The Steel Fellowship is the first fellowship of its kind anywhere in the country.
In typical years, the annual Fellowship is a $30,000 award for an individual to complete full-time work for twelve (12) months.
The Tom Steel Post-Graduate Fellowship provides funding for a new lawyer to work in the United States on an innovative, public interest law project that serves the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
The Fellowship will help ensure that unmet legal needs are recognized and prioritized on an on-going basis, and that the next generation of legal advocates for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community develops the critical skills necessary to secure civil rights into the future.
The Steel Fellowship is the first fellowship of its kind anywhere in the country. In typical years, the annual Fellowship is a $30,000 award for an individual to complete full-time work for twelve (12) months. Pride Law Fund seeks to fund "cutting edge" projects with the potential to make a lasting impact. Persons are eligible to apply if they are law students eligible to graduate in the Spring semester, or are lawyers within three years of their graduation from law school. Additional requirements are set forth in the application materials. Factors considered in awarding grants include:
- Need for the project (how under-served the issue/community is)
- Anticipated impact of the project
- The organization and structure of the proposal
- Stability and supportiveness of the sponsoring organization or attorney
- The applicant's past community or public service activities
- The applicant's connection and involvement with the LGBTQ community.
Current Steel Fellow
Jessie Workman (Steel Fellow, 2017-2018) is sponsored by Youth Represent in New York. Jessie Workman started at Youth Represent as a legal intern, and Kyle Jewell fellow, in the summer of 2015 and joined the organization as a Staff Attorney in 2016. The Tom Steel Fellowship will support Jessie in the Pathways Project which will address the disproportionate criminalization of LGBTQ and gender nonconforming youth in New York City by providing criminal representation and re-entry legal services, engaging in policy advocacy, and conducting youth-led research about their understudied re-entry needs.
2016-2017 Steel Fellow
Ghirlandi Guidetti (Steel Fellow, 2016-2017) is sponsored by the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois. Guidetti will represent and advocate for LGBTQ children in the custody of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). His project will provide advocacy on behalf of the LGBTQ youth who are overrepresented in the child welfare system. Ghirlandi is well-poised to do this work because ACLU of Illinois has a long-standing consent decree with DCFS to provide civil rights protections for youth in foster care. We are thrilled to support Ghirlandi's ground-breaking work.
2015-2016 Steel Fellow
Raúl Arroyo-Mendoza (Steel Fellow, 2015-2016) is sponsored by the National Center for Youth Law. Arroyo-Mendoza will represent and advocate for LGBTQ youth engaged in the commercial sex trade for survival. His project will provide survivors and at-risk youth access legal entitlements to community-based mental health services, gender-affirming medical care.
2014-2015 Steel Fellow
Daniel Faessler (Steel Fellow, 2014-2015) is sponsored by the Transgender Law Center and is working in partnership with Asian Pacific Islander Wellness Center, El/La Para TransLatinas, Instituto Familiar de la Raza, Public Health Institute, TGI Justice Project, Transgender Economic Empowerment Initiative and Bay Area Legal Aid. Faessler has established the Transgender Legal Services Project (TLSP), which reduces barriers to accessible legal representation by providing fully bilingual (Spanish and English) services for the transgender and gender non-conforming community in the San Francisco Bay Area. TLSP organizes legal clinics at its partnering organizations where community members may access legal information, obtain referrals and seek direct representation on a variety of legal issues including discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations; court-ordered name and gender changes; accessing medical care; immigration; and many other issues.
2013-2014 Steel Fellow
Kate Walsham (Steel Fellow, 2013-2014) is sponsored by the Southwest Women's Law Center, the ACLU of New Mexico, and the Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico. Walsham has established a new legal project in Albuquerque focusing on the rights of transgender people. Her work centers on educating the bar of New Mexico about LGBT issues, advocacy and outreach around the Affordable Care Act's implications for LGBT people, and representing clients facing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.