Program areas at Equal Justice Works
Legal fellowships in the public interest:equal Justice Works directs the largest postgraduate legal fellowship program in the nation, placing lawyers in two-year assignments at nonprofit public interest organizations. The Equal Justice Works fellowship program creates partnerships with these host organizations, public interest lawyers, law firm and corporate sponsors, and other donors in order to facilitate underrepresented populations' access to the Justice system.the organization offers two types of fellowships: one in which fellows design their own projects and one in which fellows join a program designed and directed by Equal Justice Works and focused on a particular issue.one hundred forty-four Equal Justice Works fellows designed their own innovative legal service projects and worked at 128 host organizations in 55 different cities around the country on behalf of underserved populations and causes. One hundred seventy-one Equal Justice Works fellows participated in eight unique fellowship programs on civil legal issues affecting underserved communities including crime victims, elders, immigrant families, veterans, and those facing housing instability. These fellows worked at 119 legal services providers across the country. These fellowship programs aim to serve individuals while also creating broader impact through capacity building. As one example, the 62 fellows of the crime victims Justice corps collectively provided direct legal services to over 2,200 crime victims of human trafficking, campus sexual assault, fraud/identity theft, hate crime, domestic violence, and sexual assault, and victims with meritorious immigration relief. In addition to direct legal services, the fellows screened nearly 5,000 individuals for legal services and provided referrals to over 1,000 individuals. Fellows have trained over 9,000 community partners and allied professionals during their first fellowship year, in addition to conducting about 900 outreach activities.
Law school engagement and advocacy:equal Justice Works also offers programs to increase the number of law students and lawyers dedicating all or part of their careers to public service by engaging and collaborating with law schools, students, and attorneys. Equal Justice Works maintains a robust law school membership, which includes over 90% of aba-accredited law schools, and helps ensure those members know of and participate in the programs offered by Equal Justice Works, including fellowships described above as well as the following programming for law students.the organization provides short-term summer student fellowship programs. The rural summer legal corps (rslc) program is a joint partnership of the legal services corporation (lsc) and Equal Justice Works. The rslc program connects public interest law students with civil legal aid organizations to address pressing legal issues facing rural communities. The 2019 rslc program provided 30 students with the opportunity to serve rural communities across 25 states. Student fellows in the 2019 class collectively served 2,118 individuals, assisted in 752 legal cases, and helped achieve 419 positive outcomes for their clients.the Equal Justice Works conference and career fair is the largest national public interest legal career fair, bringing together more than 200 public interest employers to conduct interviews for full-time positions and internships. More than 1,400 law students from over 150 law schools attend the conference.equal Justice Works is committed to ensuring that no law student or lawyer is deterred from a public interest legal career by the burden of student debt. The organization provides comprehensive information to synthesize and simplify the complex array of repayment plans, financing options and loan forgiveness programs available to aspiring and current public interest lawyers through our student advocacy, in person presentations, and webinars. In addition, Equal Justice Works leads the coalition to preserve public service loan which consists of over 90 organizations committed to preserving public service loan forgiveness because we believe it is of vital importance for the wellbeing of communities across our country. Pslf allows public service professionals to pursue their passion for service professionally even if they have student debt.the organization is assisted by a national advisory committee, a 16-person group of law students and professionals from member schools that provides guidance and feedback on expanding public interest opportunities for law students and lawyers.