My Impact: A Conversation with 2014 Equal Justice Works Fellow Erica N. Briant

/ Blog Post

My Impact is a conversation series from Equal Justice Works, using interviews with alumni to shine a light on what’s possible with an Equal Justice Works Fellowship. In the latest installment of My Impact, we spoke with Erica N. Briant, a 2014 Fellow hosted by Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania.

In conversation with Aoife Delargy Lowe, director of Law School Engagement & Advocacy at Equal Justice Works, Erica discussed how studying social movements during college and volunteering in the Peace Corps led her to apply for law school.

“I was raised by a single mom in a very working-class community, and I think that the passion for equal access to justice was instilled in me from personal experience at a very young age,” said Erica. “I came of age around the time of the Iraq war and was involved in my school’s LGBTQ+ rights organization. Both of these things, at a very personal and worldwide level, convinced me that I wanted to be involved in trying to affect change during my career.”

At Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Erica removed barriers to employment, largely by looking at the collateral consequences of criminal records for low-income individuals in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery Counties.

“Working at Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania was really interesting because the area had really concentrated areas of poverty and areas of incredible concentrated wealth. The area did not have a lot of access to services, and Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania was the only major legal aid provider in the region,” said Erica.

Following her Fellowship, Erica has remained on at Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania (LASP), where she became the supervising attorney of the Community Engagement Unit. “It has been a great privilege to stay at LASP and continue building relationships with the community,” said Erica.

In addition to discussing her Fellowship, Erica spoke about the transition from being a Fellow to training an Equal Justice Works Fellow, creating the Community Engagement Unit, and shared advice for law students and recent graduates entering the public interest workforce.

To learn more about becoming a 2021 Equal Justice Works Fellow and kickstart your public interest law career, visit here

Learn more about becoming an Equal Justice Works Fellow