Advancing Racial Justice in the South Through Advocacy, Research, and Impact Litigation

The Southern Education Foundation (SEF) and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) invite qualified candidates to apply for the 2024 Lynn Walker Huntley Social Justice Fellowship. The two-year fellowship helps early-career attorneys develop the skills and experiences needed to advance racial justice in education.

Applications for the 2024-2026 Lynn Walker Huntley Social Justice Fellowship are now closed. Candidates will be notified in November 2023 regarding next steps in the process.

The Lynn Walker Huntley Social Justice Fellow works with a focus on keeping public funds in public schools and advocating for truth in curriculum. As part of SEF’s Public Policy and Advocacy team, the fellow develops and implements strategies that advance education justice policies at the local, state, and federal levels. They also participate in impact litigation under the mentorship of SPLC’s legal department and conduct advocacy trainings for SEF staff and other interested parties.

The fellow’s state advocacy work will be centered on Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi. They also gain experience on a broad array of education equity issues, emphasizing constructive solutions that ensure all students have the resources needed to learn, grow, and thrive.

During their two-year tenure, the fellow focuses on:

  • Advocacy: Writing policy briefs and materials, drafting strategic messaging and legislative testimony to advance equity goals, working with legislators, and collaborating with partner organizations and coalitions
  • Research: Making recommendations on legal and policy developments in education justice across the K-12 and post-secondary spectrum
  • Impact litigation: Assisting with legal research and motions, coordinating amicus brief efforts, and planning community events and outreach
  • Training: Conducting equity and civil rights trainings for staff and community partners.

At the conclusion of the fellowship, each fellow produces a report or project describing progress made on a key education civil rights issue as a result of their contributions.

Qualified candidates will have a demonstrated commitment to SEF’s mission, education justice, racial equity, and civil rights, and liberties for all. Applicants must earn or have earned a J.D. between May 2022 and May 2024. Fellows will be based in Atlanta and earn an annual salary of $90,000.

Bound by our unwavering pursuit of justice in the South, SEF and SPLC recognize the rich legacy of Lynn Walker Huntley, the trailblazing lawyer and civil rights advocate who served as SEF’s first female president from 2002 until her retirement in 2010. Walker Huntley worked on the NAACP Legal Defense Fund landmark Furman v. Georgia case and served as the first Black woman to lead the Special Litigation Section in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. By reflecting Walker Huntley’s commitment to education justice, this fellowship provides strategic support for the larger civil rights community and carries forth that mission into the future.

“Lynn Walker Huntley’s vision, tenacity, and humanity showed all of us working at the Legal Defense Fund how to advocate for clients. She made sure that the journey to assure quality education without regard to race, wealth or zip code was generational work.”
– Deval Patrick, Former Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts