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Applications open for groundbreaking UCLA Law-Sonke Health & Human Rights Fellowship

Applications are currently open until 15 February 2018 for the UCLA Law-Sonke Health & Human Rights Fellowship (‘HHR Fellowship’). The HHR Fellowship, which was in launched in 2011 as a partnership between University of California, Los Angeles School of Law (‘UCLA Law’) and Sonke Gender Justice (‘Sonke’) provides specialised training at UCLA Law towards a Masters of Laws (‘LL.M’), to African graduates of South African law schools. Fellows will have an opportunity to learn a specialisation in Public Interest Law and Policy, Law and Sexuality, or related fields at UCLA through the LL.M. The aim is to build the capacity of South African lawyers through coursework emphasising human rights, global health, gender, sexuality and advocacy for social change.

“The fellowship gave me an opportunity to reflect critically on the work I had done in the public interest law centre and to think about innovative ways of approaching my work in future,” says Thabang Pooe, a 2015-2016 UCLA-Sonke Fellow. “The exposure to Critical Race Studies has given me the ability to name and explain the genesis of some of the injustices that continue to haunt South Africa. The multidisciplinary approach promoted by the programme has given me knowledge and skills in areas I would not have considered in the past. It was truly an opportunity of a lifetime.”

UCLA Law-Sonke Fellows receive a full-tuition grant to enroll in the LL.M program, valued at approximately USD60,000. While living expenses are not included or guaranteed, Sonke assists fellows with identifying funds for their studies, often securing at least a portion of living, studying, and travel expenses for their academic year.

Upon completing the LL.M at UCLA Law, fellows will have the opportunity to apply for a one-year fellowship with the Sonke Policy Development and Advocacy unit at Sonke, where they will assist with research, policy analysis and community education and apply the skills they acquire through their LL.M.

According to Nomonde Nyembe, a 2011-2012 UCLA-Sonke Fellow: “When coupling the Masters programme with a fellowship at an NGO, it allowed me to live what I learnt. The fellowship has allowed me to view a career in social justice as a method of capacity building. I now know that my career is not limited only to law, but engages and uses law as it exists and relates to people’s realities.”

The fellowship is open to African legal professionals and law graduates holding an LL.B. degree from a South African law school. Strong applicants will also demonstrate a commitment to health, human rights, gender equality or related issues, evidenced by past work or volunteer experience. Note that non-South Africans must also hold a South African work permit. Previously disadvantaged and South African candidates will be given preference.

Applicants must complete the following:

The application fee for UCLA Law is $85, but applicants may apply to UCLA Law for a fee waiver.

For further information, please contact:

  • Nabeelah Mia, 2016-2017 Policy Development and Advocacy Fellow, Sonke Gender Justice, nabeelah@genderjustice.org.za for information about the fellowship and requests for assistance
  • UCLA Law, llm@law.ucla.edu for questions about UCLA Law’s online LL.M application procedure or fee waiver.
30 January 2018
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