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Meet Our 2017 Doctoral/Postdoctoral Fellows

Use the links on the left hand side to learn about our past fellows. More information on the ABF's doctoral/postdoctoral fellowship opportunties can be found here.


Meghan L. Morris, ABF/National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow in Law and Inequality (2017-2020)

Meghan L. Morris receives her doctorate in anthropology from the University of Chicago in fall 2017. Her research examines the role of law in war and peacemaking, with a particular focus on property over land. Her scholarship draws on extensive ethnographic fieldwork as well as her training and ongoing work as a lawyer. Her dissertation, “Property in the Shadow of the Post-Conflict,” is an interdisciplinary study examining how property can become understood as both the root of violent conflict and the key to peace. It explores this question through an ethnographic account of how the reordering of property is central to ongoing efforts to achieve a post-conflict era in Colombia. Her work has appeared in the Revista Colombiana de Antropología (Colombian Journal of Anthropology) and she has conducted research as well as human rights and environmental justice work in Latin America (including Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, and Peru) for fifteen years. Prior to her doctoral work, she received a J.D. from Harvard Law School, an M.A. in International Relations from The Fletcher School at Tufts University, and a B.S. in Policy Analysis and Management from Cornell University. She is also affiliated as a senior researcher at the Bogotá-based Center for Law, Justice and Society (Dejusticia).


Margot Moinester, ABF/National Science Foundation Doctoral Fellow in Law and Inequality (2017-2019)

Margot Moinester a doctoral candidate in sociology at Harvard University. Her research interests encompass immigration, health inequalities, and crime and punishment. Her dissertation, entitled, “Growth and Inequality in American Immigration Enforcement,” charts the expansion of the immigration enforcement system in the US over the past several decades and investigates how and why immigration apprehensions, detentions, and deportations vary between demographic groups and across the elaborate jurisdictional landscape of the United States. Her scholarship combines analysis of administrative data on immigration court proceedings and immigration detention records with qualitative fieldwork in several locales. Her work has appeared in the Disability Studies Quarterly, Postgenomics, and Reimagining (Bio)Medicalization, Pharmaceuticals and Genetics. Margot is a co-founder of the women’s development non-profit organization Hands of Mothers and a Doctoral Fellow in the Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality and Social Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. She holds an M.A. in Sociology from Harvard University as well as a B.A. in Health: Science, Society and Policy from Brandeis University.


Asad Rahim, ABF/National Science Foundation Doctoral Fellow in Law and Inequality (2017-2019)

Asad Rahim is a doctoral candidate in the Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program at UC Berkeley School of Law. His dissertation entitled, “From Equality to Diversity: The Diversity Rationale and the Construction of Racial Identity,” is a rigorous and provocative examination of the ways that Black graduate students in prestigious universities experience diversity norms. His work pushes the legal justifications for diversity in higher education by comparing African American graduate students at two elite universities, including a historically Black institution. The project explores the subtle ways that these students are trained as to what kinds of questions, modes of inquiry, and views are acceptable to express – especially around issues of race. His dissertation therefore raises important questions about the role that universities play in furthering (and obstructing) intellectual pluralism and racial equality, both on their campuses and in the broader society. His work has appeared in the Annual Review of Law and Social Science. Before attending Berkeley, Asad completed his J.D. at Harvard Law School. His B.S. in Business Administration is from Babson College where he won the Roger Babson Award, given to the top student in the graduating class. Between college and law school, Asad worked as an equity derivatives analyst for a global finance firm in Hong Kong.


Rachel Montgomery, ABF/ALI Doctoral Fellow in Legal and Higher Education (2017-2018)

Rachel Montgomery is a doctoral candidate in higher education at Pennsylvania State University. Her primary research interest centers on the study of leaders and leadership in higher education. Specifically, her work focuses on change processes and governance strategies employed in varied higher education contexts (e.g., law schools, professional education, liberal arts colleges). Her dissertation examines the concept of “administrative co-leadership” through an in-depth analysis of its implementation in the form of co-deanships at several U.S. law schools. Such a partnership approach to administrative leadership (alternatively referred to as “co-leadership” or “dyadic” leadership) is seen as a way of addressing the increasing demands on leaders operating at the executive levels of higher education institutions. Her work argues that the assessment of this approach’s efficacy, or an alternative, must take into account the broader organizational challenges and strains leaders face. Key among them are institutional/unit size, structural complexity, the interests and needs of a diverse student body, marketplace competitiveness, rate of change, and technology usage. Her work is qualitative and interdisciplinary in character and builds on the intersection points among literatures in higher education, industrial/organizational psychology, and business management. Rachel has served as managing editor of the American Journal of Education and editor-in-chief of Higher Education in Review. Her published work has appeared inHigher Education in Review and the American Journal of Education Online Forum. She received an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from Lynchburg College and an B.F.A in Art (Graphic Design and Photography) from Brevard College.


Christopher J. Ryan Jr., ABF/ALI Doctoral Fellow in Legal and Higher Education (2017-2018)

Christopher J. (CJ) Ryan Jr. is a doctoral candidate in policy studies at Vanderbilt University. Using a theoretical framework grounded in behavioral economics, along with  econometric methods, CJ’s research centers on law and policy. Specifically, his research examines issues of organizational and individual decision making in legal education, business, and intellectual property. His dissertation, “Chasing Paper: The Economics of Attending Law School in the 21st Century," explores the economics of legal education and examines the risk tolerance of and labor market returns to law school graduates. His scholarship has appeared in the Alabama Law Review, the NYU Journal of Intellectual Property and Entertainment LawResearch in Higher Education, as well as other peer reviewed journals and law reviews published by the University of Notre Dame, University of Kentucky, University of Richmond, and John Marshall Law School. It has has been cited in the Washington PostPoliticoAbove the Law, and Inside Higher Ed. CJ’s published and working papers can be found at his SSRN page. He has taught courses on higher education law and organizational theory. Prior to undertaking his doctoral studies at Vanderbilt, CJ worked in law and university administration. He has also served as a higher education policymaker as a gubernatorial appointee to the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education. He received an A.B. from Dartmouth College, a M.Ed. from the University of Notre Dame, and a J.D. from the University of Kentucky.


Amanda Kleintop, ABF/NU Doctoral Fellow (2017-2018)

Amanda Kleintop is a doctoral candidate in history at Northwestern University, specializing in nineteenth-century American history with a minor field in historical methodologies. Her research interests include the U.S. South, slavery, the Civil War, and emancipation in the Atlantic World. Kleintop’s dissertation, “The Balance of Freedom: Abolishing Property Rights in Slaves after Emancipation,” examines white southerners’ demands for emancipation policies other than the one that came into existence: the immediate, uncompensated abolition of slavery. It explores the political consequences of their attempts to profit from what they believed was their right to own property in humans by claiming compensation for their freed slaves from the federal government and relief from their debts for the value of slaves. Using original historiographical research, Kleintop reveals the contradictory and shifting legal, political, and ideological conception of what was possible as 4 million enslaved people transitioned from ‘property’ to citizens. Kleintop holds an M.A. in History from Northwestern and a B.A. in History and Leadership Studies from the University of Richmond. Before attending Northwestern, Amanda worked in digital history with the Digital Scholarship Lab and public history with Virginia Sesquicentennial Commission.

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