If you are passionate about using the law to deliver social justice, and you are looking for a fantastic opportunity to complete your training and move on to the next stage in a career advancing access to justice, then the Justice First Fellowship is for you.
Applications to join the 2021 cohort of Fellows opened on 16 August 2021 and will close at 5pm on 13 September 2021. You can find the list of Host organisations here.
What does the Justice First Fellowship involve?
- Training contract: a two year fully funded training contract in a selected specialist social welfare law agency in any UK nation, and a free place on the Professional Skills Course at BPP campuses, or equivalent compulsory training in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
- A project: working with the host organisation to develop a project that will help advance access to justice. This can potentially provide a future income stream for their host organisation.
- Extra support: regular sessions on developing a project, professional development skills, additional training e.g. communications, campaigning and fundraising, well-being support currently provided by Claiming Space, and access to useful networks.
- Joining a cohort: building important relationships and gaining peer support from other fellows, and being part of the JFF alumni following qualification.
Am I eligible to apply for the Fellowship?
To be eligible, you need to:
- Have the relevant qualification*:
- England & Wales: passed (or expected to pass by 31 October the year before training begins) the Legal Practice Course
- Scotland: passed (or expected to pass by 31 October the year before training begins ) the Diploma in Legal Practice/Diploma in Professional Legal Practice (DLP)
- Northern Ireland: graduated with a recognised law degree and be eligible to apply for September admission (of the following year) to the Solicitors apprenticeship scheme at the Institute of Professional Legal Studies, Queen’s University Belfast.
- Have the right to work in the UK
- Be willing and able to commit to serving a two-year term as a Fellow commencing in the January following their application, or April for Northern Ireland Training Contracts
- Be able to demonstrate a commitment to social welfare law
* Please note: if you are selected at interview stage you will be offered a Fellowship place on a provisional basis only until you can confirm that you have passed the LPC or DLP by 31 October. If you do not pass by this date you will not be able to take up the place.
How to apply?
Applicants may only apply for a position at one Host organisation in any year. There is an option on the application form to say you wish to be considered by other Host organisations. This may be relevant if you get to interview stage but are unsuccessful in the interview for your chosen host.
- Read the job descriptions of Fellowship positions available in current opportunities and select which one you wish to apply to.
- Complete and submit the online application form. You will receive an automatic submission confirmation to your email address.
- You will be contacted by The Legal Education Foundation to let you know if you have been shortlisted for interview or not.
- If shortlisted, you will be contacted by the Host to arrange an interview.
- Following interviews, you will be contacted by the Host to let you know if you were successful or not.
- If you are not successful at interview, you may be asked if you wish to interview for training contracts in other Host organisations if any Host has not placed a candidate. This is not guaranteed.
How are Fellows selected?
Each Host organisation will receive applications from applicants who selected their organisation. Hosts do not see names, schooling history or equal opportunities data on application forms at the first stage so that the shortlisting process is anonymised and as unbiased as possible.
Hosts will shortlist candidates and send invitations to interviews which will be in person or virtual. Hosts now have full access to the shortlisted applications and shortlisted candidates may be asked for further information for example CVs.
Usually interviews will include a presentation element which candidates will be informed of and asked to prepare in advance.
A representative from The Legal Education Foundation will sit on the interview panel as an observer.
Candidates with the following experience and qualities are prioritised:
- have a demonstrable passion for access to justice
- have volunteered at charities or public interest groups in their local community
- have dedicated time to serving low-income or less privileged communities
- wish to effect change in the legal community
- have the highest level of skills and the potential to drive innovation in future legal practice
- have lived or learned experience of the issues facing the communities that the host organisation serves.
Competition for places is intense, with only the very best and most committed going on to be selected. Read about past Fellows here.