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Application

Georgetown is currently accepting applications for 2018-2020 Law Research Fellowships. The application deadline is Friday, January 5, 2018.

The application process has both online and posted mail components. Please be certain to complete both components.

Online Component
If you are interested in applying, please email lawresearchfellows@georgetown.edu with your application materials listed below.

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Research Proposal: The Research Proposal should be approximately 10-15 pages in length and should describe the project or projects you expect to accomplish as a Fellow. A successful proposal succinctly states the intended thesis or argument you hope to make in each proposed piece of scholarship, and may also suggest possible connections between projects if more than one project is contemplated. The Research Agenda should convey scholarly intent and potential but need not be footnoted, nor are bibliographies expected. Please preface your agenda with an Executive Summary (one page or less) of your primary proposed research project.
  • Personal Statement (optional): A Personal Statement should be approximately two pages and is your opportunity to describe your background, professional goals, or other personal information you feel is relevant to your candidacy.
  • Published Works, or a Writing Sample if you do not have any published works.

Posted Mail Component
All official transcripts and letters of recommendation MUST be sent by posted mail, directly from the school or recommender. These materials will not be considered if they are received late, meaning they must be postmarked by the application deadline. Specifically the application calls for: 

  • Two Letters of Recommendation, preferably from law professors, to be sent directly to the Law Center by recommenders on letterhead.
  • All Official Transcripts for any degree(s) earned, to be sent directly to the Law Center under seal.

Please direct these materials to:
Prof. Robin West
Georgetown University Law Center
600 New Jersey Ave, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20001

FAQs – General

If you have a question that is not answered below, please email additional questions to lawresearchfellows@georgetown.edu.

Can I submit more than two letters of recommendation?

You may, but this is not encouraged. The Selection Committee is best served by letters from people who know your work and interests very well, and who can speak with some expertise about your potential as an academic. Additional letters that do not meet that description are of little or no advantage to the candidate. Please submit more than two letters only if the additional letter will tell the committee something unique about your candidacy.

Does my published work or writing sample need to be academic? May I use materials developed for legal practice?

Because the Selection Committee is looking for scholarly potential, the best writing sample is academic writing (original and single-authored). Materials from legal practice, such as briefs and memoranda, are often heavily edited and do not have the style, voice, or goals of academic writing. If it is necessary to submit a non-academic writing sample, please indicate why on your application and specify whether the work as been edited by someone other than yourself.

Should my application indicate a Georgetown faculty member who could act as a mentor to my work?

It is not necessary to identify a specific faculty mentor for your proposed fellowship project. In explaining your interest in the Law Research program, you may want to mention why Georgetown is suited to your needs – and this might include the presence of certain faculty members, or an area of faculty expertise relevant to your work. But you are not expected to propose a particular mentor in your application.

How many candidates typically apply? How many are chosen each year?

For the 2015-2017 Fellowship, around 60 candidates applied. This was slightly below the previous year. There are one to two fellowship positions available each year.

Who is on the Selection Committee?

The committee members change from year to year. The program is administered by Prof. Robin West, Chair of the Fellows and Teaching Careers Committee, who is the only permanent member of the committee.

How are applicants notified of the Selection Committee decision?

Applicants who are offered the fellowship will be contacted by phone and e-mail. Applicants who are not offered the decision will receive a letter by email or U.S. mail.

How does my experience in legal practice affect my application?

Past fellows have included both practitioners (anywhere from 1 to 6 years; at firms, non-profits, and other organizations) and non-practitioners. Because legal academia focuses on the skills of academic research and publishing, as well as teaching, academic ability, law school hiring committees often give a candidate’s academic work as much or more weight than practice experience. The balance is similar in choosing research fellows. You are encouraged to explain how your practice experience, if you have it, figures into your academic interests and teaching goals.

Can my application be expedited if I receive an offer from another institution?

This will be decided on a case-by-case basis, but the general policy is not to expedite review of applications.

If I am accepted to the Law Research Fellowship Program, can I defer my acceptance for a year?

This too will be decided on a case-by-case basis, but the general policy is not to grant deferrals.  

FAQs – International Applicants

Do I need to submit TOEFL scores? What if I have studied/researched/published in English?

TOEFL scores are required for all applicants from non-English speaking countries. In rare cases the TOEFL requirement may be waived. If you would like a waiver, please contact the application manager, at lawresearchfellows@georgetown.edu, with your detailed reasons.

Do I need to submit originals of transcripts from non-U.S. institutions? May I submit copies and/or translations?

All transcripts submitted must be original, official versions produced by the degree-granting institution. If the original transcript is not in English, you must also submit a certified English translation. Only in extraordinary cases will this requirement be waived. To request a waiver, contact the application manager, at lawresearchfellows@georgetown.edu, with a detailed explanation of your reasons.

What will my visa status be as a fellow?

Law Research Fellows from outside the U.S. are eligible for J-1 visas. (For general information regarding this status, visit http://j1visa.state.gov/basics/.) The Law Center provides administrative support in securing the visa and managing any immigration issues that may arise during your stay.

Is it realistic for an applicant educated outside the U.S. to be selected for the Law Research Fellowship Program?

Yes. There has been a recent increase in applicants educated outside the U.S. and the first Fellow without any prior U.S. degrees joined the program in 2010. That said, the Research Fellowship is designed to prepare candidates for the U.S. teaching market. Applicants should therefore have a clear and committed interest in teaching in a U.S. law school, and should be able to explain how their research interests will fit into U.S. legal scholarship.

My non-U.S. law degree is from an undergraduate institution – do I need a graduate level degree in law to apply?

A graduate level law degree is not required, but the strongest candidates will often have one because of the opportunities for independent research and writing that they provide.

What other opportunities are there at Georgetown for non-U.S. scholars?

Other Georgetown Law programs that welcome international applicants and may best fit their needs include the Visiting Researcher Program and the S.J.D. Degree Program.

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