Applications for 19 Justice First Fellowships are now open

Applications for 19 Justice First Fellowships are now open

Call for applications aims to reach aspiring lawyers passionate about pursuing a career using law as a tool for social justice.

Applications open today for the next round of Justice First Fellowships.

The Legal Education Foundation’s Justice First Fellowship is offering 19 trainee solicitor posts at leading social justice organisations across the United Kingdom. The recruitment round for the Justice First Fellowship will run from Monday 16th August to Monday 13th of September 2021.

Host organisations this year include eight Law Centres, three law firms and eight specialist charities and legal advice agencies:Anti-Trafficking and Labour Exploitation UnitAPPEALBhatt Murphy (with Article 39), Bristol Law CentreCentre for Women’s JusticeHopkin Murray BeskineHousing RightsHoward League for Penal ReformJust For Kids LawJustRight ScotlandLaw Centre NILuton Law CentreNorth East Law CentreShelter ScotlandSpeakeasy Law CentreSuffolk Law CentreThe Community Law Partnership (with Friends, Families & Travellers), Tower Hamlets Law CentreVauxhall Community Law & Information Centre.

Applicants must have passed the Legal Practice Certificate by October 2021, or meet the equivalent requirements for Northern Ireland and Scotland (see here for full details). They must also be able to demonstrate a commitment to social justice and be ready to start their Fellowship by early 2022. Alongside their solicitor training, Fellows receive a free place on BPP’s professional skills course, or the equivalents in Scotland and Northern Ireland, and develop a project that advances social justice. Projects give Fellows invaluable hands-on experience, often aligning with the strategic objectives of the host organisation. Alex Lowry, JFF at RCJ Advice, used her project to develop an innovative service supporting survivors of domestic violence which went on to contribute to the launch of Finding Legal Options for Women Survivors. More details can be found here.

Applicants apply to one host organisation per year. A strong candidate will demonstrate the following qualities:

  • An evidenced interest in social justice, human rights, social welfare, asylum and immigration, civil liberties, family law, or public and administrative law.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Ability to be diplomatic, compassionate, and empathetic.
  • Willingness to take opportunities to build the skills and networks for a long career using the law as a tool for social justice.

Fellows can apply via the portal on the website, by completing the application form. APPLY NOW.

 The Legal Education Foundation CEO, Matthew Smerdon said the following ahead of applications opening:

 “The Justice First Fellowship provides a secure and sustainable route to employment for aspiring social justice lawyers, who are motivated to build a career in this vital area of the legal sector. Since we launched the scheme, over 120 Fellowships have been funded. As a testament to the quality of Fellows and host organisations, 98% of graduated fellows are currently in paid employment with 91% working as lawyers using law for the public benefit to achieve a social good.

 For the 2021 call for applications, we are delighted to once again partner with 19 exceptional host organisations, who can provide exciting work and opportunities to talented aspiring lawyers. All of our 2021 host organisations and co-funders share our vision to build a strong network of future leaders in social welfare law. We look forward to welcoming what will no doubt be a skillful and passionate group to the JFF, as well as hearing their ambitions and motivations along the way.”

The Legal Education Foundation:

The Legal Education Foundation is a grant-making foundation using legal education to build a society that fosters the principles of justice and fairness. Aside from the Fellowship, there are three key workstreams at The Legal Education Foundation: Stronger Sector, Fairer Systems and Smarter Justice. Information about each of these workstreams is available here, here and here, respectively.



If you have any questions about the application process, or more generally about the Justice First Fellowship, please contact



Harry Barber (07977 698175):


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