The Center plays a key role in creating the next generation of academics who will do important research and teaching on the legal profession as well as in facilitating the work of established scholars and practitioners by providing them a platform and a home. Since 2006 the Center has run an Academic Fellowship program that brings post-doctoral/post-J.D. fellows to the HLS for a two year, in-resident fellowship to conduct their own research and to assist the Center’s faculty and staff on our research. Our research fellows have come from a number of academic backgrounds, including law, sociology, international relations/political science, economics, psychology, and organizational behavior. These young scholars have gone on to faculty positions at major universities in the United States, India, Korea, and Canada.
The Harvard Law School Center on the Legal Profession (CLP) is seeking 1 or more Research Fellows to join its Fellowship Program in the Summer/Fall 2018 (exact start date negotiable) to conduct independent empirical research on the structure, norms, and dynamics of the global legal profession and to contribute to the research priorities of the Center. We encourage applicants to learn more about the Center’s research on its website (CLP.law.harvard.edu) and via its digital magazine The Practice (thepractice.law.harvard.edu).
Research fellowships are full-time, in-residence at the Center’s offices in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and typically 2-years in length. At the Center, the Research Fellow would join a lively group of researchers from diverse disciplines as well as Harvard’s wider academic community.
Previous research fellows have come from a number of academic backgrounds (including law, sociology, international relations/political science, economics, psychology, and organizational behavior) and have gone onto faculty positions at major universities in the United States, India, Korea, and Canada.
The Research Fellow is expected to pursue his/her own research agenda on the legal profession as described in his/her statement of interest and in on-going consultation with the CLP Faculty Director, Professor David B. Wilkins, and Center leadership. It is expected that the Research Fellow will actively seek to publish his/her work on the legal profession in academic journals and other scholarly publications and, where possible, contribute to bridging the academic-practitioner divide.
In addition to pursing his/her own research, in consultation with Center leadership, the Research Fellow is expected to actively participate in and contribute to the programmatic research initiatives of the Center. This includes working on CLP-initiated research, assisting in the convening of academic conferences, and contributing to the overall academic vibrancy of the Center. To that end, the Research Fellow is expected to write and collaborate on CLP-sponsored scholarly papers, reports, and its digital magazine The Practice. The Research Fellow is also expected to participate in CLP-run research workshops, roundtables, and other academic discussions.
The ideal Research Fellow will be able to work independently in designing and conducting his/her own research as well as function as part of CLP’s wider team-based research and programmatic agendas.
A PhD, JD or an equivalent degree is required. Applicants with a JD or equivalent legal background must have demonstrated empirical research experience. PhD applicants must have completed their doctoral work (or, at a minimum, have submitted their dissertation) prior to the beginning of the fellowship.
Candidates must possess top-notch empirical research skills (quantitative and/or qualitative) in law, sociology, political science, business, economics, management sciences or a similar field as demonstrated by prior research projects, doctoral work, publications or employment experience.
Proficiency with Microsoft Office (e.g., Word, Excel, PowerPoint) is required. Experience with statistical tools is highly desirable.
An excellent command of verbal and written English is a must, as are a positive attitude, entrepreneurial spirit, flexibility, creativity, and outstanding interpersonal skills.
To learn more or to apply, email CLP’s Research Director, Bryon Fong, at [email protected].
Review of applications will be rolling and will continue until the position(s) is filled.
To be considered for the fellowship, applicants must provide:
Interest in and achievements relevant to the Center’s mission must be clearly articulated in all application materials.
Michele DeStefano (2006-2009) – Professor of Law, University of Miami; Founder & Executive Director, LawWithoutWalls
Sean Williams (2007-2009) – Scott Baldwin Research Professor in Law, University of Texas School of Law
Gabriele Plickert (2008-2011) – Assistant Professor of Sociology, Cal Poly – Pomona
Young-Kyu Kim (2008-2010) – Assistant Professor of Management, Korea University Business School
Swethaa Ballakrishnen (2008-2010) – Visiting Assistant Professor of Law, University of California-Irvine
Cory Way (2010-2012) – Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Dean of Students; Adjunct Professor of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
Mihaela Papa (2010-2013) – Assistant Director, Global Programs, MIT Sloan School; Lecturer in Global Governance, Tufts University
Daniel Ambrosini (2011-2013) –Assistant Professor of Psychology, McMaster College (Canada)
Pavan Mamidi (2011-2013) –Director, Centre for Experimental Social Sciences, FLAME University
Nick Robinson (2013-2016) –Legal Advisor, International Center for Not-for-Profit Law
John Bliss (2016-2018) – Visiting Assistant Professor of Law, University of Denver
The Center engages in with students in a number of ways. Learn more in the tabs bellow.
