Q: What activities can fellows expect to do at each organization?

Fellows placed with any of the host organizations should expect collegial but fast-paced and demanding work environments. Here are a few details about the types of activities fellows will engage in:

Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC (Advancing Justice | AAJC:

Fellows will have the opportunity to gain a wide breadth of experience in the various practice areas at Advancing Justice | AAJC. Anticipated assignments include planning and moderating public education events; drafting press releases on breaking news; attending meetings on Capitol Hill and with federal agencies; researching and drafting fact sheets, and legislative testimony.

Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC):

CLINIC’s Advocacy section tackles problems faced by low-income immigrants and the CLINIC member agencies that serve them.  Fellows placed with CLINIC will assist attorneys in resolving immigration issues through advocacy, education, pro bono representation, litigation, and media.  They will review and draft comments on government regulations and policy memos and attend meetings with government agencies, hearings, and other events.  In addition, fellows will assist the nonprofit legal service providers in CLINIC’s network with individual case inquiries, research and analyze state immigration-related legislation, and support pro bono attorneys in immigration appeals.

Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights:

Fellows placed at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights will work with our Public Policy and Educational Opportunities Project teams. The Public Policy Project leads and coordinates the organizational policy agenda by providing policy leadership, advocacy, visibility and materials for Capitol Hill and in coalitions on substantive priorities as they arise on the legislative calendar.  Fellows will engage in research and writing, producing issue briefs and policy statements. They attend and report on coalition meetings, as well as briefings and hearings taking place on the Hill, and may prepare testimony and talking points for Lawyers’ Committee staff members.

The Educational Opportunities Project (EOP) strives to guarantee that all students receive equal educational opportunities in public schools and institutions of higher learning. Fellows placed with the EOP will assist the team by developing curricula for parent and youth workshops for the Parental Readiness & Empowerment Program (PREP); engaging in research and writing; conducting outreach to parents and partner organizations; attending and reporting on coalition meetings, as well as briefings and hearings taking place on the Hill; and providing support for litigation efforts.

National Immigration Law Center (NILC):

As a national advocacy organization working for social justice, the National Immigration Law Center’s (NILC) mission is to promote and advance the rights and opportunities of low-income immigrants, and their families. Fellows placed with NILC’s Washington, D.C. office engage in research and writing, producing issue briefs and policy statements.  They attend and report on coalition meetings, as well as briefings and hearings taking place on the Hill.  Fellows are likely to work on a wide range of issues related to one of NILC’s priority areas: education access, economic justice, workers’ rights, detention and deportation, legalization, and health.  NILC provides a rich environment for fellows to learn about the immigrant rights movement and to work alongside attorneys and policy analysts involved in national policy analysis and advocacy.

Q: What information is required to apply?

Applications must be submitted online here. To apply, you will need to submit current contact information (address, phone, and e-mail); university name, graduation date, and major; one page résumé, which should include relevant prior experiences working or volunteering in public service; and a reflective essay (in place of a cover letter) not to exceed two typed double-spaced pages, describing why the applicant is passionate about pursuing a career in social justice. If you have any problems submitting the application online, please contact firstgenfellows@lawyerscommittee.org.

Q: What do you look for in an applicant?

The FirstGEN Fellowship Committee seeks bright undergraduate students, who are first-generation college students, dedicated to pursuing careers in the social justice field. Applicants should possess a track record of public service through volunteer work/community service. If an applicant lacks a public service track record, he or she may include an additional page explaining the circumstances preventing this type of engagement. Candidates who are people of color, women, LGBTQ, or other minorities are strongly encouraged to apply.

Q: Am I required to reside in the District of Columbia during the fellowship?

No one is required to reside in the District of Columbia. Please note that the Lawyers’ Committee, AAJC, and NILC are located in downtown Washington D.C., while CLINIC is located in Silver Spring, MD.  All offices are Metro accessible.

Q: Am I required to find housing on my own?

Yes, each fellow is required to find housing. We would be happy to provide suggestions.

Q: How much is each fellow awarded as a stipend?

For the upcoming 2020 summer program, each fellow will receive a $5,000 stipend.

Q: When you say first-generation student, do you mean within your immediate family?


Q: My older sibling graduates at least one year ahead of me, do I still qualify?

Every applicant will have a different story to share, please share yours and the Selection Committee will make a decision based on your specific situation.

Q: When will the fellowship commence?

Our aim is to have all fellows commence this program on the same day in early June or as close together as possible, however, we are flexible. The best thing to do is to apply and include in your application when you would be able to commence.

Q: I graduate before this program begins, am I eligible?

Yes, as long as you are enrolled at the time you submit your application materials.

Q: My parent has a two-year associate degree, am I still eligible?

Include this information in your application, the Selection Committee will make certain decisions on a case by case basis.

Q: What is the timeline for applications?

Applications for summer 2020 are accepted through January 31st. Up to six fellows will be selected by April 2020. Ten-week summer fellowships will commence approximately during the first week of June 2020. The exact start date will be finalized after the 2020 FirstGEN Fellows are selected.