Opportunities with EJS



Update: EJS will review applications on a rolling basis; the review process will now close by April 30, 2020, and includes 3Ls.

Equal Justice Society is seeking committed civil rights attorneys and 3Ls to apply for its 2020-2022 Judge Constance Baker Motley Civil Rights Fellowship named after the first African American woman to serve on the federal bench.

The Judge Motley Fellowship is made possible through a generous gift by
Elizabeth J. Cabraser, who funded the 2001 conference that led to the founding of EJS.

“Our deep and profound gratitude to Elizabeth Cabraser for her funding of the Motley Fellowship,” said EJS President Eva Paterson. “Liz’s incredibly generous donation means that EJS can play an even stronger role in fighting back against the growing oppression and cruelty that are threatening the fabric of our country and indeed the world. Thank you so much.”

EJS established the Judge Constance Baker Motley Civil Rights Fellowship in 2006 to nurture the talents of a new generation of progressive lawyers to transform anti-discrimination law and policy.

Equal Justice Society’s Mission and Work

Equal Justice Society (“EJS”) is transforming the nation’s consciousness on race through law, social science, and the arts.  A national legal organization focused on restoring constitutional safeguards against discrimination, EJS’s goal is to help achieve a society where race is no longer a barrier to opportunity.  As heirs of the innovative legal and political strategists of Brown v. Board of Education, EJS broadly models its work after the late Honorable Constance Baker Motley and the Brown litigation team.  Following in their footsteps, EJS fights race discrimination by collaborating with social scientists and legal scholars to broaden conceptions of present-day discrimination by showing judges and other decision-makers how implicit bias and structural racism harm school children, college applicants of color, and defendants in the criminal justice system, among other groups.

EJS’s goal is to fully restore the rights guaranteed under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and under other fundamental civil rights laws.  EJS pursues these goals using a three-pronged approach of litigation, legislative advocacy and grassroots organizing that leverages outreach, coalition building, messaging, and communication strategies. EJS’s current advocacy focuses on school discipline, special education, the school-to-prison pipeline, college admissions, and inequities in the criminal justice system.


The fellowship is a two-year paid position based in EJS’s Oakland office.  The fellowship runs from July 2020 to July 2022 with some flexibility in dates.  Applicants should demonstrate experience in civil rights advocacy and a consistent commitment to racial and social justice. Applicants must be members in good standing of the California Bar or 3Ls who will sit for the next California bar exam. Litigation experience is preferred, but not required. Knowledge of the California state legislative process is also a plus. Strong legal research and writing skills are essential as the fellow will be an active member of the Legal Team and participate in the development and execution of EJS’s legal strategy.


Under the supervision of the Legal Director, the fellow will play a significant role in EJS’s ongoing litigation, legislative, and policy advocacy. They will also support the organization’s coalition building projects, programs and events, and work with the development team on funding proposals and reports and meetings with funders. Duties include writing legal memos and briefs; engaging with co-counsel, clients and community members; policy research; drafting bill language; and other legislative work, among other duties.


The annual salary range is $60,000-69,000; EJS’s benefits package includes medical and dental insurance coverage and loan repayment assistance.

Application Instructions

Please email a (1) cover letter, (2) resume, (3) writing sample (a legal memorandum that is preferably no more than 20 pages in length and not heavily edited), and (4) a list of three references that includes past supervisors of your work to jobs@equaljusticesociety.org with “Motley Fellowship Application” in the subject line.  EJS will review applications on a rolling basis; the review process will close by April 30, 2020. 

EJS is an equal opportunity employer and encourages applications from all qualified individuals including women, people of color, people with disabilities, religious minorities, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.

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