Non-profit

Equal Justice Works

Location:

WASHINGTON, DC

Tax ID:

52-1469738

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2017):

Revenue: $18,019,283
Expenses: $17,605,902
Assets: $21,866,108

Equal Justice Works is a Washington, DC-based organization that focuses on left-progressive advocacy careers for lawyers. Law students founded the organization in 1986[1] as the National Association of Public Interest Law. [2]

Senior Equal Justice Works staff have ties to institutional left-progressivism and the Democratic Party; its board chairman served in the Obama administration. [3]

Activities

Equal Justice Works connects law students, lawyers, legal service organizations, and activists. The group specifically sets out to connect law students with left-leaning legal nonprofit advocacy and the federal AmeriCorps program. [4]

The organization spent $7.8 million on fellowships in 2018, or about 47 percent of its full budget. The organization spent $5.8 million on AmeriCorps fellows, or 35 percent of the organization’s budget. Another 8 percent, or $1.3 million, went to law school engagement and advocacy. [5]

EJW says it offers more postgraduate, full-time legal positions in public service law than any other organization. [6] More than 85 percent of law students that participate in the fellowships remain in non-profit advocacy-based law, according to the organization. [7]

More than 98 percent of American Bar Association-accredited schools are members of Equal Justice Works, according to the organization. [8]EJW also collaborates with law schools to establish or to expand their public interest law programs[9]

The group further provides information to law students about how to manage their student debt. [10]

Federal Partnerships

Equal Justice Works has worked on projects for AmeriCorps, a federally-sponsored volunteer program, since 1994. In the 2015-2016 program year, Equal Justice Works sent 126 AmeriCorps Fellows and paralegals to 35 states and the District of Columbia. AmeriCorps Fellows focused on recruiting volunteer attorneys and law students and assisting in finding clients. They also helped to set up a Veterans Legal Corps. The lawyers also assisted people with criminal records seeking jobs. [11]

The organization has also done legal fellowships that were jointly funded by the U.S. Legal Services Corporation, a federally-funded nonprofit organization. [12]

Leadership

David Stern is the executive director of Equal Justice Works. He joined the organization in 1992 to set up a postgraduate fellowship program. The group promoted him to executive director in 1995. The organization’s budget grew ten-fold during his tenure as executive director. Also, while he was at the head, the staff grew by four times, according to the organization. [13]

Stern also led the organization to facilitate 2,000 public interest fellowships with 85 percent of fellows remaining in public service law. The National Law Journal recognized him as of one of the “The 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America.” The Legal Times recognized him as one of the “Greatest Washington Lawyers in the Past 30 Years.” The Mississippi Center for Justice in 2006 honored Stern for bringing attention to the legal issues facing the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Stern had created the EJW Katrina Initiative that deployed lawyers to the Gulf Coast region to help people without homes, jobs, or social services. Stern also serves on the advisory committee for Voices of Civil Justice. Stern is also a member of the Legal Services Corporation’s Leaders Council. [14]

In October 2011, President Barack Obama’s White House recognized Stern as a “Champion of Change.” In a writing for the White House website, Stern called the organization a “major player in the legal nonprofit community. [15]

Sara Morello is the executive vice president at Equal Justice Works. She helped manage the EJW’s work in Africa and Asia. She previously worked eight years as the executive vice president of Catholics for Choice, a pro-abortion group purporting to Catholicism. She also previously worked for the National Women’s Law Center and at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. [16]

Ivan Fong is the chairman of the board of the directors for Equal Justice Works. Fong is the senior vice president for legal affairs and the general counsel for the 3M Company. He was also the chief legal officer for Cardinal Health, Inc. He was a senior vice president and general counsel for GE Vendor Financial Services. He was also a lawyer for the U.S. Department of Justice. [17]

In 2009, President Obama nominated Fong to be the general counsel for the Department of Homeland Security, a position in which he served until 2012 when he went to the 3M Company. [18]

Kathryn J. Fritz is the vice chairwoman of the board of directors of Equal Justice Works. She is a partner in the litigation and intellectual property group of Fenwick & West LLP, a law firm focusing on technology and life sciences matters. Fritz serves on the board of Bay Area Legal Aid. She formerly served the Legal Services Corporation’s Pro Bono Task Force. [19]

