Application Information

2015 Application:

Available: TBD

Deadline: TBD

Grant Notifications: TBD

Eligibility:

To be eligible to apply, you must meet all of the volunteer hour requirements explained to you earlier in the year.  You must have attended a mandatory meeting in the fall (or communicated with me individually).  You must have a placement offer in hand.  And of course, your placement must be unpaid and meet the substantive requirements explained to you.  If you're not sure if your placement qualifies, it's a good idea to apply anyway to allow the selection committee make that determination. 

Conditional Applications:

We realize that some students may be waiting to hear about placements.  On the EJF application, you will see an option allowing you to submit a conditional application.  This means that you have a specific agency to which you have applied, and you are waiting to hear back.  It must be ONE specific agency - you cannot apply conditionally for funds without naming a placement.  So if you're waiting to hear back from several places, you must choose only one to include on your application.  With a conditional application, you may receive an offer of grant funds, but only after all completed applications have been considered.  If you do receive an offer of an EJF grant, it will be conditioned on you receiving a placement at that agency.  If you apply conditionally, you must update me as soon as you get a final answer from the agency/employer.

FAFSA:

There is one new requirement this year which applies to students working domestically (if you have an international placement, this does not apply to you).  Anyone receiving EJF funds for a domestic placement MUST have a FAFSA on file for the upcoming year.  The FAFSA priority date was March 1.  If you have not submitted your FAFSA yet, please do so as soon as possible.  The Federal Work Study program supplements EJF funds, and this allows us to fund many more students than we could in the past - this is the reason that we need a FAFSA on file.  Please direct any FAFSA-specific questions to the Office of Financial Aid. 

Mandatory Meeting/Reception for Recipients:

If you are selected as an EJF Recipient, you will be required to attend a reception and meeting.  The date of this meeting is TBA.  It is at this reception that you will receive your financial forms and learn how you will actually receive your funds.  This meeting is mandatory.

Please email ejf.selection.chair@gmail.com if you have any questions about the application and selection process. 

Requirements:

  • Public-interest internship placement obtained by time of application
  • Position must not be for externship credit
  • Position cannot be with a lobbying organization or political entity
  • Position cannot be with a judge, justice, or administrative law judge
  • Position must be substantially legal
  • Applicant can receive matching funds from outside sources, but these funds cannot exceed $4,000
  • Applicant must volunteer least 12 hours to EJF before application due date
    • Applicant must volunteer at least 22 hours if a grant was received last year
  • At least 6 of the 12 hours must be devoted to off-campus canvassing, completed by the two canvassing deadlines in the fall and spring
  • Applicant must be returning to WCL next year
  • Applicant must be a U.S. Citizen or an alien authorized to work in the U.S.
  • Applicant must attend mandatory meetings throughout the year (or inform Selection Chair of compelling reason for non-attendance by emailing ejf.selection.chair@gmail.com)

Examples of Prior Placements:

  • Public Defender Service
  • US Attorney’s Office
  • National Abortion Federation
  • Women Empowered Against Violence, Inc.
  • National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
  • Nat. Partnership for Women & Families
  • Greenpeace
  • California Nurses Association
  • CASA of Maryland
  • Our Place DC
  • United Nations (various placements)
  • Fair Housing Project
  • AIDS Law Project
  • International Criminal Tribunal
  • Catholic Charities
  • Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project
  • Human Rights Campaign
  • Int. Fund for Agricultural Development
  • House of Ruth
  • Pro Bono Institute
  • Legal Aid Society
  • DC Dept. of Housing
  • Center for Migrants’ Rights
  • Tahirih Justice Center
  • And so many more…

For questions regarding your placement search, please contact WCL's Public Interest Coordinator.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Awards

The Fellowship award is $4,000. The awards are not tax exempt. Recipients are responsible for all tax implications. Recipients are required to complete all paperwork with EJF and submit certifying information from their summer organization prior to distribution of the grant award. EJF reserves the right to request repayment should a recipient not meet the eligibility requirements during the grant period.

Eligibility

  1. Full time 1Ls and 2Ls and part-time 1, 2, and 3Ls are eligible to apply.
  2. Applicants must volunteer at least 12 hours with EJF in academic year 2014-2015. At least SIX of those hours must be done with the Off-Campus Canvassing committee.
  3. Prior EJF recipients are eligible to receive grants this year, however, they are required to volunteer 22 total hours this academic year (this number includes the ten (10) “repayment hours” that must be completed by 2013-2014 grant recipients).
  4. Applicants must be authorized to work in the United States (this does not mean that you must work in the U.S. this summer).
  5. Candidates must have an offer in hand from a public interest non-governmental organization or public interest branch of the government by the application deadline. EJF does not fund judicial clerkships, any work with administrative judicial bodies, congressional staff work, or lobbying positions.
  6. Summer work must be substantially legal.
  7. Grant recipients must work 10 weeks for at least 40 hours per week during the summer.
  8. In addition to the EJF Fellowship, recipients may accept up to $4,000 from alternative funding sources.
  9. Recipients must volunteer an additional 10 hours in academic year 2015-2016.
  10. Informational meetings do not count toward the hourly requirement.

