UCLA Law - Sonke Health & Human Rights Fellowship

sonkeUniversity of California, Los Angeles School of Law and Sonke Gender Justice Network present the UCLA Law - Sonke Health & Human Rights Fellowship. Launched in 2011, the program provides specialized training to top graduates from Southern African law schools for careers as impact-oriented public interest lawyers in the areas of health, human rights, HIV prevention, and gender equality.

Details of the Fellowship

The fellowship offers a full-tuition grant to enroll in UCLA Law’s LL.M. (Master of Laws) Program. Sonke will assist fellows with identifying additional funds for their studies (though there is no guarantee that these will be secured). Upon graduating, fellows have the opportunity to apply for a one-year fellowship placement with Sonke Gender Justice Network in Cape Town or Johannesburg.

Fellows may earn a specialization in UCLA Law’s David J Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy, Law and Sexuality, or related fields. Through Public Interest Law and Policy workshops and seminars, fellows will meet PILP students and faculty and study the problem-solving challenges faced in public interest legal practice. Fellows will examine the principal skills and conceptual approaches useful to public interest lawyers in the PILP seminar, Problem Solving in the Public Interest.

Through the course Human Rights and Sexual Politics, fellows will interact with students from medicine and public health, and conduct legal research and advocacy for Sonke. Each UCLA Law - Sonke Health & Human Rights Fellow will also elect other related courses and author a substantial writing assignment on a health, human rights, and/or gender equality-related legal issue facing Southern Africa.

Eligibility and Award Conditions

The UCLA Law - Sonke Health & Human Rights Fellowship is open to African legal professionals and law graduates holding LL.B. degrees classified second class (division one) or higher from Southern African law school programs. Competitive applicants will also have a demonstrated commitment to health, human rights, or gender equality, and work or volunteer experience in this area.

As a condition of the award, fellows will be asked to certify that they will return to Africa upon completion of their LL.M. degree, and commit to a public interest career that promotes health, human rights, and gender equality in the African region.

Application Instructions

To apply for admission, prospective students must submit an online application to UCLA Law's LL.M. program, a separate supplemental application form for the UCLA Law - Sonke Health & Human Rights Fellowship, and supporting documentation.

  1. UCLA Law LL.M. Program Application

    To create an account and complete the online LL.M. program application, click the link above and follow the instructions.

  2. UCLA Law - Sonke Health & Human Rights Fellowship Supplemental Application Form

    After submitting the online LL.M. program application, click the link above to download the supplemental application for the Sonke Health & Human Rights Fellowship. After completing this form, please submit it by mail to UCLA Law along with the required documents listed at the "Supporting Documentation" link below.

  3. Supporting Documentation

    Click the link above to view the list of required supporting documents for the UCLA Law LL.M. program application. Please mail these documents, along with your completed UCLA Law - Sonke Health & Human Rights Supplemental Application Form, to UCLA Law at the listed address by the application deadline of March 1, 2015.

Please direct questions about the fellowship to hhrfellowship@genderjustice.org.za, and questions about UCLA Law's online LL.M. application procedure to llmapplicant@law.ucla.edu.

Project Partners and Leadership

UCLA School of Law is the youngest top law school in the U.S. It has pioneered innovative specializations and cutting-edge research centers, and has long been committed to skills training courses that offer students hands-on lawyering experience as they master legal doctrine.

Sonke Gender Justice Network is recognized internationally for its pioneering work that supports men and boys to promote gender equality, prevent gender-based violence, and reduce the spread and impact of HIV and AIDS across Africa.

The UCLA Law - Sonke Health & Human Rights Fellowship will be co-directed by Lara Stemple at UCLA School of Law, and by Dean Peacock and Desmond Lesejane at Sonke Gender Justice Network.

StempleLara Stemple is the Director of Graduate Studies at UCLA School of Law, where she oversees the law school's LL.M. (masters) and S.J.D. (doctoral) degree programs. Stemple teaches and writes in the areas of human rights, global health, gender, sexuality, HIV and AIDS, and incarceration. Stemple currently serves on the Board of Directors of Just Detention International, the Advisory Board of UCLA's Center for the Study of Women, and is part of the Leadership Core for the new UC Global Health Institute's Center of Expertise on Women’s Health and Empowerment.

 Dean PeacockDean Peacock is co-founder and Executive Director of the Sonke Gender Justice Network. Peacock's work and activism over the last twenty years has focused on issues related to men, constructions of masculinities, health, and social justice. He is a member of the United Nations Secretary General's Network of Men Leaders formed to advise Ban Ki-Moon on prevention of gender-based violence, is a research analyst at the Program in Global Health at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, and is co-founder of the MenEngage Alliance.

Desmond LesejaneDesmond Lesejane is Deputy Director of Sonke Gender Justice Network and Manager of Sonke's Policy Advocacy & Research Unit. Lesejane has worked in a range of civil society, religious and government initiatives aimed at attaining social transformation for a more just society. Prior to Sonke, Lesejane had several leadership positions with organizations promoting gender equality and social justice, including as the Director of Ecumenical Service for Socio-Economic Transformation, and as the Chief Executive Officer of the Civil Society Secretariat of the World Summit on Sustainable Development. Lesejane has published widely on men, gender equality and fatherhood.

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