Borrin Foundation Justice Fellowship

Applications closed 4 September 2023. The next application round for this fellowship opens March 2024.

Pool of funding available: $120,000

Outstanding legal professionals with at least 10 years experience in the law are invited to design their own inquiry or project plan (if your project plan includes being hosted at an organisation, please include those details). Proposals should build on the fellow’s expertise and allow them to pursue new directions. The cost of the proposal should match the fellowship needs.

The pool of funding may be awarded to one fellow or may be split between two separate individual Fellowships.


  • You must have at least 10 years’ experience in the law at the time of applying.
  • You must be passionate about using the law to deliver social justice and have a lifelong commitment to justice and service.
  • Preference will be given to Fellows who are working to ensure access to justice for underserved communities in New Zealand, or working in an under-resourced area of law, or working in the Foundation’s strategic focus areas of criminal justice, family law or access to civil justice.
  • There is no upper age limit. Anyone who expects to be working in the law for another 10 years or more is welcome to apply.


How it works

  • It is envisaged that the Fellowship will involve a full-time commitment for a minimum of 6 months and a maximum of 12 months, which can be spread over a longer period (e.g. two 3 month periods spent on the Fellowship over a 2 year period).
  • The Fellowship should enable the Fellow to test a hunch, pursue an inquiry, pioneer solutions to legal issues, and leverage their knowledge and contacts. It could involve spearheading a new and innovative project.
  • We are looking for individuals who can demonstrate a passion for justice, along with the highest level of skills and aptitude and the potential to drive innovation.
  • Fellows should present plans that they would not otherwise be able to pursue in the course of their day-to-day work, if not for the Justice Fellowship.


What the award can be used for

Possible use of the funds might include salary replacement, or salary if being placed at a host-organisation, domestic or international travel, attending conferences, hiring research assistants or consultants, or a writing retreat.



The fellowship cannot be used for:

  • A general ‘in-house legal position’ at a host organisation.
  • General legal practice or providing services.
  • Enrolment for degree or non-degree study at academic institutions, including dissertation research.
  • Projects that are concerned mainly with issues outside New Zealand.

Please also see our general grant exclusions.


Application dates

Applications open once a year in March. The dates for the next application round are:

Applications open: March 2024

Applications close: April 2024

Decisions confirmed: July 2024

Earliest fellowship could begin: August 2024


How to apply

To apply you need to prepare all your paperwork first, then submit this information through our online application. The proposal template and application form will be available when we are accepting applications.

  1. Complete the Borrin Foundation Justice Fellowship Proposal template including your proposal and personal statement. This document should be no more than 7 pages with max 5 pages for your proposal and max 2 pages for your personal statement.
  2. Prepare your CV or resume (max 3 pages).
  3. Ask two people for permission for the Borrin Foundation to contact them directly to provide a written reference – you can use our template to request written references.
  4. Once all your paperwork is ready, complete our online application and upload your proposal and CV as PDF files.

If you have any questions contact Oli at

Borrin Foundation Justice Fellows