The Arthur Garfield Hays Civil Liberties Program

How to Apply

Each spring the Directors select a small number of second-year law students to be Hays Fellows in their third-year of law school. Selection is based on written materials and interviews; criteria include legal ability and commitment to civil liberties. The fellows are selected in a participatory process that includes interviews by the co-directors, the current Hays Fellows and former fellows.


Second year students with demonstrated commitment to work in civil liberties and civil rights and strong skills are invited to apply for 2015-2016 Fellowships in the Arthur Garfield Hays Program. Materials describing the Program and the selection process are available in VH room 308. APPLICATIONS ARE DUE BY NOON ON WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2016 IN VH ROOM 308.

The current Hays Fellows will discuss their experiences in the Program and answer your questions in the West Wing of Golding Lounge from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 2nd and again on Wednesday, Feb. 3rd from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in VH 214 smart classroom. A video about the Hays program will also be shown. Please feel free to contact any of us if you have questions about the program or the application process.

Norman Dorsen
Sylvia A. Law
Helen Hershkoff
Adam Cox



Robert Marshall Fellowship
Roger N. Baldwin Fellowship
Harriet Pilpel/Planned Parenthood Fellowship
Palmer Weber Fellowship
Leonard B. Boudin Fellowship
Tom Stoddard Fellowship
Deborah R. Linfield Fellowship
Norman and Harriette Dorsen Fellowship [not awarded 2016-2017]
Sylvia A. Law Fellowship [not awarded 2016-2017]


Instruction Sheet

Applications for Hays Fellowships are due in VH Room 308 at noon on Tuesday, February 17, 2016. They should include the following material.

(1) a personal resume which includes one reference for each of the jobs you have held since college and one or more NYU law professors. If possible, supply the telephone numbers and e-mail addresses of all persons named. Highlight the names of three references who best know your work.

(2) your law school courses and grades, including the names of instructors for each course. Include the courses you are taking in the spring semester and the name of the instructor. Please advise us promptly, in writing, as late third semester grades become available.

(3) a sample of legal writing. Use anything you have personally written. We strongly prefer something other than a Lawyering memo.

(4) a letter of no more than two single-spaced pages explaining why you believe you are qualified to be a Hays Fellow.

(5) any other information you think would be helpful in appraising your application.

Print or type your full name, telephone number and e-mail address on the top of the first page of your letter and your resume.

Application materials will be circulated to those involved in the selection process, including the current Fellows, and will be held in confidence.

Selections will be based on demonstrated interest and effectiveness in civil liberties or public interest law, academic record, writing and research skills, and recommendations from faculty and supervisors. We seek a group of Fellows who are diverse, collegial and independent thinkers willing to engage. Six fellowships are usually awarded annually.

Hays Fellows work on a range of public interest projects involving civil liberties and civil rights. The work can involve scholarly research, policy analysis, legislative or other legal activity. Litigation usually predominates. Most work is supervised by public interest lawyers in New York. Fellows sometimes spend some time working under the direction of one of the faculty directors.

The fellowship is for the academic year from late August to early May. The fellows will receive a stipend of $14,000 in 2016-2017, as well as additional funds for program related travel expenses and bar review subsidies up to $2,000 for fellows who enter public interest work or are seeking such a position. Fellows also receive one point of academic credit for satisfactory work done in the program each semester.

Each Hays Fellow is expected to put in a substantial amount of time on a regular basis. Fellowship expectations are outlined in a separate memo. The time commitment generally precludes paid employment or other demanding extracurricular work such as editor-in-chief and, in some cases, senior editorships of journals. If you plan to enroll in a clinic or other activity that requires long periods away from the Law School, that should be noted on the application. If an applicant has a question about whether a commitment is consistent with a fellowship, it is very important that this be discussed with one of the directors prior to or at the interview. Root-Tilden-Kern Scholars are eligible for Hays Fellowships but will not be selected absent exceptional circumstances because of the special opportunities provided to them in the Root program. The stipends for students who hold Root or Merit Scholarships will be reviewed individually. They should discuss their situation with one of the faculty directors.

Please note the subjects of the eight named fellowships in particular areas of civil liberties (pages 6-7 of the Hays Program brochure). These will be taken into account in the awards that are made. At least one fellowship will be given to students especially interested in freedom of speech, press and religion. Other fellowships have a focus on civil rights, reproductive freedom, international human rights, the rights of gay men and lesbians and economic justice. On the enclosed application check sheet, which should be submitted with your application, please indicate all fellowships for which you want to be considered and whether you have a special interest in any fellowships (one or two). A difference among the fellowships is that we try to assure holders of fellowships devoted to a particular area of civil liberties an opportunity to work in that area for up to one semester. We ordinarily will try to award fellowships linked to a particular area of civil liberties to applicants with some background in that area. Because we believe it is desirable for all fellows to obtain experience in more than one area, we discourage full year assignments. All decisions on assignments are made in close consultation with the current fellows. Since Professor Dorsen remains a director of the Program, the Fellowship in his name will not be awarded this year.
The current Hays Fellows will be available to talk with you about the program from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in the West Wing of Golding Lounge on Tuesday, February 2 and from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in VH 214 smart classroom  Wednesday, February 3. The current fellows are listed below.  You should feel free to contact them.

Lizzie Davis  Roger Baldwiin
Molly Lauterback      Leonard Boudin
Samantha Lee   Robert Marshall
Andrew Nellis  Deborah Linfield             
Max Selver  Palmer Weber      

Samuel Steinback-Pratt

Courtney Weisman

 Tom Stoddard        

 Harritet Pilpel  



Applications should be submitted to Gail Thomas, the Hays secretary, in VH room 308 BY NOON ON TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2016. At that time you should indicate the times you are available for an interview. Initial interviews will be held in Vanderbilt Hall on Tuesday, March 1 from 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m., and Wednesday, March 2 from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. (these times are tentative) VH 429. Applicants will be individually notified as to whether they are invited for a second interview for finalists. The interviewers for the first round will be Professor Sylvia A. Law and a current Fellow. Professors Norman Dorsen and Helen Hershkoff will conduct second round interviews. Every effort will be made to announce selections prior to spring break.

                                                                                                       Norman Dorsen
                                                                                                       Sylvia A. Law
                                                                                                       Helen Hershkof
                                                                                                       Adam Cox





Application Checksheet

Name: ____________________________

Email address: ______________________                                                                

Phone: ____________________________  

1. Please be sure you have attached:

_____ Cover letter.

_____ Resume which includes references and telephone numbers.

_____ Law school grades including instructors's name for each course in first and second year.

_____ One sample of legal writing.

2. Please list here ALL TIMES you ARE AVAILABLE for an interview on Tuesday, March 1 from 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m., Wednesday, March 2 from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. VH 429 

3. Every fellow is a Hays Fellow.  In addition, each fellow is designated by a particular named fellowship, including Robert Marshall, Roger Baldwin, Harriet Pippel-Planned Parenthood, Palmer Weber, Leonard Boudin, Tom Stoddard and Deborah Linfeld.   You can read more about these individuals in the brochure or at the Hays website.  The Pilpel Fellow is expected to do work in reproductive freedom in one semester, the Stoddard fellow work in the LGBT issues, and the Linfeld fellow work in free speech.  Please indicate whether there are any specific fellowships which you would particularly like to receive.  The Norman and Harriette Dorsen Fellowship and teh Sylvia A. Law Fellowship in Economic Justice will not be awarded 2016-2017.