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Equal Justice Works

 Grantee:       Equal-Justice Works
Ranking:       9th highest grantee, 2005 — 2009
Received:     $6,513,500
Type:             Academic Endowment
Issue:             Creating Progressive Lawyers

About: Equal-Justice Works started as a student organization in 1986.  It has grown into a national left-of-center nonprofit corporation with a nearly $8 million annual budget and a presence far beyond academia in the legal world.  Membership includes virtually all (98%) of ABA accredited schools; bar associations in several states; hundreds of the nation’s largest and most prestigeous law firms; legal aid, and legal advocacy organizations; hundreds more law faculty, lawyers and judges, and dozens of non-legal foundations and individual donors.  E-JW solicits funds from its membership and private donors, but it also receives taxpayer support: the Federal Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) provided more than a million dollars in aid in 2010 adminstering its E-JW’s AmeriCorps Legal Fellowships Program.

“Serving the historically underserved,” is the rationale by which law schools justify offering facilities and funding to leftist organizations, as well as course credit and other forms of advancement to the students who staff them.  Students subscribing to these causes also serve their own careers, as recipients of the highly competitive Equal-Justice Works Fellows know.  More than 80% of fellows continue in public interest work after their fellowship ends.  Even in a collapsing job market, Equal-Justice Fellowships are still the pipeline to prestigious federal and academic legal positions.

Taxpayer-funded Equal-Justice fellowship programs have expanded rapidly under Obama.  In 2010, there were 144 Equal-Justice Works fellows, 66 E-JW AmeriCorps Legal fellows and 541 Summer Corps Fellows.  Taxpayers contributed more than a million dollars to these programs through the CNCS.  An additional $1.2 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act subsidized thirty more fellows, and a public defender program is being developed. The fellows worked at more than 100 nonprofits, “addressing critical issues such as access to services for disabled children, predatory lending in immigrant communities and domestic violence.”1

Public money from several sources; dues from public and private law schools, and professional fees collected from practicing attorneys through bar associations therefore subsidizes the mentoring and training of new generations of leftist “public interest lawyers.”

Equal-Justice Works is also ensuring that lawyers choosing “public service” receive other benefits.  In the face of “staggering educational debt loads,” Equal Justice Works has taken a leadership role in successfully advocating for loan repayment assistance programs (LRAPs) and federal legislation that enable graduates to pay back their loans as a percentage of income and to get loan forgiveness after 10 years, so long as they work in “public service” positions.  E-JW “educates thousands of law students and law school advisors about these programs that enable lawyers to take public interest jobs without regard to their educational debt.”

Mission Statement: The mission of Equal Justice Works is to create a just society by mobilizing the next generation of lawyers committed to equal justice. We provide leadership to ensure a sustainable pipeline of talented and trained lawyers are involved in public service. Equal Justice Works provides a continuum of programs that begin with incoming law school students and extend into later careers in the profession. We provide the nation’s leading public interest law fellowship program and offer more postgraduate, full-time legal positions in public service than any other organization.

Soros Funding: Soros has donated $6.5 million to Equal-Justice Works since 2005.

25th Anniversary Gala: Honored guests at E-JW’s 25th Anniversary Gala:

  • Hon. Eric H. Holder, Attorney General
  • Hon. Deval Patrick, Governor of Massachusetts
  • Emcee David Gregory, Host of NBC’s Meet the Press


  • David Stern, Executive Director
  • Susan Gurley, Deputy Director
  • Shirley Hochhausen, Director Equal-Justice Works West
  • David Simmons, Director of Development — formerly with Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the American Constitution Society
  • Kerry O’Brien, Director of Federal Programs and Strategic Initiatives
  • Martin Costello, Senior Program Manager, AmeriCorps
  • Brenna Duncan, AmeriCorps Program Coordinator
  • Bethany Hamilton, Summer Corps Specialist, AmeriCorps
  • Coleman McMahon, Associate Director, Federal Programs
  • Sally Carlson, Director of Communications and Outreach —
  • Isaac Bowers, Senior Program Manager, Educational Debt Relief and Outreach
  • Radhika Singh Miller, Program Manager, Educational Debt Relief and Outreach

