44 Attorneys Receive Coveted Fellowships for Social Justice Projects

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Equal Justice Works Fellowship Class of 2011 will work to protect rights of our Nation’s most vulnerable

Equal Justice Works: 25 years of working toward equal justice for all.

The caliber of this year’s applicants was really incredible and made it extremely difficult to select just 44. Their projects will help to ensure that quality legal representation is accessible to some of our society’s most vulnerable populations.

Equal Justice Works®, the nation’s leading creator of public interest law opportunities, is proud to announce the 2011 Class of Equal Justice Works Fellows. Forty-four recent law school graduates have been selected as recipients of 2011 Equal Justice Works Fellowships and will spend the next two years working to provide legal services to underserved populations, facing issues ranging from homelessness and domestic violence, to immigration, civil rights and juvenile justice. This year’s fellowship competition attracted more than 365 applicants from law schools across the country, an increase of 18% over last year.

Launched in 1992, the Equal Justice Works Fellowship program is the largest postgraduate legal fellowship program in the nation, with nearly 100 Fellows currently working across the country to provide legal assistance to those who could not otherwise afford it. Equal Justice Works Fellows design their fellowship projects with nonprofit organizations, targeting the most crucial needs of the communities they serve.

Equal Justice Works Fellowships are privately funded by the generous support of law firms, corporations, foundations and individual donors that commit to sponsor projects for two years. Many of the law firms and corporate legal departments utilize their sponsorship to expand their pro bono opportunities, encouraging attorney involvement in the Fellow project and incorporating the project into the firm’s pro bono work.

At the National Center for Youth Law in Oakland, California, Katherine Walker will work to reduce the sexual exploitation of girls by providing mental health and support services as well as create a “Girls Court”. Elderly residents of the Twin Cities area will be able to rely on Sean Burke at the Legal Aid Society of Minneapolis as he works to protect this vulnerable population from financial exploitation. In Detroit, Kathryn Smolinski will work with the Disability Law Clinic to establish a medical-legal partnership to address the unique legal and psychosocial needs of low-income cancer survivors, while at New York’s Urban Justice Center, Coco Culhane assists veterans suffering from mental illness gain basic needs such housing, medical care and livelihood.

“The caliber of this year’s applicants was really incredible and made it extremely difficult to select just 44,” said Equal Justice Works Executive Director David Stern. “Their projects will help to ensure that quality legal representation is accessible to some of our society’s most vulnerable populations. We are proud to support and guide this new class of lawyers committed to giving back to those in need as they embark on their public interest legal career.”

The 2011 Class of Equal Justice Works Fellows will begin service in the fall, working at 43 host organizations in 15 states and the District of Columbia. For additional information on Equal Justice Works and to view a complete list of 2011 Fellows, their projects and their sponsors, please visit http://www.equaljusticeworks.org.

Equal Justice Works is the national leader in creating public interest opportunities for law students and lawyers. Collaborating with the nation’s leading law schools, law firms, corporate legal departments and nonprofit organizations, Equal Justice Works offers a continuum of opportunities that provide the training and skills that enable attorneys to provide effective representation to underserved communities and causes. In 2011, Equal Justice Works will celebrate 25 years of mobilizing the next generation of lawyers committed to public interest law. Equal Justice Works is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. For additional information about Equal Justice Works, please visit http://www.equaljusticeworks.org.

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Becky Brand
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