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Q: What is the Women’s Leadership Fellows Program?
A: The Women’s Leadership Fellows Program (WLFP) is a selective co-curricular program that provides training on topics including effective communication, self-awareness and resilience, seeking and receiving feedback, and professional development. As Women’s Leadership Fellows, students develop their own style of leadership and strengthen skills to aid them as leaders across legal domains. Some further information is available on our Developing Students as Leaders page.
Q: What is the difference between the Women’s Leadership Fellows Program and the Sara Moss Women’s Leadership Training Program?
A: The Sara Moss Women’s Leadership Training Program is part of the Women’s Leadership Fellows Program (WLFP) and refers specifically to the week-long leadership training intensive that takes place in January of Fellows’ 1L year. Students apply and are selected for the Women’s Leadership Fellows Program in fall of their 1L year, participate in the Sara Moss Program in January of their 1L year, and continue to participate in the WLFP as Fellows throughout their time at NYU Law. Due to the three-year nature of the program, the WLFP is only open to 1L students.
Q: When does the Sara Moss Program take place?
A: The 2023 Sara Moss Women’s Leadership Training will take place in early January 2023 before classes resume for the Spring semester, from Monday, January 9, through Friday, January 13, 2023.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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. The “Selection Process” section below contains more information about what we look for in selecting a cohort.
Schedule and Commitment
Q: What does the day-to-day schedule of the Sara Moss Program look like?
A: We will update this section in the fall with further information about the day-to-day schedule of the 2023 Sara Moss Women's Leadership Training Program, which will take place from January 9-13, 2023. Pending the public health situation and University guidelines, we will determine during the Fall semester if the SMWLTP is to be held in an in-person, hybrid, or fully-remote format.
Session topics include identifying, understanding, and strengthening your leadership style; communicating with impact and authenticity; and grit and resilience. Some sessions will be presentation-based; many sessions include on-your-feet elements. We strive to cultivate a supportive environment and expect Fellows to come fully prepared to participate in the Sara Moss Program and follow-up programming throughout the year.
Q: What will the rest of my commitment be as a Fellow beyond the Sara Moss Program?
A: Throughout their time at law school, Fellows will continue to develop leadership skills and insights through skills-focused workshops, programming, and mentorship. We will offer supplemental programming and support — in addition to what you will receive from other departments — around important touchpoints during your time at the Law School. The specifics of that programming will be developed considering a variety of factors, and in consultation and conversation with the Fellows and other stakeholders at the Law School.
Fellows will be paired with professional alumni mentors, who will support Fellows’ leadership development throughout their time at the Law School. In their 2L and 3L years, Fellows will help recruit and select future cohorts, participate in follow-up programming, and serve as peer mentors for the 1L cohort. Our aim is to make Fellows’ commitment beyond the Sara Moss Program meaningful, useful, and productive, while being mindful of students’ already very full plates.
Q: Who reviews applications for the WLFP?
A: Applications are reviewed by BWLN leadership, the Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, and current Women’s Leadership Fellows.
Q: What do you look for when selecting the fellowship cohort?
A: Consideration for the Women’s Leadership Fellows Program 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 with other members of their cohort. 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 a diverse, 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 and 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 Network.
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.
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 Thursday, September 1, 2022, and will close on Sunday, October 2, 2022, 11:59 p.m. ET. Students will find out whether or not they’ve been selected on or before Friday, November 4, 2022. Students interested in receiving email reminders about the application deadline can sign up for the BWLN mailing list.
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. We have also added a 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 Women’s Leadership 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: 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: 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.
Q: I’ve already made my travel arrangements for winter break, and to make different arrangements would be cost prohibitive for me. What can I do?
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