Fellowship Selection Process

Fellowship applications are submitted to a selection committee comprised of EJF representatives, student leaders, faculty members, and administrators. Students who submit applications are not permitted to sit on the selection committee. The selection process is blind. In order to maintain the integrity of the selection process, applicants are not to use their name on their applications. The application process and the members of the selection committee are confidential.

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

What factors are used in determining whether I will receive an EJF Fellowship?

An applicant's commitment to public interest work will be the primary determining factor, as demonstrated by the applicant’s prior work and volunteer experience, personal statement, and future career plans. The committee will also consider the type of placement, giving consideration to those organizations that provide direct legal services.

Students who have devoted significant time to EJF in the year in which they are applying will receive priority in the selection process.

The Committee will make a greater effort to fund second year full-time and third-year part-time students given the importance of these summer experiences in gaining post-graduate positions.

How do I increase my chances of being selected?

Volunteer more than the minimum number of hours required for eligibility.  When the selection committee reviews he applications, we look at the applicant’s commitment to EJF.  If you volunteer for 12 hours in the week before the application is available, it may appear the you made a last minute effort and are not truly dedicated to EJF’s mission.

Remember that most opportunities to ear hours occur before and during the EJF auction.  Please work hard early to complete your hours. 

I heard a rumor that applications were rejected because they were missing a resume or had some typos.

Members of the Selection Committee believe that the application process should be taken as seriously as any application for funds, or for a job. Carelessness in completing an application may be seen as lack of thought and/or a sincere desire to fulfill the responsibilities of the Fellowship.

I am a second-year student who has put in more than 22 hours of service to EJF this year and whose application meets all of the stated requirements. Will I receive an EJF Fellowship?

The award of a Fellowship is never guaranteed. The availability of EJF Fellowships is directly related to the amount of money raised and thus available to be awarded. The best way to maximize the prospect of receiving a Fellowship –in addition to submitting a complete and excellent application- is to assist in raising as much money as possible, and to encourage others to do the same.

What happens if I have received a Fellowship but I:

  • Do not work at least 40 hours/week for 10 weeks; or
  • I accept another fellowship or funding in excess of $4,000; or
  • I do not return to WCL after the summer; or
  • I do not contribute at least 12 hours to EJF in raising funds for the following year?

Failure to complete the foregoing requirements will result in an obligation to repay the monies received to EJF and may result in an Honor Code investigation.

Can I split my summer between an EJF approved employer and another position?

EJF Grant Recipients are required to work at the EJF approved position for 10 weeks at 40 hours a week.  Failure to complete this requirement will result in the recipient having to repay the Grant.  Splitting summers is generally discouraged because it requires the student to perform two shorter placements rather than a longer more substantive placement.  That being said, if a student is able to complete the full requirements of both placements within the time available, they are free to do so. 

For the summer position have been offered, I have to accept either payment or credit through the law school. What can I do?

The position for which you are seeking this fellowship must be unpaid. In addition, if awarded this fellowship, you may not accept other fellowship awards or outside funding (including your own organization) that exceed $4,000.

Fellows may not receive academic/externship credit for the hours completed for the fellowship.

I have accepted a Fellowship and have received an in-kind contribution of room and/or board. Must I apply the dollar value of the contribution to my Fellowship?

No. In-kind contributions are a fortunate benefit to one who receives them. However, if asked, you must be able to provide documentation that confirms the contribution was in-kind; it cannot be, for example, cash allotted for housing or for food.

I am a Public Interest Public Service (PIPS) Scholar and/or I received a previous EJF Fellowship; may I apply for an EJF Fellowship?

Whether a student has already received public interest-based financial assistance from WCL, and the amount of that assistance, is a factor in the EJF selection process. The Committee takes previous WCL funding into account when awarding EJF grants because WCL resources should be distributed as widely as possible to encourage public interest activity across the student body. As a result of this policy, PIPS Scholars, as well as 2Ls who already received an EJF grant for their first summer, may be given a lower priority in the selection process. However, this will be only one factor in the selection process, and all students remain eligible to receive an EJF grant. PIPS Scholars and previously-funded 2Ls may be awarded grants over other students based on factors such as the time and effort they devoted to EJF fundraising, the quality of their application, and the quality of the summer placement they obtained.

I have a great summer opportunity clerking for a judge, but it does not pay. May I apply for an EJF Fellowship?

EJF does not fund judicial clerkships, including clerkships for Administrative Law Judges, or any work with administrative judicial bodies, clerkships with generalist courts, Congressional staff work, or lobbying positions.  Specialist courts (i.e. human rights courts) will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

My friends and I are excited about the possibility of working together with an EJF Fellowship at the same organization.

In an effort to promote organizational diversity, EJF will rarely fund more than two students for any one organization.

I have heard that only liberal-minded organizations (and liberal-minded applicants) receive support for Fellowships, and that government agencies are also rarely considered.

There is no “ideological test” involved in weighing the merits of an application. Conservative organizations (and conservative-minded students) will be supported if the work provides legal services and/or policy and advocacy assistance to disadvantaged or under-represented individuals.