References

  1. About Us. Equal Justice Works. Accessed July 31, 2020. https://www.equaljusticeworks.org/about/. ^
  2. Leadership & Staff. Equal Justice Works. Accessed July 31, 2020. https://www.equaljusticeworks.org/about/leadership-staff/ ^
  3. McQilken, Marisa. “Q&A With Obama’s Pick for DHS General Counsel.” Legal Times. February 10, 2009. Accessed August 26, 2020. https://legaltimes.typepad.com/blt/2009/02/legal-times-recently-caught-up-with-the-obama-administrations-pick-for-general-counsel-of-the-department-of-homeland-secur.html ^
  4. About Us. Equal Justice Works. Accessed July 31, 2020. https://www.equaljusticeworks.org/about/. ^
  5. Equal Justice Works. Charity Navigator. Accessed July 31, 2020. https://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=6228 ^
  6. Equal Justice Works. LinkedIn. Accessed July 31, 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/company/equal-justice-works/. ^
  7. Equal Justice Works. Charity Navigator. Accessed July 31, 2020. https://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=6228 ^
  8. Leadership & Staff. Equal Justice Works. Accessed July 31, 2020. https://www.equaljusticeworks.org/about/leadership-staff/ ^
  9. About Us. Equal Justice Works. Accessed July 31, 2020. https://www.equaljusticeworks.org/about/. ^
  10. About Us. Equal Justice Works. Accessed July 31, 2020. https://www.equaljusticeworks.org/about/. ^
  11. Equal Justice Works. Serve Washington. Accessed July 31, 2020. https://servewashington.wa.gov/equal-justice-works ^
  12. Rodriguez, Kenn. Press Release. “Church Chosen for 2020 Rural Summer Legal Corps Fellowship.” University of New Mexico. July 10, 2020. https://lawschool.unm.edu/news/2020/07/church-chosen-for-2020-rural-summer-legal-corps-fellowship.html ^
  13. Leadership & Staff. Equal Justice Works. Accessed July 31, 2020. https://www.equaljusticeworks.org/about/leadership-staff/ ^
  14. Leadership & Staff. Equal Justice Works. Accessed July 31, 2020. https://www.equaljusticeworks.org/about/leadership-staff/ ^
  15. Stern, David. “Helping Lawyers Help Communities.” White House Champions of Change. October 24, 2011. Accessed August 26, 2020. https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/realitycheck/blog/2011/10/24/helping-lawyers-help-communities ^
  16. Leadership & Staff. Equal Justice Works. Accessed July 31, 2020. https://www.equaljusticeworks.org/about/leadership-staff/ ^
  17. Board of Directors. Equal Justice Works. Accessed July 31, 2020. https://www.equaljusticeworks.org/about/board-of-directors/. ^
  18. McQilken, Marisa. “Q&A With Obama’s Pick for DHS General Counsel.” Legal Times. February 10, 2009. Accessed August 26, 2020. https://legaltimes.typepad.com/blt/2009/02/legal-times-recently-caught-up-with-the-obama-administrations-pick-for-general-counsel-of-the-department-of-homeland-secur.html ^
  19. Board of Directors. Equal Justice Works. Accessed July 31, 2020. https://www.equaljusticeworks.org/about/board-of-directors/. ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Michael Caudell-Feagan
    Founder and Former Executive Director
  2. Kathleen Welch
    Former Executive Director

Coalition Memberships

  1. Voices for National Service
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: August - July
  • Tax Exemption Received: September 1, 1986

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2017 Aug Form 990 $18,019,283 $17,605,902 $21,866,108 $7,329,755 N $17,879,701 $144,725 $257,606 $812,959 PDF
    2016 Aug Form 990 $1,942,050 $3,551,372 $20,578,831 $6,967,192 N $1,889,417 $0 $31,199 $81,413
    2016 Jun Form 990 $16,066,012 $16,549,190 $17,553,774 $2,548,448 N $15,300,765 $440,525 $265,246 $459,679
    2015 Jun Form 990 $15,059,758 $14,081,828 $19,334,447 $4,051,424 N $14,922,099 $60,300 $246,028 $588,671 PDF
    2014 Jun Form 990 $12,926,061 $10,427,639 $16,461,579 $2,043,677 N $11,734,216 $90,375 $191,234 $592,487 PDF
    2013 Jun Form 990 $10,765,812 $10,421,543 $13,502,008 $1,499,990 N $10,331,832 $70,500 $188,961 $532,553 PDF
    2012 Jun Form 990 $10,558,458 $10,972,086 $13,178,482 $2,183,642 N $10,016,088 $76,705 $161,115 $395,386 PDF
    2011 Jun Form 990 $10,728,271 $10,417,167 $11,970,064 $922,738 N $10,364,382 $30,074 $168,718 $207,518 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Equal Justice Works

    1730 M ST NW STE 800
    WASHINGTON, DC 20036-4551