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ABF/ALI Visiting Scholar Program in Legal and Higher Education

Deadline: February 28, 2017

The American Bar Foundation (ABF) and AccessLex Institute (ALI) invite scholars interested in studying legal and higher education to join the ABF’s intellectual community on a visiting and temporary basis during the 2017-2018 academic year. The goal of this program is to expand scholarship that contributes to an understanding of issues of access, affordability, or value in the field of legal or higher education by encouraging law and social science scholars to engage with this bourgeoning research field. While in residence, visiting scholars will have the opportunity to conduct their research in an empirical and interdisciplinary research environment, and benefit from the academic and administrative resources of the ABF.


Ideally, appointments for the ABF/ALI Visiting Scholar Program in Legal and Higher Education will be for the full 2017-18 academic year (September 2017 – May 2018). In rare cases, shorter durations with a minimum of 3 months will be considered. The ABF is committed to the concept of a residential program. To that end, visiting scholars must commit to being in residence at the ABF’s Chicago offices for the duration of the appointment without conflicting commitments.

Financial Support for ABF/ALI Visiting Scholars

Visiting scholars will be eligible for a modest stipend to defray housing costs in Chicago, and will have access to a research account to reimburse expenses associated with research or travel to conferences at which papers are presented. It is expected that a significant portion of a visiting scholar’s total support will be provided by sabbatical funds or external funding from awards and grants secured by the visiting scholar. Further, the ABF/ALI Visiting Scholar Program in Legal and Higher Education is unable to provide or finance benefits such as health insurance. Visiting scholars are required to make individual arrangements for benefits coverage during their appointment.

Application Criteria and Selection Process

Applications from empirical and interdisciplinary scholars in a broad range of disciplines are welcome. The primary selection criteria for visiting scholars are potential to contribute to the scholarly literature in the field of legal or higher education, excellence in research and accomplishments, and overall fit with the ABF’s interdisciplinary community.

There are no citizenship requirements. Non-U.S. nationals are welcome to apply; however, the ABF is unable to sponsor an H-1B visa.We encourage national and international scholars on leave or sabbatical to take advantage of our diverse socio-legal community and excellent facilities.

Please submit all materials through this URL:

Applicants must include: (1) a letter of interest that includes a description of your research project on legal or higher education; (2) a current curriculum vitae; and (3) the names of at least two references. 

Applications will be accepted until February 1, 2017. The ABF Appointments Committee will review applications and prospective visitors will be notified accordingly. Visiting scholar appointments will be announced in early March 2017.

If you have questions about the application process or the position, please direct inquiries to with the subject line “ABF/ALI Visiting Scholar Program in Legal and Higher Education" or Julian Perez at (312) 988-6631.

About the Partners

The American Bar Foundation is a Chicago-based, independent, non-profit research institute that focuses on the empirical and interdisciplinary study of law, legal institutions, and legal processes.

AccessLex Institute is a nonprofit organization that works to further access, affordability and the value of legal education specifically, and graduate and professional education more broadly, through research, policy advocacy, and direct educational services to students and its network of nearly 200 American Bar Association (ABA)-approved nonprofit and state-affiliated law schools.

For more information on the ABF/ALI Doctoral Fellowship Program in Legal & Higher Education, please click here.

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