Frequently Asked Questions about the LAWA Fellowship Program
THERE HAVE NOT BEEN ANY PREVIOUS LAWA FELLOWS FROM MY COUNTRY. MAY I STILL APPLY?
We currently accept applications from any country in Africa.
I DO NOT CURRENTLY HAVE THE FUNDS TO COVER MY NON-TUITION EXPENSES. MAY I STILL APPLY?
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, 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 limited in their ability to work during the semester, and cannot count on having a job to supplement their expenses. Applications from candidates who do not currently have the funds to cover all non-tuition expenses unfortunately cannot be considered for LAWA Fellowships at this time.
DO I NEED TO MAINTAIN HEALTH INSURANCE THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE LAWA FELLOWSHIP?
As a LAWA Fellow, you are required to obtain health insurance before you arrive in the United States and to maintain health insurance coverage throughout the entire duration of your fellowship. Medical services in the United States are extremely expensive, and neither the LAWA Program nor Georgetown University will assume financial responsibility for medical or hospital bills. Even with health insurance, you can expect to pay additional costs for doctors’ visits and medications. Eye care and dental care are not covered by the required Georgetown health insurance.
I WOULD LIKE TO OBTAIN EMPLOYMENT IN THE UNITED STATES AFTER COMPLETING THE LAWA PROGRAM. IS THIS PERMISSIBLE?
Fellows may stay through the Summer after completing their LL.M. to work in an internship, and may extend this period depending on their visas. Most summer internships are not paid.
A vital requirement of participation in the LAWA Program is that all of the LAWA Fellows commit to return home to their countries upon completion of the LAWA Program, and to use their best professional efforts to advance women’s rights in their home county throughout their careers. Because this commitment to return home to advance women’s human rights in your country is such an important part of the LAWA Fellowship Program, it highlighted on the LAWA application form and on the website. In addition, all applicants indicate that they are willing to sign such a commitment upon acceptance of a LAWA Fellowship, known as the LAWA Pledge. This outstanding record is crucial to the future success of the LAWA Program, and indeed to the very existence of the program itself, as supporters do not wish to invest in a program that draws talented individuals away from their countries in Africa.
I WILL NOT HAVE A COPY OF MY OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT BY THE DUE DATE – CAN I STILL APPLY?
Yes. Please mark on the application form the date on which your official transcript was requested. Your application will be processed, but cannot be considered for candidacy until we have received the official transcript. If we have not received your transcript by the time interviews are being scheduled, you will not be considered for an interview.
WHAT IS MEANT BY AN OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT? CAN I SEND A PHOTOCOPY?
The transcript must be in a sealed enveloped and stamped by your law school’s Registrar. Emails or photocopies are not considered official by Georgetown University and are not accepted. Most schools respond promptly to transcript requests and will send them directly to the Fellowship Program.
SHOULD I INCLUDE A WRITING SAMPLE?
Writing samples are not required except for the essays included in the application questions. Additional written materials will not be considered as part of the application.
I HAVE BEEN OUT OF LAW SCHOOL FOR 10 YEARS – AM I ELIGIBLE TO APPLY?
The Fellowship program sets no cap on the amount of time an applicant has been out of school. The Fellowship does not accept candidates directly from LL.B. studies, and gives high priority to those who have experience working to advance women’s human rights.