Any member of the HLS classes of 2021-2024, 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 human rights or war crimes court).

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 three weeks 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 three weeks in advance of the fellowship deadline. HLR will not accept mandatory arbitration clauses in any materials governing its fellowships.
  • A short writing sample (no more than 10 double-spaced pages)
  • 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. Applicants who have had their work published in a law journal should not list those publications on their resume. An applicant may, however, submit the piece they have published in a law journal as their writing sample, provided it complies with the page limit.
  • 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 Wednesday, November 29, 2023, at 5 PM EST via the CARAT portal (link forthcoming). Interviews for Finalists are expected to take place in January 2024.

A video of our 2022 HLR Fellowship Information Session in available on our YouTube channel.

Selection Criteria

Criteria Used 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

  • 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).

Editors of the Law Review do not receive preference, and no current editor is involved in evaluating applications.