Deadline: January 15, 2016
Applications are now open for the 2016 Leadership and Advocacy for Women in Africa (LAWA) Fellowship Program at Georgetown University Law Center. The LAWA Fellowship Program was founded in 1993 at the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C., in order to train women’s human rights lawyers from Africa who are committed to returning home to their countries in order to advance the status of women and girls throughout their careers.
About the Fellowship
The LAWA Fellowship Program is 14 months long (from July of the first year through August of the following year), after which the LAWA Fellows return home to continue advocating for women’s rights in their own countries. The LAWA Program starts in July, when the Fellows attend the Georgetown Law Center’s Foundations of American Law and Legal Education course.
From August through May, the LAWA Fellows earn a Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree at Georgetown with an emphasis on international women’s human rights and complete a major graduate research on a significant women’s rights issue in their home countries. After graduation, the LAWA Fellows then have an opportunity to engage in challenging work assignments for three months (June through August) at various public interest organizations to learn about different advocacy strategies to advance women’s human rights, before returning home to continue advancing women’s human rights in their own countries.
Benefits and Costs
- The LAWA Program helps defray the costs for women’s rights attorneys from Africa who would not otherwise be able to afford a Master of Laws degree focusing on international women’s human rights and the additional leadership training.
- The LAWA Fellowship provides the tuition for the Foundations of American Law and Legal Education Course (a U.S. $2,200 benefit) and for the LL.M. degree (a U.S. $46,865 benefit) at the Georgetown University Law Center, as well as professional development training.
- Candidates who are admitted to the LAWA Program must be prepared to cover the costs of all additional expenses (such as their visas, travel, housing, utilities, food, clothing, health insurance, books, etc.), and must be able to demonstrate to the U.S. Embassy for visa purposes that they have the funds available to cover those expenses (approximately $28,000).
- Due to the intensity of the LAWA Program and academic studies, LAWA Fellows are not permitted to work throughout the academic portion of the program. They must also affirm that they will return home after the LAWA Fellowship and continue to promote women’s human rights in their countries throughout their careers.
Eligibility and Requirements
- Open to women’s human rights lawyers from Africa
- Fellows must be willing to committed to returning home to their countries in order to advance the status of women and girls in their own countries throughout their careers
- Candidates who are awarded a LAWA Fellowship must be prepared to cover the costs of all additional expenses (such as visas, travel, housing, utilities, food, clothing, health insurance, books, fees, etc.). Candidates must be able to demonstrate to the U.S. Embassy for visa purposes that they have the full amount of funds available to cover these expenses at the time of their visa application. This totals over U.S. $25,845. For the summer internship portion, students need to show $2,232 per month, for the 2 to 3 month internship period. These costs are significantly less if you can affirm that you are staying with family in the Washington, DC area.
- Candidates are encouraged to apply for individual funding, or seek support from their employers. The LAWA Program does not have the capacity to assist with these efforts. Please refer to this for a sample budget from the last school year https://www.law.georgetown.edu/admissions-financial-aid/office-of-financial-aid/resources/upload/Budget-15-16.pdf.
- You must be a women’s human rights lawyer from Africa to be considered. Preference is given to those who are currently living and working in Africa, and who do not already have an advanced degree. Men who are committed to women’s human rights are strongly encouraged to apply.
- As a requirement of participation in the LAWA Program, all applicants must commit to return home to their own countries upon completion of the Fellowship, and to use their best professional efforts to advance women’s human rights in their counties throughout their careers.
- You must have strong English language skills both written and oral. Language problems have been the primary barrier to success for LAWA Fellows.
- The program will require candidates to become profession in using computers for drafting papers and conducting research. Candidates are encouraged to learn basic computer skills before arrival in order to make this transition easier.
How to Apply
The application for the 2016-2017 Fellowship Year is available here
For more information, visit LAWA Fellowship.