Fellowships

Each fellow will be based at a national institution of the federal judiciary and participate in a core administrative function.

Supreme Court of the United States

The Supreme Court is not only a vital component of American government, but also an international symbol of the rule of law that attracts scores of official foreign delegations each year. The fellow based at the Supreme Court will be assigned to the Office of the Counselor to the Chief Justice and have primary responsibility for briefing foreign jurists, court administrators, and other dignitaries on the operation, procedures, and history of the Court. The fellow will gain exposure to foreign legal systems, including those in developing nations, through direct contact with foreign judges and court officials. The fellow will also assist in the general activities of the Counselor’s Office, which supports the Chief Justice in his administrative and policy functions as head of the judiciary. The focus of the fellowship, however, will be the international judicial visitors program. This fellowship is ideally suited for individuals who have an academic interest in foreign legal systems and wish to broaden their knowledge through dialogue and exchange with participants in those systems. The fellow assigned to the Supreme Court will be expected to produce an article for publication and make a presentation to United States judges on a topic of international or comparative law.

Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts

The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts provides program management, legal counsel, legislative services, and administrative support to the federal courts and their policy-making body, the Judicial Conference. The fellow placed at the Administrative Office will provide support to the Judicial Conference’s Committee on Practice and Procedure. The fellow will assist the committee in the review and revision of the federal rules governing civil procedure, criminal procedure, and evidence. The fellow may also provide other support to the general operations of the Administrative Office. This fellowship, which provides a unique vantage point for observing how the federal rules are formulated, is designed for individuals who have an academic or practical interest in litigation and legal procedure. The fellow assigned to the Administrative Office will be expected to produce an article for publication and make a presentation to United States judges on a topic of legal practice or procedural reform.

Federal Judicial Center

The Federal Judicial Center is the education and research agency for the federal judiciary. It provides orientation and continuing education for all federal judges, as well as management and supervisory education for the court staff. The fellow serving at the Federal Judicial Center will support the Center’s research and educational activities, including its international training programs. The Center’s projects span a broad range of topics, including practice-oriented legal education on specific subjects, such as patent law, scientific evidence, or arbitration, and empirically based studies in judicial reform. This fellowship does not focus on a discrete subject matter, such as comparative, procedural, or criminal law. It is fashioned for individuals who have a broad interest in legal pedagogy or practical programs for legal reform. The fellow assigned to the Federal Judicial Center will be expected to produce a work of scholarship for publication and make a presentation to United States judges on a topic relating to the education or research programs of the Center for that year.

United States Sentencing Commission

The United States Sentencing Commission engages in policy analysis of crime and punishment at the national level and uses the results in the development of federal sentencing guidelines. The fellow serving at the Sentencing Commission will participate in professional teams conducting policy, legal, and social science research on the cutting edge of criminal sentencing reform. The breadth of the Commission’s work and its relatively small size provide the fellow with both a wide-ranging exposure to criminal law and opportunities for active participation in addressing sentencing issues. This fellowship will interest individuals with an academic or practice-oriented interest in criminal law. The fellow assigned to the Sentencing Commission will be expected to produce a work of scholarship for publication and make a presentation to United States judges on a topic of criminal or sentencing law.

"The Supreme Court Fellows Program provides a year of challenge, hard work, and first-hand exposure to the federal court system. By the year's end, Fellows take with them useful knowledge and a unique experience, and leave behind a personal contribution toward the Judiciary's important work."

David Leitch
Former Commissioner