TakeRoot Justice is accepting applications for sponsorship for two-year post-graduate legal fellowships starting in the fall of 2023 (applications to fellowship foundations due fall 2022). TakeRoot Justice specifically seeks fellows to work on projects developed by our Capacity Building, Equitable Neighborhoods, Housing & Tenants’ Rights, or Immigrants’ Rights practice.
TakeRoot Justice seeks rising third-year law students, recent law graduates with judicial clerkships beginning in the fall, and those currently completing a judicial clerkship to sponsor for two-year public interest law fellowships offered by the Skadden Fellowship Foundation, Equal Justice Works, and similar programs.
ABOUT TAKEROOT JUSTICE
TakeRoot Justice provides legal, participatory research and policy support to strengthen the work of grassroots and community-based groups in New York City to dismantle racial, economic and social oppression. TakeRoot Justice employs a unique model of partnership with grassroots and community-based groups. Our partners take the lead in determining the priorities and goals for our work and advance our understanding of justice. This upends the traditional power dynamics between communities and service providers. We believe in a theory of change where short-term and individual successes help build the capacity and power of our partners, who in turn can have longer-term impact on policies, laws and systems that affect their communities. Our work has greater impact because it is done in connection with organizing, building power and leadership development. We believe that community organizing should be at the center of any effort to create sustainable, systemic change. TakeRoot Justice has a long history of partnering with grassroots and community-based organizations that build leadership and power within New York City’s low-income communities, particularly communities of color, immigrant communities and others who are traditionally excluded from policymaking. Only true democracy will achieve the progressive change we need to end systemic oppression. We model our internal structure on anti-oppressive and democratic principles in order to create an environment that mirrors the progressive change we pursue through our work.
ABOUT OUR PRACTICE AREAS
We support and strengthen worker-owned cooperatives, community-based institutions, grassroots campaigns and local organizing. In addition to providing public policy support and technical support for local campaigns, our practice area advises on a variety of transactional matters, including incorporation, tax exemption, internal governance, contracts, commercial leases, and compliance with corporate, non-profit, employment, tax, and other laws. We often work with the Equitable Neighborhoods practice area.
We work with grassroots groups, neighborhood organizations and community coalitions to help make sure that people of color, immigrants, and other low-income residents who have built our city are not pushed out in the name of “progress.” We work together with our partners and clients to ensure that residents in historically under-resourced areas have stable housing they can afford, places where they can connect and organize, jobs to make a good living, and other opportunities that allow people to thrive. We often work with the Capacity Building and Tenants’ Rights practice areas.
Housing & Tenants’ Rights
We provide direct legal assistance to community groups, their organizers, and their members engaged in tenant organizing. Our practice includes affirmative litigation on behalf of tenant associations, as well as individual anti-eviction litigation. We train community groups and their members on tenants’ rights issues, collaborate with tenant organizers, assist with legislative and/or regulatory advocacy, and lead housing clinics. Types of cases include HP actions for repairs, rent strikes, and 7A proceedings to strip landlords of control of their buildings.
We believe in the freedom of movement for all people. We understand that the foundation of our immigration system lies in the exclusion, surveillance, detention, and exploitation of people of color. By partnering with grassroots, community-based organizations and city and state-wide coalitions, we help immigrants of color build their power to fight against unjust laws and create space for immigrant communities to thrive. Our team works side-by-side with our partners to conduct legal clinics for their staff and members, and provides full representation on asylum, SIJS, U & T visas, VAWA, TPS, DACA, family-based petitions and removal defense cases. We believe that an informed and organized community is a safe community. In order to support community-based strategies for safety, we work alongside our partners to offer KYRs workshops on law enforcement interactions, curriculum development, and assistance navigating ICE arrests and detentions. We help keep our partners informed by providing community education on changing laws and the forms of relief most relevant to immigrant communities based on their shared experiences.
Applicants focused on working with Black immigrant communities and community partners, and/or who have experience working with our other current organizing partners, are strongly encouraged to apply. Applicants must either be admitted to the New York Bar or sitting for the New York Bar no later than July 2023. Applicants with foreign language abilities, especially Bengali, French, Haitian Creole, Nepali, Spanish and/or Tagalog, are encouraged to apply.
TakeRoot Justice is interested in sponsoring candidates who either already have a vision for their project or would like to work with TakeRoot Justice staff to develop a new proposal. Any proposal must consider TakeRoot Justice’s model of partnering with community-based organizations. A list of our current partners can be found on our website at www.takerootjustice.org.
Interested applicants who are eligible for the fellowships described above (i.e., rising third-year law students, those with clerkships beginning in fall 2021, or recent law graduates currently clerking), should send, in a single PDF document, a resume and cover letter. The cover letter should include a brief description of the applicant’s interest in being considered for sponsorship by the TakeRoot Justice, any practice areas the applicant is interested in working with, any proposal for a project connected with community organizing (although such a proposal is not required), and any prior experience that they may have had in the practice areas they are interested in.
Please note: This is not a job posting.
General application materials will not be considered. Send the requested documents by e-mail with the words “Fellowships 2023” in the subject line to Melanie Zuch at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will review applications as they come in and will consider applications on a rolling basis until August 20, 2022. Contact Information: TakeRoot Justice, 123 William Street, 16th Floor, New York, NY, 10038, Attn: Fellowships 2023.
TakeRoot Justice is an equal opportunity employer. TakeRoot Justice encourages applications from people with diverse backgrounds, including women, people of color, immigrants, people with disabilities, LGBTQ people, people from low-income backgrounds, and people with personal experience with the criminal justice system. We strongly encourage applications from people with lived experiences in the communities we serve. This is a bargaining unit position, and any successful fellow would be a member of the UAW/NOLSW Local 2320 with conditions of employment subject to a collective bargaining agreement.