Grads Secure Equal Justice Works Fellowships with Support from Firms
During the next two years, Kyla Moore, ’15, and Diana Peloquin, JD/MSW ’14, will be working at dream jobs of their own creation thanks to their Equal Justice Works (EJW) Fellowships.
EJW is the nation’s largest post-graduate public-interest fellowship program, receiving nearly 500 applications for 60 fellowships each year. The two-year program matches recent graduates who are passionate about public-interest work with organizations that are in need of their talents. Applicants develop project proposals in conjunction with potential host organizations. Then EJW operates as a matchmaker that secures funding for top applications from sponsoring law firms, corporations, and foundations. Sponsors pay the fellows’ salaries, often as part of their pro bono programs, and frequently also support the fellows’ work by providing pro bono assistance and other resources to help increase their impact.
“It’s a huge commitment on the part of a firm to pay for the services of a lawyer who will never work at their firm,” says Mia Sussman, ’07, associate director of fellowships, who left Latham & Watkins LLP to join EJW five years ago. “But it shows that firms are committed to public interest and pro bono practice, and it’s a model that’s beneficial for all parties involved.”
Through the fellowship, Moore will explore her interest in economic rights as civil rights by working with Start Small Think Big in New York, a nonprofit that helps low- and middle-income entrepreneurs grow and sustain their businesses. Her project is sponsored by Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP. Peloquin’s fellowship at the Children’s Law Center in Washington, D.C., is sponsored by the Morrison & Foerster Foundation. Her project’s goal is to leverage a medical-legal partnership to promote the physical and mental health of children experiencing homelessness.—AS