Board of Directors:

  • Allen P. Waxman, Chair — Kaye Scholer LLP
  • David F. Levi — Dean of Duke University School of Law
  • Marc Gary, Vice Chair — Fidelity Investments
  • Judith L. Lichtman — National Partnership for Women and Families, Center for American Progress
  • Carol Ann Petren, Secretary — MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings Inc.
  • The Honorable Consuelo B. Marshall — United States District Court, Central District of California
  • Donn P. Pickett, Treasurer — Bingham McCutchen LLP
  • Tim McNutt — Kings County District Attorney’s Office
  • Sabrina Andrus — Law Students for Reproductive Justice
  • Meagan Mirtenbaum — University of North Carolina School of Law ’11
  • Ramón P. Arias — Bay Area Legal Aid
  • Francisco Pardo — Fordham University School of Law ’12
  • Barbara Arnwine — Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
  • Thomas L. Sager — DuPont
  • Sheila C. Cheston — Northrop Grumman Corporation
  • Laura Stein — The Clorox Company
  • Pamela B. Gilbert — Cuneo Gilbert & LaDuca, LLP
  • James C. Sturdevant — The Sturdevant Law Firm
  • Amos E. Hartston — Inner City Law Center
  • The Honorable David S. Tatel — Washington, DC
  • The Honorable Sven Erik Holmes — KPMG LLP
  • Allan Van Fleet — Greenberg Traurig, LLP
  • Stacy Kane — Department of Homeland Security
  • Chloe Walker — University of Houston Law Center ’12
  • Anastasia D. Kelly — DLA Piper
  • Mark D. Wasserman — Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP
  • Kim Koopersmith — Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
  • Beth A. Wilkinson — Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
  • Larry D. Kramer — Stanford Law School
  • The Honorable Ann Claire Williams — U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit
  • Rachel Kronowitz — Gilbert LLP

Fellows Host Organizations: organizations where E-JW fellows are assigned to work, essentially granting these organizations taxpayer funding to support their agendas:

  • Access to Justice
  • ACLU of Southern California
  • Advocacy, Inc.
  • Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc. (ABLE)
  • Advocates for Children’s Services
  • Appalachian Center for the Economy & the Environment
  • Appalachian Research and Defense Fund of Kentucky
  • Asian American Legal Defense & Education Fund
  • Asian Pacific American Legal Center
  • Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center
  • Atlanta Legal Aid Society
  • The Barton Juvenile Defender Clinic of the Emory University School of Law
  • Bay Area Legal Aid
  • Bread for the City
  • The Bronx Defenders
  • California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation
  • Catholic Charities of Dallas
  • Center for Conflict Resolution
  • Center for Democracy and Technology
  • Central American Resource Center (CARECEN)
  • Children’s Law Center
  • Columbia Legal Services
  • Community Legal Aid Services
  • Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida
  • Diocesan Migrant & Refugee Services
  • The Domestic Violence Institute at Northeastern University School of Law
  • East Bay Community Law Center
  • Education Law Center
  • The Equal Justice Center
  • Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project
  • Florida Justice Institute, Inc.
  • Georgia Asylum & Immigration Network (GAIN)
  • Georgia Justice Project
  • Greater Boston Legal Services
  • Gulfcoast Legal Services, Inc.
  • Gulf Region Advocacy Center
  • Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law
  • Health & Disability Advocates
  • The Heartland Alliance’s National Immigrant Justice Center
  • Housing and Economic Rights Advocates
  • Immigrant Defense Project
  • The Impact Fund
  • Indiana Legal Services
  • Inner City Law Center
  • Jacksonville Area Legal Aid
  • KidsCounsel Center for Children’s Advocacy
  • KidsVoice
  • Law Help
  • Learning Rights Law Center
  • Legal Aid of Bluegrass
  • Legal Aid of West Virginia
  • Legal Aid Society of Cleveland
  • Legal Aid Society of Columbus
  • Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia
  • Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati
  • Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee
  • Legal Aid Society of Minneapolis
  • Legal Aid Society of New York
  • Legal Aid Society of the Orange County Bar
  • Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County
  • Legal Aid Society of Southwest Ohio
  • Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago
  • Legal Assistance of Western New York
  • The Legal Center
  • Legal Health
  • Legal Services for Children
  • Legal Services for Greater Miami
  • Legal Services of South Central Michigan
  • Lone Star Legal Aid
  • Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center
  • Loyola Law Clinic
  • Lutheran Social Services
  • MFY Legal Services, Inc.
  • Miami-Dade Public Defender
  • Mid-Minnesota Legal Assistance
  • Mississippi Center for Justice
  • Montana Legal Services Association
  • National Immigration Law Center
  • Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem
  • Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County
  • New York Lawyers for the Public Interest
  • North Carolina Justice Center
  • Northwest Immigrant Rights Project
  • Northwest Justice Project
  • Office of the Public Defender
  • Ohio State Legal Services Association
  • Orleans Public Defenders
  • Our Place DC
  • Pennsylvania Innocence Project
  • Pro Seniors, Inc.
  • Public Advocates Inc.
  • Public Counsel
  • Public Interest Clearinghouse
  • Public Law Center
  • Refugee Resettlement & Immigration Services of Atlanta
  • Rubicon Programs Inc.
  • Sanctuary for Families
  • Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law
  • South Brooklyn Legal Services
  • Southeast Louisiana Legal Services
  • Sylvia Rivera Law Project
  • Tahirih Justice Center
  • Texas Advocacy Project
  • Texas Civil Rights Project
  • Texas Legal Services Center
  • Texas RioGrande Legal Aid
  • Three Rivers Legal Services
  • Transgender Law Center
  • United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI)
  • Ute Mountain Ute Tribe
  • Volunteer Legal Services Program
  • Watsonville Law Center
  • Western Center on Law & Poverty
  • Women Empowered Against Violence (WEAVE)
  • Youth Represent

