Skip to main content

The American Bar Foundation Welcomes 2017 Doctoral and Postdoctoral Fellows

September 6, 2017, Press releases

Six emerging scholars began their tenures at the American Bar Foundation (ABF) on Tuesday. They are the recipients of the organization’s 2017 doctoral and postdoctoral fellowships, and will be in residence at the ABF beginning September 5, 2017.

The ABF is committed to developing the next generation of scholars in the field of law, social science, and higher education by offering several fellowship opportunities. The ABF/NSF Doctoral/Postdoctoral Fellowship in Law and Inequality is co-sponsored by the ABF and the National Science Foundation (NSF). Its purpose is to encourage original and significant empirical and interdisciplinary research on the study of law and inequality. The ABF/ALI Doctoral Fellowship in Legal and Higher Education is co-sponsored by the ABF and AccessLex Institute (ALI). It aims to assist emerging scholars who research issues of access, affordability, or value in legal and higher education. The ABF/NU Doctoral Fellowship is co-sponsored by the ABF and Northwestern University (NU), and seeks to encourage original and innovative research on law, the legal profession, and legal institutions.

Chosen from a highly competitive applicant pool, the new doctoral and postdoctoral fellows are: Meghan L. Morris, ABF/NSF Postdoctoral Fellow in Law and Inequality; Margot Moinester and Asad Rahim, ABF/NSF Doctoral Fellows in Law and Inequality; Rachel Montgomery and Christopher J. Ryan Jr., ABF/ALI Doctoral Fellows in Legal and Higher Education; and Amanda Kleintop, ABF/NU Doctoral Fellow.

“We are delighted to welcome the next cohort of young scholars to the ABF,” said ABF Director Ajay K. Mehrotra. “Thanks to the generous support of our partners at the National Science Foundation, the AccessLex Institute, and Northwestern University, we will be hosting one of the largest and most talented groups of ABF doctoral and postdoctoral fellows working at the intersection of law and social science.”

Doctoral and postdoctoral fellows engage in the intellectual life of the ABF. This includes participation in a weekly seminar series and working closely with mentors at the ABF. Past fellows have gone on to promising careers as tenured professors, legal professionals, and social science researchers.

About the 2017 Doctoral and Postdoctoral Fellows:

Amanda Kleintop

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 Terms of Emancipation: Conflicts over Debts for the Value of Slaves from 1862-1875,” explores the political consequences of white southerners’ 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’s research reveals the contradictory and shifting legal, political, and ideological conception of what was possible as 4 million enslaved people transitioned from “property” to citizens.

Margot Moinester

Margot Moinester is a doctoral candidate in sociology at Harvard University. Her research interests include immigration, health inequalities, and crime and punishment. Moinester’s dissertation, “Detain and Deport: Growth and Inequality in American Immigration Enforcement,” charts the unprecedented expansion of the immigration enforcement system in the United States over the past several decades. Her research investigates how and why immigration apprehensions, detentions, and deportations vary between demographic groups and across the elaborate jurisdictional landscape of the United States. It includes an analysis of immigration court proceedings since 1951 and immigration detention records since 1999, as well as interviews with immigration attorneys, advocates, enforcement officers and judges across the country. 

Rachel Montgomery

Rachel Montgomery is a doctoral candidate in higher education at Pennsylvania State University. Her research centers on the study of leaders and leadership in higher education. Specifically, it focuses on change processes and governance strategies employed in varied higher education contexts (e.g., law schools, professional education, liberal arts colleges). Montgomery’s dissertation examines the concept of “administrative co-leadership” through an in-depth analysis of its implementation in the form of co-deanships at several law schools across the country. She argues that the assessment of this approach’s efficacy, or an alternative, must take into account the broader organizational challenges and strains leaders face. 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.

Meghan L. Morris

Meghan L. Morris receives her doctorate in anthropology from the University of Chicago in fall 2017. She is appointed to a three-year postdoctoral fellowship at the ABF. Her research examines the role of law in war and peacemaking, and draws on extensive ethnographic fieldwork and her 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.

Asad Rahim

Asad Rahim is a doctoral candidate in the Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program at UC Berkeley School of Law. His dissertation, “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 Black graduate students at two elite universities, one a historically Black institution. Rahim’s research explores the subtle ways these students are trained to understand what kinds of questions, modes of inquiry, and views are acceptable to express, especially around issues of race. His dissertation 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.

Christopher J. Ryan Jr.

Christopher J. Ryan Jr. is a doctoral candidate in policy studies at Vanderbilt University. His research focuses on law and policy, by using a theoretical framework grounded in behavioral economics, along with econometric methods. Specifically, his research examines issues of organizational and individual decision making in legal education, business, and intellectual property. Ryan’s 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.

Please find a PDF of this press release here.

« Return to Press releases

Site design by Webitects

© 2017 American Bar Foundation (AmericanBarFoundation.org)
750 North Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60611-4403
(312) 988-6500
Contact Us
Media Contacts
Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in ABF publications are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Bar Foundation or the American Bar Association. The AMERICAN BAR FOUNDATION, ABF and related seal trademarks as used by the American Bar Foundation are owned by the American Bar Association and used under license.