Justice Catalyst & Public Rights Project Joint Fellowship

Justice Catalyst is excited to partner with Public Rights Project to co-sponsor a new fellowship! Justice Catalyst and Public Rights Project will jointly administer one-year, potentially renewable, project-based fellowships to support innovative affirmative litigation and enforcement work in state and local government offices.


We are looking for projects from diverse, creative, self-starting fellows who will pursue year-long fellowships, with a possibility of renewal for a second year. Like all Justice Catalyst fellowships, we prioritize groundbreaking ideas, including early-stage projects that are boundary-pushing in the pursuit of systemic solutions to major injustices. And like all Public Rights Project fellowships, these projects should be focused on using the affirmative litigation and enforcement powers of state or local government to effect change and improve our communities.

Fellows can submit a prospectus with or without a host government office, and work with us to identify a way to launch the project. For questions about fellowships, please email fellowships@justicecatalyst.org.


Justice Catalyst and Public Rights Project is committed to the principles and practices of equal employment opportunity. We aim to assemble an applicant pool that represents the face of the world we live in. We believe that a variety of perspectives enrich the efficacy of the work of local and state governments. We encourage applications from candidates with diverse backgrounds and experiences. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for the fellowship without regard to their race, religion, ancestry, national origin, ethnicity, sex, gender (including pregnancy and gender identity or expression), sexual orientation, color, age, mental or physical disability, marital status, veteran status, genetic information, medical condition, or any other classification protected by federal, state, or local law or ordinance.


Fellows will participate in programming offered by both the Justice Catalyst and Public Rights Project. This will include orientation to both programs, monthly check-in calls, and periodic professional development opportunities from the staff and partners of both organizations.

See past Justice Catalyst fellows, including some in government offices, at https://justicecatalyst.org/fellows. For more information on Public Rights Project’s fellowship programming, please see examples at https://www.publicrightsproject.org/2018-fellows-2.


Fellows will receive an annual stipend of $60,000. In special circumstances we can discuss other arrangements. Individual questions and specific needs can be emailed to fellowships@justicecatalyst.org.


Fellows must have a passion for public service. By the time they start their fellowship, Fellows must have a JD from an accredited law school and either have an active bar membership in a U.S. state or be awaiting bar admission. We welcome applicants with any level of experience.

As we consider the experience levels of fellowship applicants, we focus on whether an applicant’s experience will set them up for success in their fellowship experience. This does not always translate to a precise number of years of post-law school experience. While the fellowship may be ideally suited for attorneys with 3-5 years of legal experience after law school and a background in litigation, we have had successful fellows with fewer than 3 years and more than 5 years experience. Valuable experience will often include post-law school litigation experience, but we also welcome applicants with pre-law school government experience, in-law school clinic and other litigation experience, or other background that will help them contribute to their host offices from day one.


The host commitment letter should include:

Formal endorsement of the project and statement that the host submits the project for funding, and will host and implement the project, if funded;
Proposed supervision, including the name and title of the supervisor;
Contact information (including phone number) for proposed supervisor, and logistical point of contact, if different;
A description of the host’s professional liability and malpractice insurance and a statement confirming the fellow’s eligibility for coverage;
An explanation of the extent to which the host will be able to contribute to the costs of the fellowship. This can include, and explain in detail, the following circumstances:
– Whether your office can cover costs of health insurance and travel costs related to the fellowship (approx. $10k-$15k)

– Whether your office can contribute some other amount to defraying the costs of the fellowship (including an estimate of the amount available for fellowship costs)

– Whether your office will not be able to contribute financially to the fellowship

Note: Your office’s proposed financial contributions will be reviewed as part of the application process but will not be dispositive.


The timeline for applications to the Joint Fellowship Program matches the Justice Catalyst fellowship timeline below. For more details about each stage of the application process, please visit https://justicecatalyst.org/fellowships/.

Resume and Prospectus, optional but highly recommended Rolling until October 13
Application Deadline Rolling until December 1
Application Review and Candidate Interviews Rolling
Fellowships Offered February 15
Fellowships Begin September