The Equal Justice Works Board of Directors features several nationally prominent law firms and investment companies, as well as some activists such as Sabrina Andrus, Law Students for Reproductive Justice; Barbara R. Arnwine, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and Judith Lichtman,  National Partnership for Women and Families and the George Soros funded Center for American Progress.

The Equal Justice Works 25th Anniversary Gala Dinner was held Thursday, October 20, 2011 at the JW Marriott Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC.  Speakers were:

The Honorable Eric H. Holder, Jr. Attorney General of the United States

The Honorable Deval Patrick , Governor of Massachusetts

Addendum: Throughout the legal profession, Equal-Justice Works has achieved the sort of cross-institutional saturation and ideological conformity Soros seeks to implement in other realms.  And it has done so with virtually no resistance, indicating the extremity of self-selecting ideological biases already present in legal education.

When the Koch Brothers attempt to fund an endowment in one department at a single school, academics and editors explode across the nation in outrage and indignation.  But when 200 law schools, public and private, join a left-wing advocacy organization, nobody blinked an eye.  Equal-Justice Works brags publicly about expanding the delivery of its “just society” message into law schools:

The mission of Equal Justice Works is to create a just society by mobilizing the next generation of lawyers committed to equal justice. For nearly 25 years, Equal Justice Works has collaborated with the nation’s leading law firms, corporate legal departments, bar foundations, law schools and nonprofit organizations to provide the training and opportunities that enable attorneys to provide effective representation to vulnerable populations.  We help law schools establish and strengthen public interest programs. [emphasis added]2

City Journal writer Heather Mac Donald (JD Stanford University) has written about the spread of liberal politics on law school campuses, and in the classrooms, through inevitably leftist “clinic” programs programs:

To understand how politically one-sided law schools are, look no further than the law school “clinic.” These campus law firms, faculty-supervised and student-staffed, have been engaging in left-wing litigation and political advocacy for 30 years. Though law schools claim that the clinics teach students the nuts and bolts of law practice, while providing crucial legal representation to poor people, in fact they routinely neither inculcate lawyering skills nor serve the poor. They do, however, offer the legal professoriate a way to engage in political activism€”almost never of a conservative cast.3

She adds, “If you wonder why law school profs invariably deem conservative jurists ‘out of the mainstream,’ a survey of the clinical universe makes clear what the academy’s legal ‘mainstream’ really means.”




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