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Legal fellowship program


The objective of the NEWW Legal Fellowship Program is to strengthen the capacity of women lawyers at the beginning of their careers, and women's organizations throughout CEE/NIS, to advocate more effectively for women's human rights on the local, national, regional and international levels.
Launched in 1997, the Legal Fellowship Program has supported 26 fellows from 12 countries throughout CEE/NIS. Generally, NEWW Fellows' work on issues such as domestic violence, trafficking of women, labor discrimination, and strengthening women's political participation in CEE/NIS. Click here to find out more about NEWW Fellows
NEWW Legal Fellows participate in a 2-week training practicum in Washington D.C., complete a four-month internship at a U.S.-based human rights organization, participate in a law school course on International Women's Human Rights, and implement a twelve month women's rights advocacy follow-on project in their home country. Through the Fellowship Program, participants develop expertise required to litigate women's rights cases, cultivate networks with professional women's rights attorneys, and develop projects and collaborative initiatives in the field of women's human rights.
Each Fellow is placed with a U.S.-based human rights organization specifically focused on women's rights advocacy. Fellowships offer an intensive training experience, introducing Fellows to a variety of human rights strategies and mechanisms, and allowing them to participate in research, policy analysis and/or legal challenges on a range of women's issues. Fellows work full-time on an unpaid basis, and complete their internship over a four month period, from September to December. Organizations that have hosted Fellows in the past include the International Human Rights Law Group, Human Rights Watch/Women's Rights Division, CRLP (Center for Reproductive Law and Policy), Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights, Battered Women's Justice Project, Equality Now, Parliamentarians for Global Action, the Women's Caucus for Gender Justice, ICRW (International Center for Research on Women), WEDO (Women's Environment and Development Organization), IWPR (Institute for Women's Policy Research), and WEAVE (Women Empowered Against Violence).
The U.S. portion of the Program is immediately followed by a twelve month follow-on project implemented by the Fellow and her NGO in her home country. With support and guidance from NEWW, Fellows develop their own project, write a grant proposal, and fundraise for their project while they are in the U.S. Beginning in January, Fellows implement and manage their project, over a twelve month period, working in cooperation with NEWW and their home NGO.
NEWW Legal Fellows become part of a large network of members and women's rights activists throughout CEE/NIS, the U.S. and Western Europe. Each spring, the annual Fellows' Alumnae Workshop gives all current and former Program participants an opportunity to present their work and share strategies, information and experience. These meetings, in conjunction with general member events and activities, facilitate joint projects and advocacy initiatives while opening a door to continued regional networking.