1. Can all NYU law students apply to the Hays Program?

The application process is open to all second-year NYU law students. 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; those selected will receive a reduced stipend. In addition, students receiving Merit Scholarships are eligible to apply for the program and, if selected, will receive a reduced stipend the amount of which will be reviewed individually with each Fellow. Finally, the time commitment of serving as a Hays Fellow generally precludes the doing of other demanding projects, such as serving as a top editor of a journal. 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. The following activities must be noted on the application:

  • Outside Paid Employment;
  • Senior Editorships of Journals and Other Demanding Extracurricular Activity;
  • Clinic Enrollment or Any Other Activity that Requires Periods of Time away from the Law School;
  • Root-Tilden-Kern Scholarship;
  • Merit Scholarship.

2. How can I learn more about the Hays Program?

The Hays Program is a course for third-year students that involves internships at public interest organizations, participation in seminar meetings, informal discussions with former Fellows and noted public interest lawyers, and dinners with other Fellows and the Directors. We urge all applicants to read the Hays Program brochure (available from Gail Thomas in Vanderbilt Hall 308) or to review the materials that appear on the Hays Program website. In addition, the current Hays Fellows will hold two information sessions about the Program in which they will discuss their experiences and answer your questions. Those sessions will be held on Tuesday, January 30th and Wednesday, January 31st, 2018.


3. The Hays Program includes eight named fellowships. Do I have to apply separately to each one?

No. A single application is made to the Program. However, the application form asks that you express a preference for any particular fellowship. Information about the fellowships can be found on the Hays Program brochure and on the website. Applicant preferences will be taken into account in the awards that are made. 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 fellows. Since Professor Dorsen remains a director of the Program, the Fellowship in his name will not be awarded this year.


4. When are applications due?

Applications are due at noon on Thursday, February 16, 2018.  Please email the application to thomasg@mercury.law.nyu.edu


5. What information should I include with my application?

An application must include the following information:

  • A personal resume which includes one reference for each of the jobs you have held and one or more NYU law professors. If possible, supply the telephone numbers and e-mail addresses of all persons named.
  • A list of your law school courses, indicating the instructor in each course and your grade. Please be sure to indicate the courses you are taking in the spring semester and advise us promptly, in writing, as late third semester grades become available.
  • A sample of your legal writing. Use anything you have personally written. We strongly prefer something other than a Lawyering memo.
  • A letter of no more than two single-spaced pages explaining why you believe you are qualified to be a civil liberties fellow. These letters will be circulated to those involved in the selection process, including the current Fellows.
  • Any other information you think would be helpful in appraising your application.
  • A completed check sheet indicating all times you are available to be interviewed.
  • a photo of yourself

Print or type your full name, telephone number, e-mail address, list of courses, writing sample, letter, and any other material you provide.


6. What’s the process for selecting Fellows?

The Directors and current Fellows review all applications in the light of the student’s demonstrated interest and effectiveness in civil liberties and other aspects of public interest law, research and writing skills, and academic record. All applicants are interviewed by Professor Sylvia A. Law, and a current Fellow. The Directors and current Fellows then meet to discuss all applications and to select about a dozen candidates for an interview with Professor Helen Hershkoff and Professor Marty Guggenheim. After those interviews, the Directors meet to select the new Fellows.