Foundation funds three Equal Justice Works Fellows

The Florida Bar Foundation will fund three 2021-23 Equal Justice Works Fellows, whose two-year civil legal aid projects will support economic development and stability within disadvantaged communities.

“Equal Justice Works is grateful for the tremendous support of The Florida Bar Foundation. Our partnership has made possible the launch of many careers of passionate public service leaders who are helping to fulfill our nation’s promise of equal justice for all,” said Kristen Uhler-McKeown, vice president of fellowships at Equal Justice Works. “We look forward to seeing the impact that Janeille, Melissa, and Oliver as Equal Justice Works Fellows sponsored by the Foundation will have in advancing access to justice for marginalized communities in Florida.”


Melissa Lipnick

The three fellows will focus on health care, veterans and evictions. The fellows are:

Melissa Lipnick, Florida Health Justice Project
Lipnick will engage in individual and systemic advocacy to expand access and address barriers to Medicaid home health care to enable more low-income Florida seniors to stay safely at home and out of nursing homes. The pandemic has exacerbated the need for these services. Lipnick graduated from the University of Miami School of Law in May.

Janeille McPhail, Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida
McPhail will provide holistic legal services for the veteran population in rural Ocala to create systemic change and offer stability. The


Janeille McPhail

project will use outreach, pro bono services and advocacy to increase public benefits and veteran benefits. McPhail graduated from the University of Florida Levin College of Law in May.

Oliver Telusma, Community Justice Project
Telusma’s fellowship is designed to prevent COVID-fueled evictions of residential renters and small businesses at high risk of displacement in South Florida through direct legal services, policy advocacy and movement lawyering. Telusma graduated from Florida A&M University School of Law in May.

McPhail is funded jointly by the international law firm of Greenberg Traurig and The Florida Bar Foundation. The other fellows are funded by solely by the Foundation.


Oliver Telusma

Washington D.C.-based Equal Justice Works is the leading nonprofit organization committed to mobilizing the next generation of public interest attorneys by facilitating fellowships at legal service organizations. Having invested more than $5 million in fellowships since 1999, The Florida Bar Foundation is among the largest all-time funders of Equal Justice Works Fellows.