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 2021-2022 Fellowships in the Arthur Garfield Hays Program. Materials describing the Program and the selection process are available in Vanderbilt Hall room 308. APPLICATIONS ARE DUE BY NOON ON TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2021.

The current Hays Fellows will discuss their experiences in the Program and answer your questions on Zoom.  The dates are Tuesday February 2nd from 4:20 - 5:20 and Wednesday February 3rd from 6:30 - 7:30.  We encourage interested students to attend one of these sessions.  A link to these Zoom meetings will be posted in January.

Please feel free to contact any of us if you have questions about the Program or the application process.

Sylvia A. Law
Helen Hershkoff



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 
Sylvia A. Law Fellowship 


Instruction Sheet

Applications for Hays Fellowships applications should be submitted by Tuesday,  February 16th,  as a single pdf and emailed to Gail Thomas at  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.

(6) a photo of yourself

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 $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 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.

  The current fellows are listed below.  You should feel free to contact them.

Paul-Winston Cange         Palmer Weber Fellowship                                                      

Kameron Johnston            Robert Marshall Fellowship

Meena Roldan Oberdick   Tom Stoddard Fellowship

Lauren Wilfong                  Roger Baldwin Fellowship      

Isaac Kaplan                     Norman and Harriette Dorsen

Elisabeth Campbell          Leonard Boudin Fellowship

Rachel Maremont            Linfield Fellowship            





Applications should be emailed to Gail Thomas at, the Hays secretary,  BY NOON ON Tuesday, FEBRUARY 16, 2021. At that time you should indicate the times you are available for an interview. Initial interviews will be held on Zoom on Wednesday,  March 24th from 3:00 p.m.- 8:00 p.m. and  on Thursday,  March 25th from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.  Applicants will be individually notified as to whether they are invited for an interview. The interviewers will be Professor Sylvia Law and Professor Helen Hershkoff. Every effort will be made to announce selections prior to spring break.

                                                                                                       Sylvia A. Law
                                                                                                       Helen Hershkoff








Application Check sheet


Submit your application by emailing a pdf. to


Name:                          ____________________________ _


Email address:           _____________________ ________                                       


Phone:                        _____________________________   


Application Check sheet

Name: ____________________________

Email address: ______________________                                                                

Phone: ____________________________ 


1. Please be sure you have attached:

_____              Cover letter

_____              Resume (listing  references and telephone numbers)

_____              List all 1L courses and 2L courses,  including name of instructor and grade received

_____              One sample of legal writing.

_____             Photo

2. Please list here ALL TIMES you ARE AVAILABLE for an interview on Wednesday, March 24th from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Thursday,  March 25th from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. 

3.  Every student admitted into the Program is a Hays Fellow.  In addition, each fellow is designated  by a particular named fellowship, which for 2021–2022 are: Robert Marshall, Roger Baldwin, Harriet Pilpel-Planned Parenthood, Palmer Weber, Leonard Boudin, Tom Stoddard,  Deborah Linfield, and Sylvia A. Law and the Norman and Harriette Dorsen Fellowship.  You can read more about these fellowships and the individuals for whom they are named in the Hays brochure or at the Hays website.  Certain named fellowships carry the expectation that the fellow will do one of the two placements in an organization with a specific substantive focus: the Pilpel fellow is expected to work in reproductive freedom; the Stoddard fellow, to work on LGBTQ issues;  the Linfield fellow, to work in the area of free speech and free press; the Law fellow to work on issues of economic justice..  Please indicate whether there are any specific fellowships you would particularly like to receive.