The Justice First Fellowship was established by The Legal Education Foundation in 2014 to support the next generation of specialist social justice lawyers.

The scheme has been supported by a range of partners including Unbound Philanthropy, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, BBC Children in Need, City Bridge Trust, AB Charitable Trust, Royal Bank of Scotland, and commercial law firms.

Our aim is that the Fellowship is a route to a long and rewarding career using law as a tool for social justice, with Fellows going on to become leaders in their field and important advocates for access to justice and the rule of law.

The Fellowship is made up of three parts:

  1. A two year fully-funded training contract in a selected specialist social welfare law agency;
  2. Alongside the compulsory training, Fellows are supported by their host organisation to devise and run their own project aimed at increasing access to justice in order to gain programme development experience and potentially to provide a future income stream for their host organisation.
  3. Fellows are brought together throughout the two-year period to receive support, training and access to useful networks and to be part of a wider movement of lawyers committed to access to justice.

If you are interested in applying to be a Fellow, details are in the How To Apply section.

If you are interested in your organisation becoming a host, details are in the Become a Host section.

Each year we aim to recruit host organisations in the autumn/winter and Fellows in the summer/autumn to commence work in their host organisation in the following January (Application timetable). Fellows will commit to completing a training programme leading to professional qualification. Competition for places is intense and we want to recruit those who can show the greatest passion for access to justice and the highest skills and aptitude. We welcome applications from people from less advantaged backgrounds and those with lived experience of the issues that social justice lawyers tackle.

Fellowship placements will be available in legal advice organisations in different parts of the United Kingdom. Details of these organisations and the nature of the role available in each are generally finalised in the spring and published on these pages as they join the scheme. Fellows will be employed by their host organisation which will be responsible for supervising and supporting Fellows through their period of training. The wider support, training and opportunities component of the scheme are organised by The Legal Education Foundation and its partners.

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