FAQs: Justice Fellowships

Application timeline for supplemental April 2023 recruitment

  • April – Application portal opens on Monday, April 3rd and closes on Friday, April 28th at 11:59PM
  • Early May – A diverse selection committee of stakeholders gathers to review all Justice Fellow applications. IJC Staff reviews applications recommended by the selection committee and schedules interviews with prospective Fellows.
  • Mid-May – Interviews are scheduled; Finalists and those placed on the waitlist are notified; Finalists engage in “pre-matching” with potential host organizations
  • June –  Matches are completed and offers are extended to the new class of Justice Fellows matched with their host organizations
  • September – New class of Justice Fellows starts

Why is IJC doing a supplemental recruitment for the Class of 2023 Justice Fellows? 

Despite the great need for legal representation of unaccompanied migrant children in their immigration proceedings, there is a significant gap in the number of children receiving representation, largely due to a dearth of qualified attorneys. To address this problem, IJC recently partnered with the Vera Institute of Justice and the Acacia Center for Justice to place outstanding Justice Fellows with Vera’s extensive network of legal service providers and IJC host organizations to represent released or non-detained unaccompanied migrant children in removal proceedings. IJC is doing a supplemental recruitment to meet the need for legal counsel for this vulnerable and growing population of immigrants. 

Where will I be placed as a 2023 Justice Fellow? 

Open Fellowship opportunities are available in 18 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia (DC), Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Virginia. There may be additional openings in the future. If you have questions about an opportunity in a specific geography, please reach out to [email protected].  

If I apply in April 2023 to join the Fall 2023 cohort, will I only be working with unaccompanied migrant children? 

Yes. The open fellowship slots we currently have available for the Fall 2023 cohort are for applicants interested in working exclusively with unaccompanied children ages 17 ½ and younger.  

If I applied last year (2022) to join the Fall 2023 cohort of Justice Fellows and I was unsuccessful, can I apply again? 

Yes. All applicants interested in working with unaccompanied migrant children are welcome to apply again.  

What support will I receive as an IJC Fellow? 

You will receive training, legal skills development, community building, and other resources that all IJC Justice Fellows receive during their fellowship. You will also receive mentorship and training from your host organization.  

Do I need to speak a language other than English?

Yes. Spanish fluency is strongly preferred for Justice Fellows working with unaccompanied migrant children. Spanish language support – including interpreters, immersion, and language courses – will be provided to applicants who are working toward Spanish fluency. 

What does the application consist of?

Applicants must submit a resume, transcript, two letters of recommendation, and two essays. Applications are reviewed by a selection committee and IJC staff. 

Do all Justice Fellows have to take a specific state bar exam? 

It depends on the host organization placement.  All host organizations working with children file Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (“SIJS”) petitions for their clients. These petitions require appearances in State Family Court to obtain a Special Findings Order making the child eligible for SIJS. Justice Fellows working on unaccompanied migrant children’s cases must be admitted to the bar of that state.  However, if you work for an organization that only works on non-SIJS cases, it may be possible for you to take the bar exam of a different state. 

Will Immigrant Justice Corps sponsor me for a green card or skilled worker visa?

No. All Fellows must be eligible for work authorization in the U.S. for the two years of the Fellowship. Your host organization will be required to verify your identity and eligibility to work in the United States as required by applicable law. 

If chosen, may I defer?

No. Fellows who are selected must be ready to start the program in September of their acceptance year.

Do I need to submit an official transcript?

No. Please submit a PDF of a school-issued transcript.

Can my resume be more than one page?

Yes, though please limit yourself to two pages.

Do I have to finish my application before my recommenders can submit their letters?

No. Your recommenders can upload their letters as soon as you enter their information into the recommendation application step. However, your application can not be submitted until your recommenders have submitted their letters. We therefore recommend that you give them ample time and sporadic reminders to complete their recommendations. 

May LLMs apply for the Justice Fellowship?

Yes, LLM graduates may apply if they have sat/will sit for the New York Bar before the Fellowship begins.

Am I an employee of IJC or of the host organization?

All Justice Fellows become employees of their host organization and receive benefits and supervision through their hosts. IJC guarantees a minimum salary ($62,500 for Justice Fellows), health insurance coverage, and at least three weeks’ paid time off. We work with host organizations to ensure that Fellows who make the IJC minimum salary do not pay a monthly contribution to health insurance (for a single person only, if dependent coverage is needed there may be a monthly contribution made by the Fellow). Beyond that, benefits packages, work environment, and even salary, vary greatly from one organization to another.   

While most Justice Fellows are not directly employed by IJC, each Fellow is a member of the IJC team, which consists of a consortium of contemporary social justice advocates focused on providing desperately needed quality legal services to vulnerable immigrant populations. 

Do Justice Fellows continue to work in immigration after the Fellowship?

Yes. Over 90% of our Fellows have continued to work in immigration law with IJC, host organizations, other nonprofits, government agencies, and in private practice. 

Questions? Contact us.