What You Need to Know: Applying for an Equal Justice Works Design-Your-Own Fellowship

/ Blog Post

By Kerry Stotler, Fellowships program manager at Equal Justice Works

An Equal Justice Works Design-Your-Own Fellowship presents a one-of-a-kind opportunity to create your dream job. This Fellowship opportunity allows you to leverage your law degree in service of a community or cause of your choice. Interested in joining this incredible program? Here’s what you need to know about applying for a Fellowship.

How can an Equal Justice Works Design-Your-Own Fellowship jumpstart my legal career?

85% of Equal Justice Works Fellows remain in public service positions and continue to pursue equal justice for underserved communities across the country following their Fellowships. Fellow alums like Casey Trupin have started organizations that now host Equal Justice Works Fellows, while others like Cynthia Cornelius and Michael Pope now serve in leadership positions at the organizations where they were hosted as Fellows.

Who is eligible?

Our Design-Your-Own Fellowship is open to individuals who have graduated from an Equal Justice Works Member Law School before September 2021 with a J.D. or LL.M. Applicants may not have held a full time (more than 30 hours/week), permanent, public interest lawyer position, though applicants coming from bridge/gap fellowships or clerkships are eligible. For more specifics about eligibility requirements, check out page 5 of our applicant guide.

What type of training do Equal Justice Works Design-Your-Own Fellows receive?

Each fall, Equal Justice Works provides Fellows with three days of Leadership Development Training with experts in the field. The training equips Fellows with necessary practical leadership and management skills to help them succeed in their Fellowships and beyond. For more information on the Leadership Development Training, click here.

Throughout the two-year program, Equal Justice Works also provides Fellows with tools, resources, and other assistance to support their work.

What type of work can I do during my Equal Justice Works Design-Your-Own Fellowship?

You get to decide what type of work best suits your project! Projects may include direct representation, legal education, legal training, community organizing, transactional work, policy work, litigation, administrative representation, or a combination of these strategies. For more information about eligible projects, check out page 5 of our applicant guide.

How do I submit a strong Design-Your-Own Fellowship application?

A project proposal should paint a picture of a particular problem you want to solve in the specific community you wish to serve. Standout applications weave in data, client stories, and personal narratives to humanize the potential impact of the project, while demonstrating a strong connection to the issue area and target community.

How will COVID-19 affect this year’s Fellowship applications?

We know that many candidates and host organizations may have questions about how the current COVID-19 pandemic may impact the Equal Justice Works Fellowship program and application process. At this point, we are cautiously optimistic that the timeline of our application process will not be affected.

We do not yet know what, if any, impact we might see on the number of Fellows we can select in the 2021 class, but we feel strongly that our program is uniquely suited to navigate this challenge successfully. We are continually evaluating the ever-evolving situation and will post any updates as soon as possible.

Are you ready to apply?

The application is divided into three distinct expository sections: the project description, candidate background, and host organization background. Additionally, applicants will also need to provide a personal statement, résumé, three professional references, and two letters of recommendation. For more information about the application process, review page 14 of our applicant guide.

Be sure to submit your application online before the deadline on September 17, 2020 at 8:00 p.m. ET. For more information about the Design-Your-Own Fellowship, check out our website.

Learn more about becoming an Equal Justice Works Fellow