The work of the Hays Fellows reflects the ever-evolving challenges to civil rights and civil liberties, and the experiences that each Fellow brings to the program.
Fellows participate in a range of public interest projects and are involved scholarly research, policy analysis, and legislative or other legal activity. Litigation usually predominates. Most work is supervised by public interest lawyers in New York. Fellows can also spend time working under the direction of one of the faculty directors.
In addition to gaining first-hand experience in the field, Fellows meet with Directors in a seminar format several times a semester to discuss the Fellows’ work and engage with former Hays Fellows or other guests about current civil liberties problems. The meetings with former Fellows promote a sense of community within the Hays Program that spans generations.
The fellowship is for the academic year, and runs from late August to early May. Fellows will receive a stipend of $17,000 in 2021–2022, as well as additional funds for program related travel expenses and bar review subsidies up to $2,500 for fellows who enter public interest work or are seeking such a position. Fellows also receive one academic credit for satisfactory work done in the program each semester.
Fellowships by Name
There are currently eight endowed fellowships in the Hays Program, all honoring individuals who dedicated much of their lives to civil liberties. The fellowships are listed in the order they were established. See a list of Fellows by Academic Year of Fellowship.
- Robert Marshall Fellowship in Civil Liberties
Robert Marshall was a New Yorker from a prominent and public-spirited family. He was a leading outdoorsman and early environmentalist, and he was a board member of the New York Civil Liberties Union in the 1930s and 1940s. Marshall died at an early age before he could fulfill his promise. At the suggestion of Roger Baldwin, a family friend and a founder of the Hays Program, Robert Marshall’s brother endowed the first Hays Program Fellowship in 1960.
- Roger Baldwin Fellowship in Civil Liberties and Human Rights
Roger Baldwin was the principal organizer of the ACLU in 1919–1920 and its guiding spirit for more than 30 years, remaining active until his death in 1981 at age 97. He was a leading member of the committee that founded the Hays Program in 1958 and he participated in many Hays events. Baldwin had a special interest in international human rights, and for many years he was honorary chair of the International League for Human Rights. The Baldwin Fellowship, which was established in 1982, is therefore granted for work in human rights as well as domestic civil liberties.
- Harriet Pilpel/Planned Parenthood Fellowship
Harriet Pilpel was engaged in private practice from the mid-1930s until she died in 1991, specializing in the law relating to publishing and reproductive freedom. For many years, she was a board member and general counsel of both the ACLU and Planned Parenthood, the only person to achieve this distinction. Pilpel participated in many leading contraception and abortion cases in the Supreme Court and elsewhere. The Fellowship in the Hays Program was established in 1985 with the cooperation of the Planned Parenthood Federation.
- Palmer Weber Fellowship in Civil Rights
Palmer Weber came from a poor family in the South, and he was a rare white southerner in the 1930s who supported liberal causes, including the rights of African-Americans. After working for several years for President Roosevelt’s New Deal, Weber became a labor union official and then went on to a successful career on Wall Street. A man of great charisma, for more than two decades he was an unheralded adviser and financial contributor to civil rights and civil liberties organizations large and small. The Fellowship was established in 1985 with major support from the Reed Foundation.
- Leonard Boudin Fellowship in First Amendment Law
Leonard Boudin was one of the most prominent civil liberties lawyers in the U.S. for a generation. While serving as general counsel of the National Emergency Civil Liberties Committee (now merged with the Center on Constitutional Rights), he defended many victims of McCarthyism and, among many important victories, he won the leading right to travel case of Kent v. Dulles in 1958. During the Vietnam War, Boudin represented Daniel Berrigan and Daniel Ellsworth as well as other leading opponents of the war. He also taught as an adjunct professor at New York University, Harvard Law School, and Stanford Law School, and he wrote several important articles on civil liberties issues.
- Tom Stoddard Fellowship in the Rights of Lesbians and Gay Men
Tom Stoddard was a Hays Fellow 1976–1977 and, for many years, an adjunct professor at the NYU School of Law. His remarkable career began when he served as legislative counsel for the New York Civil Liberties Union and later as a senior lawyer on the NYCLU staff. For many years, he was director-counsel of the Lambda Legal Defense and Educational Fund, where he was widely acknowledged as the leading advocate for the rights of lesbians and gay men in the United States.
- Deborah Rachel Linfield Fellowship in Freedom of the Press
Deborah Linfield was a 1978 graduate of NYU School of Law who was developing a notable career as a First Amendment lawyer at The New York Times when she was struck down by cancer at the age of 38.
- Norman and Harriette Dorsen Fellowship in Civil Liberties
In 2005, a fellowship was endowed with primary support from former Hays Fellows in honor of both Norman Dorsen, who was a professor and a director of the Hays Program from early 1961 until his retirement and death in 2017, and his wife Harriette Dorsen, NYU Law 1966, who passed away in 2011.
- Sylvia A. Law Fellowship in Economic Justice
In 2013, this fellowship was created to promote economic justice, and to honor Sylvia Law and the many Hays Fellows who advocate for the least advantaged among us. Steve Polan, Hays Fellow 1975–1976, was the prime mover in obtaining contributions from former Fellows, friends and family.