Fellowship to Build Tech that Fights Poverty
February 29, 2016 7:38 AM

Think the world doesn’t need another selfie app?

We agree. Our intensive summer Fellowship is designed to help top talent attack big problems in new ways. By taking a customer-centric approach and pushing our teams to iterate quickly and cheaply, we aim to build products that can really make a difference.

We’ve built our summer program to provide everything a team of early-stage social entrepreneurs might need: thousands of dollars in resources, an amazing peer group, unparalleled access to a pool of community collaborators for research and testing, and much more.

The program is split into two parts: We start with an intensive eight-week Research Phase, delving deeply into the lived experience of our Design Insight Group to discover insights that lead to potential product ideas. This is followed by an 80-day Build Sprint, where the best ideas and products that come out of the Research Phase are tested, validated, and eventually built.

Our fellows are experienced professionals who come from places like Facebook, Twitter, MOMA, the Harlem Children’s Zone and more. They have launched tech companies, clothing lines, and non-profits and are looking for new ways to support communities traditionally underserved by technology.

Great candidates will bring not only a great track record in their area of expertise, but also courage, empathy, and a love of fast-paced, collaborative environments. If that sounds like you, we’d love for you to join us!

The Challenge:

“Equal justice under law is not merely a caption on the facade of the Supreme Court building; it is perhaps the most inspiring ideal of our society. It is one of the ends for which our entire legal system exists… it is fundamental that justice should be the same, in substance and availability, without regard to economic status.”

– Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr.

There is a staggering need for legal services among low-income New Yorkers, and it threatens to tear at the fabric of our democracy.

The courts are the final line of defense against poverty and inequality — particularly for children, seniors, domestic violence victims, veterans, and immigrants. Having a lawyer can mean a family stays in their home when threatened by an unscrupulous landlord, a hard-working single mother isn’t cheated of her wages, and families aren’t torn apart by deportation. Yet too many New Yorkers lack the support of an attorney when they are forced to fight for their basic rights.

In 1963, the Supreme Court ruled that anyone accused of a crime deserves the right to counsel, but no such right exists for civil cases. As a result, the overwhelming majority of civil defendants walk into court without legal representation.

* Only 10% of tenants in eviction proceedings have an attorney vs. 90% of landlords
* Only 4% of defendants are represented by an attorney in debt collection proceedings vs. 100% of creditors
* More than 60% of detained immigrants lack legal counsel

These lop-sided statistics are not how the world’s oldest democracy should function. This is not justice. Every New Yorker deserves high-quality legal assistance, regardless of their income level.

At its core, the problem is a massive imbalance between the demand for low-cost and pro bono legal services and the available supply. The Legal Aid Society, the largest non-profit legal provider in the country, has to turn away 8 out of every 9 people who seek their help.

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 5-8 talented full stack engineering fellows who want to ensure the justice system works for everyone, regardless of income.

You are a talented engineer, and could work anywhere: Why join us?

This is an opportunity to build a greenfield project that really matters, something that leverages the power of technology to help make the world a better place. This is your chance to be the CTO of a social enterprise, level up your skills, and work with some of the best people in the business solving some of the most important problems of our time.

This isn't just another gig, nor is it your friend's crazy idea... This is about changing the world for the better.

About You:
* An experienced engineer: you've built things that really work from the ground up, tools and applications that other people use.
* You write quick, concise clean code that is as much of a pleasure to read as it is to run.
* You are comfortable working across the whole technology stack, front to back and everything in between.
* You know when to write tests and when to write experiments and are regularly the most productive member of your team.
* You know that deleting code can be just as powerful as creating it.
* User focused, you expect to iterate on the product in response to what works and what doesn't. Maybe the best user interface for the user are text messages instead of mobile web, maybe we need to build a kiosk.
* You are comfortable across a range of platforms and languages, but are an expert in a few. You like to learn new languages in your free time, and have built a project in a new language just to explore.
* Preferred Languages/Frameworks: Linux/Opensource, Ruby, Python, Javascript, Rails, Sinatra, Django, Flask, Node, Express, Angular, Ember
* Preferred Experience: Mobile web a huge plus, web applications, third party APIs, particularly social and telephony (twilio etc)

See what our Alumni have built.

Find out more on our website.

We're running weekly webinars to answer questions and go into details. You can sign up here: http://labs.robinhood.org/info-sessions/


payscale: Monthly Stipend
job type: full-time
posted by Freen to Internet Engineering 2 users marked this as a favorite

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