Impact for Equity, a highly regarded and impactful public interest law and policy center, invites third-year law students and recent law graduates to apply for a sponsorship opportunity to work with us as a Legal Fellow. 

About Impact for Equity

At Impact for Equity, our mission is to combat systemic barriers to equity and to fight for racial, economic, and social justice. Since 1969, we have been an innovative public interest law and policy center that utilizes a combination of legal tools, policy research, organizing, and convening to work toward transformational change. We lead and support efforts to dismantle systems of injustice, create structures that empower communities, and implement accountability measures across our two core program areas: Criminal Legal Systems & Housing.  

With collaboration as a core value, Impact for Equity partners with people directly impacted by racial and economic injustice and the community-based organizations that serve them. Impact for Equity works to develop nuanced policies and programs, advance effective strategies, catalyze strong coalitions, and advance progress toward its overarching vision of a state where every person has the right and opportunity to live their fullest life in a thriving community and free of systemic barriers.  A collaborative and stimulating workplace, Impact for Equity is committed to offering opportunities to learn, grow, and contribute meaningfully to work that advances racial, economic, and social justice. 

Fellowship Description: 

Impact for Equity is pleased to accept applicants for sponsorships of funded fellowships (e.g., Skadden, Equal Justice Works, Justice Catalyst, law school) or other post-graduate public interest fellowships to begin in fall 2025.  

Impact for Equity seeks to host a dynamic and dedicated advocate as a Legal Fellow. The successful candidate will possess a commitment to racial and social justice, creativity, and leadership ability and will be comfortable working independently and within a team on multiple projects of varying complexity.  When applicable, our staff will work with the candidate to develop their proposals for submission, helping tailor the proposal to address an important racial or social justice issue aligned with Impact for Equity’s mission and focus areas. 


  • Conduct legal, policy, and other forms of research and analysis, including on a short timeframe in response to emerging issues, to support the development and implementation of laws, policies, and programs; 
  • Support Impact for Equity staff in ongoing or potential litigation through legal research and analysis, developing legal theories and strategies, drafting legal writings, and participating in litigation, including compliance-related activities; 
  • Explore, develop, and implement advocacy strategies informed by research, data, and the expertise of directly impacted people and communities; 
  • Participate in and/or build coalitions, partnerships, and task forces working to strategize and advance policy changes;  
  • Support efforts led by people directly impacted by injustice, including our community partners, community leaders, and grassroots advocacy groups;  
  • Work collaboratively with Impact for Equity staff to write materials to educate community-based stakeholders, legislators, agency officials, and others about issues impacting racial, social, and economic justice;  
  • Develop and maintain strong, collaborative relationships with a broad range of stakeholders, including impacted individuals, community members and leaders, community-based and ally organizations, policymakers, professional subject matter experts, and funders; 
  • Consistently integrate equity concepts into work and interactions by addressing structural implications and disproportionate impacts of policies, activities, and decisions based on race, socioeconomic status, and other historically marginalized group identities;  
  • Exemplify Impact for Equity’s core values and advance Impact for Equity’s mission and vision in all aspects of the work; and 
  • Travel in Chicagoland, Illinois, and to national conferences and meetings as needed. 
  • Commute to Impact for Equity’s office in downtown Chicago at least three days a week, as our office operates on a hybrid schedule;


The ideal candidate will bring the following knowledge, skills, and experiences:  

  • Experience with, or demonstrated commitment to, public interest law or policy advocacy and addressing social justice issues; 
  • Excellent legal and policy research skills;  
  • Exceptional oral and written communication skills, including the ability to convey complex information effectively to a wide range of audiences; 
  • Self-motivated with the ability to take initiative, manage a variety of tasks and see projects through to completion;  
  • Ability to synthesize a lot of information, juggle multiple priorities, think strategically and creatively, adjust to changing circumstances, remain attentive to details, and meet deadlines in a creative, deadline-driven and collegial environment; 
  • Strong interpersonal skills and sound judgment, including the ability to build trust and credibility with partners and a broad range of stakeholders;  
  • An enterprising mindset, a demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and a passion for social justice and Impact for Equity’s mission; and 
  • At least two years of completed law school credit at an ABA accredited school or recent graduate with clerkship; and  
  • Admission to the Illinois Bar or willingness to take the Illinois bar exam within 12 months of hire.  

Strong candidates often have substantive experience in one or more of Impact for Equity’s focus areas: police accountability, the criminal legal system, and housing.  


The fellowship program determines the fellowship term and salary for this position. Benefits include PTO and paid leave, health and dental plans, and a retirement savings plan.   


Please email a cover letter explaining your interest in a fellowship hosted by Impact for Equity and your experience, a resume, a writing sample, and contact information for 3 references to fellowships@impactforequity.org 

To apply to have Impact for Equity host your Skadden, EJW, or Justice Catalyst Fellowship, please send in your materials as soon as possible.  In your cover letter, please describe any ideas for a fellowship proposal. (Note: It is not necessary to have a project proposal at this stage of the process.) 

 Impact for Equity is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce, an inclusive culture and are dedicated to growing teams with people who have diverse experiences, backgrounds, and skills. We strongly encourage applications from people of color, immigrants, people with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ community, people with lived experience of poverty, and people from underrepresented and historically marginalized groups.

Reasonable accommodation will be made so that applicants with disabilities may participate in the application process. Please advise in writing of special needs at the time of application.

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