Women’s Leadership Fellows Program

Learn more about our current and past Women’s Leadership Fellows.

The Women’s Leadership Fellows Program offers opportunities to build essential leadership skills not otherwise taught in the law school classroom. Fellows collaborate closely as a cohort, and independently, as each participant develops their own individual, authentic leadership style. Students apply and are selected as Fellows early in their 1L year and participate in programming throughout their tenure at NYU Law.

We seek to build a diverse, inclusive cohort, and we welcome applications from any first-year JD student at NYU Law seeking woman-focused leadership training. Students of all gender identities and expressions (including but not limited to cisgender, transgender, nonbinary, gender non-conforming, and/or genderqueer students) are encouraged to apply. 

The Fellowship experience begins with the mandatory Sara Moss Women’s Leadership Training Program, which takes place over a week in January before the start of the Spring semester. Through instruction and inspiration from a team of professional facilitators and coaches, participants learn and develop core leadership and professional skills in a space that encourages self-reflection and sharing with others. The program accommodates differing learning styles, backgrounds, and aspirations — and encourages participants to lead authentically, in law school and beyond. Themes include:

  • Identifying, understanding, and strengthening your leadership style
  • Communicating with impact and authenticity
  • Defining your value proposition
  • Strengthening practical skills, including time management, setting boundaries, and organization
  • Grit and resilience
  • Building internal/external networks and relationship capital

The 2024 Sara Moss Women’s Leadership Training Program will be held from January 8-12, 2024.

BWLN Fellows are also assigned professional alumni/ae mentors, who support Fellows’ leadership development throughout their law school careers. Additional resources for Fellows include dedicated one-on-one and group executive coaching, and social and networking opportunities. Fellows also receive a one-time stipend of $2,500.  

Watch: Why you should apply to the WLFP 

Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQs

Q: What does the Sara Moss Women’s Leadership Training Program entail?

A: The 2024 Sara Moss Women's Leadership Training Program will take place from Monday, January 8 through Friday, January 12, 2024. Scheduled sessions take place during the day and several evenings; participation in all events is mandatory. Some sessions will be presentation-based; many sessions include interactive and on-your-feet elements. We strive to cultivate a supportive environment and expect Fellows to come prepared to engage fully and wholeheartedly.

Q: What will the rest of my commitment be as a Fellow beyond the Sara Moss Program?

A: Fellows continue to receive support in developing leadership skills and insights through workshops, social activities, executive coaching, and mentorship. We aim to offer supplemental programming — in addition to what is provided other departments — around important touchpoints and milestones during your time at the Law School.

Fellows are paired with professional alumni/ae mentors, and also assigned an executive coach. In their 2L and 3L years, Fellows help recruit and select future cohorts, serve as peer mentors, and organize public events.


Q: How much is the stipend?

A: A one-time stipend of $2,500 is offered to each Fellow during their 1L year.

Q: How will the stipend affect my financial aid, LRAP, etc.?

A: Please contact the Office of Student Financial Services to discuss how the stipend may impact your financial aid.

Application Process

Q: Who reviews applications for the WLFP?

A: Applications are reviewed by BWLN leadership, the Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, and current 2L and 3L Fellows.

Q: What do you look for when selecting the fellowship cohort?

A: Consideration is based on a variety of criteria. We seek students whose backgrounds, past experiences, and application responses indicate a willingness to commit to the program and an openness to developing their leadership skills individually and collectively. Previous leadership experience is not a pre-requisite for admission, and we encourage students who have not had the opportunity to develop their leadership skills to apply.

In reviewing applications, we consider multiple aspects of diversity. We seek to build an inclusive cohort that reflects what the legal profession can look like, and we welcome applications from any first-year JD student seeking woman-focused leadership training. Students of all gender identities and expressions (including but not limited to cisgender, transgender, nonbinary, gender non-conforming, and/or genderqueer students) are encouraged to apply.

We are seeking students with demonstrated or prospective leadership abilities that they seek to further cultivate. In our view, the most effective leaders seize and create opportunities to lead, exhibit resilience, demonstrate self-awareness, are capable of self-reflection, and exhibit good judgment. Successful candidates will also demonstrate an alignment with the goals of the Women’s Leadership Fellows Program and the Birnbaum Women's Leadership Center.

Q: How big is the cohort?

A. 10-12 students will be selected for the cohort each year. The limited cohort size allows the Fellows to bond in a supportive, selective space, while receiving personalized attention from our facilitators, coaches, and leadership team and staff.

Q: What does the application process entail?

A: In addition to background and optional demographic questions, there are three short essay questions related to leadership. Students are asked to upload a recent copy of their resume. The application does not ask for references or an academic transcript. There is a mandatory video exercise, in which applicants are asked to record a short “elevator pitch,” along with a self-assessment of the video. Further details are included in the application.

Q: Why do I have to submit an on-camera video exercise as part of the application?

A: Willingness to put yourself out there and capacity to self-reflect are key leadership skills we encourage Fellows to practice. The video exercise, including the assessment, is an opportunity for us to get to know you as an applicant off the page. While we hope the exercise gives us a chance to learn more about who you are, we aren’t looking for a “perfect” elevator pitch or a performance, nor are we evaluating anyone based on their on-camera presence — this isn’t a job interview. We want to see where you are right now, get to know you a little bit, and assess your willingness to engage with the discomfort of self-reflection.

This exercise is assessed on both the substance of your video and your reflection on it. Unlike other processes, we care about your ability to reflect more than the “picture-perfection” of your pitch. We review the videos with a keen awareness of how presentation-based mediums can disadvantage historically excluded individuals.

Q: Can I start the application and return to it, at a later date?

A: Yes, you may start the application and return to it at a later date. Even if you plan to begin the application and return to it later, we encourage you to read through the full application when you first open it so you have sufficient time to answer all the questions before the deadline. While Jotform, our application platform, will save your progress, we recommend saving your own “offline” copy of your answers.

Q: When is the application due? When will I find out if I’ve been selected?

A: The online application for the Women’s Leadership Fellows Program will be made available the morning of September 1, 2023, and will close on Sunday, October 1, 2023, 11:59 p.m. ET. Students will find out whether or not they’ve been selected on or before November 3, 2023. Students interested in receiving email reminders about the application deadline can sign up for the BWLN mailing list.

Q: Can I apply to both the WLFP and for an Alternative Breaks winter trip?

A: Yes. While you will only be able to participate in one program due to conflicting schedules over winter break, we encourage all interested applicants to apply to both programs. The BWLN and Alternative Breaks both release their decisions by early November, and ask that accepted applicants commit to their preferred program as soon as possible after notification to allow their non-preferred program to accept alternates if necessary.

Q: I’m not sure this program is right for me, or that I am right for this program. Can I speak to someone?

A: Yes, please contact us at womensleadership@nyu.edu. While we encourage you to apply even if you are unsure about whether or not you’re “qualified,” we’re happy to speak to you further if you have questions about the program, your eligibility, and/or the application process.

Additional Information

  • Application opens September 1, 2023

  • Application deadline October 1, 2023
  • Sara Moss Women’s Leadership Training Program January 8-12, 2024 10-12 students 1L JD students will be selected per year. Each Fellow will receive a one-time stipend of $2,500 in their 1L year. For more information, visit our FAQ or email us.