Legal Fellowship Opportunities for 2018

Posted on August 17, 2017

*Please continue to check this page for updated information about 2018 fellowship opportunities.

For 45 years, the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) has led the way in expanding possibilities and eliminating barriers for women and girls in the United States. One of the largest women’s advocacy organizations in the country, NWLC has played a role in nearly every major advance for women and has a documented track record of advancing issues that cut to the core of women’s and girls’ lives on the job, in school, at home, and in their communities. The Center focuses on the needs of women who are low-income and who face multiple forms of discrimination. The Center has a staff of over 55 and an annual budget of approximately $12 million. For more information on the Center, visit

The Center is now recruiting rising third-year law students, judicial clerks, and other recent law school graduates interested in applying for Skadden, Equal Justice Works, or other law fellowships to begin in September 2018, to discuss their interest in basing a fellowship project at the Center. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis with priority given to those received earliest.


The fellow will support the Center’s work in one of the following program areas: Workplace Justice, Income Security & Education (including child care), and Reproductive Rights & Health. Some specific project ideas are described on our website at, but applicants may draft their own project descriptions for consideration. Responsibilities may include researching and analyzing policy and legal issues; drafting a variety of materials, such as memos, fact sheets, reports, comments on regulations, legislation, legal briefs, and public education materials; and engaging and working with national and state-based coalitions and stakeholder organizations. Excellent benefits, including 4 weeks of vacation.


Law degree required. Must have excellent analytical, oral and written communications and organizational skills, attention to detail, and a demonstrated commitment to women’s issues. Experience working in a research, advocacy, or policymaking environment preferred. Applicants must be eligible to work in the U.S.

Application Procedure

If you are interested in applying for a fellowship, submit a cover letter, resume, transcript, writing sample, and three references. Electronic submissions are preferred. Please send materials to and include the appropriate fellowship application title in the subject line. Hard copies may be addressed to: Human Resources Department, National Women’s Law Center, 11 Dupont Circle NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC 20036, FAX: 202-588-5185.

The National Women’s Law Center is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. We strongly encourage and seek applications from women, men, people of color, including bilingual and bicultural individuals, and LGBTQI individuals.

Project Ideas for 2018

Workplace Justice: Advancing the Rights of Low-wage Workers with Caregiving Responsibilities 

Women, who continue to do the lion’s share of family caregiving, make up two-thirds of those working in jobs that typically pay $10.50 per hour or less, with women of color particularly over-represented in these jobs. Discrimination and challenging work schedules mean that for many women working in low-wage jobs and caring for children or other family members, meeting both their work and family obligations becomes an impossible juggling act. The purpose of this project is to protect and advance the rights of low-wage workers with caregiving responsibilities, and to leverage existing protections to challenge employer policies and practices that disadvantage caregivers. Fellowship activities would include a combination of: (1) public outreach and education, including creation of materials, to expand awareness of available federal and state legal protections; (2) impact litigation to enforce and expand rights; and (3) local, state and federal administrative and legislative advocacy to establish and strengthen protections against sex discrimination, family responsibilities discrimination, pregnancy discrimination, and abusive scheduling practices.

EducationFighting to Keep K-12 Girls of Color in School

Project 1: Direct representation, impact litigation, and state policy advocacy on behalf of LGBTQ and gender non-conforming girls of color facing discrimination in K-12 schools. Forms of discrimination addressed will include harassment, exclusion from single-sex spaces, and discriminatory discipline.

Project 2: Direct representation, impact litigation, and state policy advocacy on behalf of low-income girls of color facing discriminatory discipline in K-12 schools for violating hair and dress codes, with a special focus on homeless girls and girls in foster care, who face unique obstacles to compliance.

Project 3: Direct representation, impact litigation, and state policy advocacy on behalf of girls facing overly harsh discipline and physical violence at the hands of school-based law enforcement.

Taxes and Working Families Project

Despite an improving economy, women and families are struggling to make ends meet. Women are still getting paid less than men for similar work, make up a greater share of low-wage workers, and are at a higher risk of falling into poverty, especially if they are raising children on their own. Tax credits like the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) provide a much-needed boost to the incomes of families with children, and the federal Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit (CDCTC) can help families meet the high cost of child care they need in order to go to work or school (though it offers limited assistance to lower-income families). Many states offer versions of these credits that benefit millions of families across the country.  Unfortunately, the Trump Administration has outlined federal tax policies that would overwhelmingly benefit the wealthy and corporations, rather than invest in refundable tax credits for hard-working low-income families. But a number of states have taken the lead in advancing tax policies that benefit working families. In 2017 alone, five states have improved their EITCs. Accordingly, state tax credits offer a more realistic opportunity to increase family economic security in the near term.

The fellow would work with the Center during a critical time to protect and improve safety net programs and income supports for low-income women and families, with a particular focus on state (and federal) tax policy.  Specifically, the fellow would (1) work with state and local coalitions in a limited number of target states to improve or enact state tax credits that benefit women and families; (2) analyze federal and state tax proposals, focusing on their impact on women and families; and (3) develop and advocate for improved federal tax policies for women and families. The fellow may also develop and advocate for federal and state policies to improve safety net supports for women and families.

It's time for change, and we must act now. Time's up.