Blue Ridge Labs Fellowship for Innovating Access to Justice

Blue Ridge Labs Fellowship

Blue Ridge Labs in the NYC area (sponsored by the Robin Hood foundation) is offering fellowships this summer for the design and implementation of new civil justice innovations.

The goal will be to research and then build new solutions to help bridge the justice gap, at least for the NYC community at first — but hopefully also creating sustainable, community-oriented businesses to keep the innovations going after the fellowship ends.

They are looking for product people, designers, engineers, and domain experts to help build these new innovations.

In the face of this crisis, there is growing energy around new approaches and a renewed commitment from city and state agencies to expand coverage, while recognizing that traditional models alone may be too expensive at scale. To help spur innovation, we are looking for 15-18 talented fellows who want to ensure the justice system works for everyone, regardless of income.
Come explore new ways to:

Supplement existing legal services cost-effectively with smart software, better data, or new advocates;

Make it easier for New Yorkers to identify when they’re facing a legal issue and access trusted, high-quality resources;

Address language and literacy barriers that prevent New Yorkers from understanding their rights, court procedures, and the implications of contracts, court decisions, and settlements; or

Grow the supply of pro and low bono providers who have both the time and knowledge base to support low-income clients.

And what are the skills they are looking for? Design-oriented, agile, constructive, and ambitious.

Open to learning: A fellow challenges their previously held beliefs with compassion for both the community and each other.
Gets things done: The Fellowship is a tremendous opportunity, but it is brief. With such a limited amount of time, working quickly and effectively both in teams and alone is essential to success.
Sees feedback as a gift: Feedback is a tremendously powerful tool for learning and growth, but only when it is given and received with the best of intentions.

Resilient: The work we do is bound to have setbacks. Fellows need to bounce back from difficulty to face the challenge anew.
Comfortable with the unknown: Developing a new product is fraught with uncertainty. Being able to make decisions with limited knowledge is an essential skill.
Willing to fail: Making decisions with limited information necessarily means sometimes we’re going to be wrong. Great fellows learn from their mistakes with enthusiasm.

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