The Center on the Legal Profession regularly hires registered Harvard students (including incoming 1Ls) to provide help with our research projects.
If you are interested in becoming a CLP research assistant, please email Bryon Fong at [email protected]
The Center on the Legal Profession has created Student Empirical Research Grants (SERG) designed to enhance and contribute to practice-related student research at Harvard Law School. The fellowships include access to CLP’s research resources, the opportunity to meet and discuss research with faculty and peers, and financial support to enable students to conduct empirical research and writing projects that might otherwise be cost-prohibitive. SERG funding typically ranges from $1,500 to $2,500 and can be used to cover the costs associated with conducting empirical research, including survey design and administration, travel costs for site visits, interviews, other field research and related out-of-pocket expenses. The research project must be empirical in nature and must study the legal profession or a related aspect of the delivery of professional services. CLP Student Empirical Research Grants can be aggregated with other funding, such as winter term research grants. Fellowships are offered throughout the academic year, and applications will be considered on a rolling basis.
Email Bryon Fong at [email protected] for more information.
The Center on the Legal Profession has created Public Interest Research Grants (PIRG) designed to encourage and help fund Harvard Law School student research projects focusing on the professional structures and norms, practice dynamics, and career challenges of public interest legal practitioners and other aspects of public sector legal service delivery. The fellowships include access to CLP’s research resources, the opportunity to meet and discuss research with faculty and peers, and financial support to enable students to conduct empirical research and writing projects that might otherwise be cost-prohibitive. PIRG funding, up to $2,500, can be used to help to defray a range of costs, including travel and interview expenses and the creation, distribution, administration and analysis of survey instruments. All HLS students may apply and PIRG funding may be aggregated with other funding, such as winter term research grants. Fellowships are offered throughout the academic year, and applications will be considered on a rolling basis.
Email Bryon Fong at [email protected] for more information.
The purpose of the Davis Polk Paper Prize is to encourage deeper reflection and consideration by Harvard Law School students about their chosen profession, its role in society, and the many challenges that lawyers face in a rapidly-changing world. Paper topics must relate to the legal profession itself or to a related aspect of the delivery of professional services. This could include (but is not limited to) topics such as legal careers, the role, structure and management of law firms, in-house legal departments, and other public and private sector legal service providers, diversity or gender-related issues, the impact of globalization or other social trends upon the profession, the role of lawyers and legal institutions in society, changes in the profession over time, comparisons between lawyers and other professional service providers, and the like.
Open to HLS students for work completed in the current academic year
Papers must examine the legal profession or a related aspect of the delivery of professional services
Papers will first be submitted to the HLS Dean’s Office and later reviewed by Professor David Wilkins (Faculty Director, CLP) and Derek Davis (Executive Director, CLP)
For more information, please contact the HLS Dean’s Office at [email protected].
Davis Polk Paper Prize Winners—2009-2018
2018—Thomas Snyder, J.D. 2018 for Attorney-Client Confidentiality is a Moral Good: Expanding Protections of Confidentiality and Limiting Exceptions
2017—Daniel West, JD 2017 for Finding the Lost Lawyer: Pro Bono Service as Continuing Education
2016—Rebecca Donaldson JD ’16 for Law by Non-Lawyers: Will Limited License Legal Technicians Increase Access to Justice?
2015—Cody Gray JD ’15 for A New Model for the Delivery of Legal Services Designed to Vindicate the Right to Vote
2014—Katherine Cheng JD ’14 for Law Firm Political Polarization: An Empirical Analysis of Firm Political Contributions
2013—Duncan Farthing‐Nichol JD ’14 for Legal Education for the Administrative State: Dean James M. Landis in the History of American Legal Education
2012—Dion Chu JD ’12, Matthew Greenfield JD ’12 and Peter Zuckerman JD ’12 for Judging the Justice Gap: An Analysis of the Flawed Interstate Allocation of Civil Legal Services Funding and a Proposed Remedy
2011—Dustin Cho JD ’11, David Denton JD ’11, and Benjamin Snyder JD ’11 for Representing the Lowest Clients Before the Highest Court: An Empirical Analysis of the Supreme Court’s in Forma Pauperis Docket
2010—Kurt Chauviere, JD ’10 for The Business of Education Reform: The Needs of India’s New Lawyers and Their Influence on Legal Education
2009—Eric Nguyen, ’09 and Douglas Brayley, ’09 for Good Business: A Market‐Based Argument for Law Firm Diversity
Ming Zhu, ’09 for Racing Against the Traditional Credentials: An Empirical Study of the Effect of Race in Law School Hiring