Academic Fellows Program

The Academic Fellows Program was created to support future legal academics. Candidates must have the strongest academic credentials and show substantial promise of becoming outstanding legal scholars.

While in residence, Academic Fellows write scholarly articles, teach legal research and writing, attend moot job talks, critique one another’s work, participate in faculty workshops, and otherwise prepare to go on the law teaching job market. The Program has a long and successful track record of placing Fellows in tenure-track academic positions in law schools. For a list of current Academic Fellows, please visit the Faculty Directory.

We look forward to reviewing your application. 

Scholarship

Academic Fellows are expected to produce a serious work of scholarship that will position them to enter the job market for a full-time academic appointment at a major law school.

Teaching 

In the fall term, Academic Fellows teach Legal Research and Writing to small sections of LL.M. or J.D. students, under the supervision of Ilene Strauss, director of the legal writing program. A commitment to excellence in teaching is an important criterion in selecting Fellows. Note that Fellows’ teaching is concentrated in the early part of the fall semester; the remainder of the year is reserved primarily for the Fellows’ own scholarly pursuits.

Community

The Academic Fellows comprise a remarkable community of scholars within the Law School. Each week, this community meets at the Fellows Workshop, a unique, supportive institution created and run by the Academic Fellows. At the workshop, Fellows present works-in-progress, hone scholarly agendas, and practice job talks in a low-stakes and collegial setting.

Resources

The Law School offers abundant and varied support to Academic Fellows. Fellows have faculty mentors who support them on the market; office space and a research budget; full involvement in faculty workshops, academic activities, libraries, and research facilities; and tuition exemption for those completing graduate legal study. Academic Fellows also benefit from the Law School’s Careers in Law Teaching Program, which moots job talks in front of full-time faculty members and provides support throughout the academic job search. 

Compensation and other requirements

Compensation and benefits are comparable with other leading academic-track law fellowships. In addition to base salary, Academic Fellows are eligible for university housing, research support, plus fringe benefits. The appointment begins on July 1 and lasts two years, though Fellows have the option to remain for a third year. Fellows are expected to be in residence in New York during the academic year. While teaching, Academic Fellows are designated as Lecturers in Law*. Fellows also carry a university title of Postdoctoral Research Scholar.

* Academic Fellows who are in a degree program at Columbia will be appointed as part-time Preceptors only, with the appointment starting August 1 and ending May 31, each year.

Application

Applicants to the Academic Fellows program should submit an online application and upload the following documents (in PDF format):

  1. Cover letter
  2. CV
  3. Research and teaching agenda
  4. Scholarly writing sample(s)
  5. Three letters of recommendation
  6. Law school transcript(s)

Your research and teaching agenda should discuss in detail the academic projects you plan to undertake as an Academic Fellow, as well as any relevant teaching experience. Please select up to three recommenders who can comment on your scholarly potential, proposed research projects, and teaching experience. Recommenders can email their letters to [email protected] or you may upload the letters with your application. 

Deadline

The Law School hires several new Academic Fellows each year. We will begin accepting applications in September 2020 for academic fellowships starting in July 2021. We aim to select Fellows no later than February.

If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact the Academic Fellows Program at [email protected].

Columbia University is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes applications by qualified women and minority candidates for these positions.