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Applications are due Monday, November 16, 2020, at 5 pm EST.

Must be a current 3L or recent graduate of Harvard Law School to apply.

Apply via CARAT

A video of our October 14 information session and alumni panel discussion is available on Zoom.


The Harvard Law Review Fellowship supports recent Harvard Law School graduates with a demonstrated interest in serving the public interest through their work and scholarship. It enables fellows to spend a year working in a public interest-related role at a government agency or nonprofit organization. Each fellow will receive a $65,000 stipend. At the end of the fellowship year, each fellow is expected to publish a piece of legal scholarship that draws on the fellow’s work during their fellowship year in the Law Review’s online Forum.

All questions on the Fellowship should be addressed to [email protected].


Any member of the HLS class of 2018-present, including LLMs, is encouraged to apply. The fellow may work in a public interest-related role at any government agency or nonprofit organization, except for private-public interest firms and courts (although a fellow may work for a war crimes court).

Required Application Materials

The following materials are required to be uploaded into the CARAT system:

  • A short project proposal (700 words maximum);
  • Two letters of recommendation (Recommendations Tab – Recommendation #1 and #2);
  • A letter of support from a host organization. (Recommendations Tab – Recommendation #3);
  • MOU signed and dated by the applicant and host organization;
    • The MOU will not be modified after applications are submitted. If employers want changes to be made, those changes will need to be submitted at least one month in advance of application to Denis O’Brien and approved by the selection committee. If the organization proposes that the fellow sign any other contracts or documents as a condition of the fellowship, those will also need to be submitted to Denis O’Brien one month in advance of the fellowship deadline. HLR will not accept mandatory arbitration clauses in any materials governing its fellowships.
  • A short writing sample; 
  • A 250-word abstract introducing a possible piece of scholarly work drawing on the fellowship experience that the applicant will write in the Harvard Law Review Forum.
  • A resume, with any information about undergraduate, graduate, or law school grades or academic honors (Dean’s Scholar Prize, Sears Prize, cum laude, etc.) redacted. The resume should instead highlight relevant work, internship, clinical, and volunteer experience. Law journal participation, including participation in the Harvard Law Review, may be included on your resume. Journal participation will only be taken into account insofar as it bears on the selection criteria outlined below. Editors of the Harvard Law Review will not receive preference for this fellowship.
  • The applicant must be willing to help evaluate applications for the HLR fellowship for up to ten (10) years after completing their fellowship experience.


Applications are due Monday, November 16, 2020, at 5 PM EST via the CARAT portal. Interviews for Finalists are expected to take place in January 2021.  All finalists will be contacted by email, and interviews will take place on Zoom.

Selection Criteria

A committee of recent Law Review alumni in public interest careers chooses finalists from the set of applicants, and a faculty committee interviews the finalists to select fellows.

Editors of the Law Review do not receive preference, and no current editor is involved in evaluating applications. Members of Volume 131 of the Law Review are ineligible for the fellowship.

Criteria Used by Both Committees to Evaluate All Applicants

  • The strongest applicants will demonstrate prior public interest experience, how they intend to serve the public interest via their fellowship, and how they intend to build on the fellowship to develop a career in the public interest.
  • The sponsoring organizations’ demonstrated effectiveness in addressing the needs of marginalized communities;
  • The applicant’s demonstrated ability to serve marginalized communities through their proposed work (This may include experience working within marginalized communities, experience providing direct representation, and/or legal research & writing ability, depending on the relevance of each to the proposed fellowship);
  • The applicant’s character, including their ability to adapt to challenging circumstances, work with others on a shared project, and contribute to their communities;
  • The applicant’s writing ability as demonstrated by the writing sample and abstract submitted in their application materials.

Criteria Not Considered by the Committees

  • The applicant’s undergraduate, graduate, or law school grades or academic honors;
  • Applicants should neither submit a transcript nor include grades/academic honors (GPA, Dean’s Scholar Prize, Sears Prize, cum laude, etc.) in their application materials;
  • The applicant’s name (applicants’ names and contact information shall be redacted before materials are shared with the screening committee); 
  • Committee members on either committee who are personally or professionally familiar with any applicant shall disclose the nature of that conflict to the other committee members and the Law Review and shall not bring any prior knowledge about the applicant not available in the application materials into any discussion or decision regarding the applicant