What You Need to Know: Applying to the Rural Summer Legal Corps

/ Blog Post

By Brooke Meckler, program manager, and Sarah Jasper, program coordinator at Equal Justice Works

The Rural Summer Legal Corps (RSLC) supports 35 dedicated law students in serving rural and isolated communities each summer. Participants, called Student Fellows, have a one-of-a-kind opportunity to explore their public interest passions while gaining hands-on experience—all while working toward a $5,000 stipend.

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

Who is eligible?

RSLC is open to current law students who have completed their first year of law school by the start of the program (summer 2020). For some placements, applicants must possess a valid driver’s license and/or access to adequate transportation.

How do I submit a strong RSLC 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 the project focus area to which you apply also holds significant weight in the decision process. If you have a personal connection to rural communities, highlighting that connection is another way to make a positive impression.

What type of training do RSLC Student Fellows receive?

All RSLC Student Fellows attend an exciting three-day training in Washington, D.C. before their service begins. This training is made up of a series of workshops and panels, networking opportunities, and a field trip to a legal services organization. Fellows receive travel accommodations and lodging for the training in Washington, D.C., as well as one-way travel arrangements from the training to each student’s host organization.

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. 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.

Can the RSLC lead to long-term opportunities following law school graduation?

Yes! Several Student Fellows 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.

Are you ready to apply? 

Applicants will be asked to provide a résumé, a summary of professional qualifications and interest in the program, and their top three host organization choices. For more information about program eligibility and requirements, visit our website or email us at [email protected]

Be sure to submit your application before the deadline on February 10, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. EST.


Learn more about becoming an Equal Justice Works Fellow