tyahija Martin (they/them/theirs) will be hosted by Girls for Gender Equity, where they will work to eradicate institutionalized barriers that constrict freedom, full expression, and rights of school-age Black and Brown girls, and trans and gender-nonconforming/nonbinary youth. Tyahija, a graduate of Howard University School of Law, is cosponsored by Spotify and Mayer Brown LLP.
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. Our Fellowship programs are designed to effect change in communities and throughout our country by mobilizing Fellows to work on key issue areas such as disaster resilience, housing equality, and crime victims’ rights, as well as through the opportunity for a Fellow to work with a legal services organization to design and implement a unique project in response to a specific or emerging need. 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 2021 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.
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We look forward to supporting our new Fellows in bringing critical legal services to communities still reeling from the effects of the pandemic, and in their work responding to ongoing racial injustice throughout our country.
David Stern /
Equal Justice Works Executive Director