What You Need to Know: Applying for the Disaster Resilience Program

/ Blog Post

Our Disaster Resilience Program mobilizes full-time lawyers (Equal Justice Works Fellows) to provide free civil legal aid in disaster-prone areas to ensure vital legal services are accessible to rebuild lives, stabilize communities, and create resilience. As a current law student, you have an opportunity to support an Equal Justice Works Fellow as a Student Fellow.

Participants, called Student Fellows, have a unique opportunity to explore their passion for equal justice by serving some of the most marginalized communities in Texas and Florida—all while working toward a $5,000 stipend.

Interested in joining this incredible program? Here’s what you need to know about applying.

Who is eligible?

The Disaster Resilience Program is open to current law students who have completed their first year of law school by the start of the program (summer 2021).

How do I submit a strong application?

A standout application would showcase a law student’s passion for public service and access-to-justice issues. Additionally, a strong display of interest for or prior experience in legal disaster preparedness, response, and recovery work also holds significant weight in the decision process. If you have a personal connection to disaster legal aid, highlighting that connection is another way to make a positive impression.

What type of training do Student Fellows receive?

All Disaster Resilience Program Student Fellows will attend a virtual orientation meeting before their service begins. This training is made up of a series of workshops and panels on substantive and professional development topics, as well as networking opportunities, and time for outstanding questions. Throughout the summer, Student Fellows will attend monthly Disaster Resilience Program Fellow meetings, which alternate between substantive topical discussion to professional development trainings. Equal Justice Works is also available for technical support throughout the summer. Student Fellows will receive additional training and support from their individual host organizations.

What type of work can I expect to complete during my Student Fellowship?

Student Fellows will take on a wide range of responsibilities regardless of the specific project focus area of their host site or Fellow. These assignments can include direct client services, client intake consultations/interviewing with supervising attorneys, legal writing opportunities, and court appearances. Projects may also include non-legal assignments such as community outreach, education, and pro bono coordination. You can find a list of host organizations and their position descriptions here. You can find all current Disaster Resilience Program Fellows and their Fellowship descriptions here.

Can the Disaster Resilience Program Summer lead to long-term opportunities following law school graduation?

Yes! Several Student Fellows from Equal Justice Works Summer Law Student opportunities have been hired by their previous host sites as full-time staff attorneys after graduation. For example, Ana Laurel, a 2018 Equal Justice Works Fellow in our Disaster Recovery Legal Corps, previously served in the Rural Summer Legal Corps.

What do I need in order to apply?

Applicants will be asked to provide a résumé and a summary of professional qualifications and interest in the program. An applicant may apply to more than one host organization; however, a full and separate application is required for each organization.

For more information about program eligibility and to apply, visit here. If you have any questions, email us at [email protected]. Be sure to submit your application before the deadline on February 16, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Learn more about becoming an Equal Justice Works Fellow