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Legal Empowerment and Technology Fellow

Rolling Deadline  |  Full-Time Job  |  New York, NY US


Legal Empowerment and Technology Fellow

Pro Bono Net, a national nonprofit dedicated to increasing access to justice, seeks a highly qualified candidate to join our team as Legal Empowerment and Technology Fellow. The Fellow will play a key role in designing and implementing an innovative project focusing on the use of technology to advance legal empowerment strategies, with an emphasis on approaches to building legal capacity and agency within local communities to tackle civil justice problems. This is a full-time, paid position based in New York City with a generous benefit package, including 4 weeks of paid vacation. This Fellowship is funded through December 2020 under an Open Society Foundation grant to Pro Bono Net. To learn more about Pro Bono Net’s programs and partners, visit http://www.probono.net/about/item.Mission, and www.immigrationadvocates.org/projects.

Legal Empowerment and Technology Project Goals

The goal of this two-year project is to advance the strategy and practice of technology-enabled legal empowerment efforts in the US, in partnership with civil justice organizations where these models are already taking root. Primary objectives include: 1.) the creation of a Tech for Legal Empowerment Cohort, composed of at least three PBN partners, to co-design, test and evaluate new technology-enabled community advocacy and outreach models; and 2.) the creation of a broader learning network of allied stakeholders in the US to deepen knowledge, learning and capacity in the field about effective uses of technology to promote legal empowerment. The vision for legal empowerment across these projects ranges from legal issue-spotting and know your rights outreach by community workers to community lawyering and community organizing models that promote changes in public policy and justice institutions.

Fellow Responsibilities

The Fellow will closely with Pro Bono Net program and technology staff to develop and implement this project. Fellow responsibilities will include:

  • Coordinate convening, technical assistance, and co-design activities with a geographically distributed Tech for Legal Empowerment cohort
  • Coordinate prototyping activities, including working with designers and developers to create and refine prototype tools
  • Support the testing, training and rollout process of new tools with cohort partners
  • Engage with cohort partners to document insights, identify promising practices, and ensure meaningful dialogue with community stakeholders throughout the pilot lifecycles
  • Support the design and implementation of an in-person Legal Empowerment and Technology convening in 2020 with additional practitioners, researchers, funders and broader community stakeholders
  • Provide peer-to-peer networking and information-sharing support to cohort members, convening participants and other stakeholders to connect allied efforts and amplify awareness of promising practices
  • Coordinate the production and distribution of a toolkit and webinar sharing key learnings and approaches to building on successful strategies with the field
  • Liaise with other Pro Bono Net staff to facilitate cross-program knowledge-sharing and capacity-building
  •  Maintain reporting systems to document work with project partners and stakeholders
  • Support overall project administration, reporting and evaluation efforts


  • Demonstrated commitment to social justice, with experience in community organizing, public interest legal, public policy or access to justice arenas strongly preferred
  • Strong interest, fluency and comfort in the use of technology; experience managing public interest technology projects and/or with user centered design, design thinking, or user experience (UX) highly valued
  • JD or advanced degree in law, policy or related field is a plus, but is not required
  • Demonstrated ability to lead projects and foster collaboration among diverse stakeholders
  • Excellent attention to detail, with commitment to high-quality services and work product
  • Confident and skilled communicator (written and verbal)
  • Strong self-motivation and initiative required, with ability to track priorities, thrive and be resourceful in a dynamic environment with new challenges to solve
  • Ability to work well with others and coordinate team projects involving on-site and remote collaborators
  • Proficiency in Spanish a plus
  • Willingness and ability to travel occasionally

Application Instructions

Please send your resume, 2-3 professional references, and a cover email to explain your interest in the Fellowship to jobs@probono.net with Legal Empowerment and Technology Fellow in the subject heading. No calls please. Application deadline of February 17, 2019 but applications will be considered on a rolling basis and the start date will be as soon as possible.

Pro Bono Net is an equal opportunity employer and all interested individuals are encouraged to apply. Personnel are chosen on the basis of ability without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, marital status, or sexual orientation.


This is a full-time, one-year position with a competitive nonprofit salary and excellent benefits, including 4 weeks paid vacation. The position will be based in our New York office but work with staff and collaborators across the country.

Date posted:


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