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Montgomery Summer Research Diversity Fellowships in Law and Social Science for Undergraduate Students

Applications for 2014 Summer Program are now open. Awards will be announced by April 15.

PURPOSE                                                                                                                                                 

The American Bar Foundation sponsors a program of summer research fellowships to interest undergraduate students from diverse backgrounds in pursuing graduate study in the social sciences. The summer program is designed to introduce students to the rewards and demands of a research-oriented career in the field of law and social science. The program is supported in part by AT&T, the H.G. Montgomery Foundation, the Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, Seyfarth Shaw, LLP, and the National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates.

Located in Chicago, Illinois, the American Bar Foundation is an independent nonprofit research institute dedicated to the study of law, legal institutions, and legal processes. The Foundation conducts empirically based research on a broad range of civil and criminal justice issues.

Current research areas include: professionalism and the transformation of the legal profession in the United States and abroad, the dynamics of employment discrimination disputes, the impact of civil rights law on the economic progress of minorities, jury decision making, public interest lawyering and social reform, historical analyses of labor, group libel, and regulatory law, and the role of law in racial relations, postcolonial settings, and globalization. The Foundation's research is conducted by a multidisciplinary resident research faculty with academic training in law, sociology, psychology, political science, economics, history, and anthropology. Many ABF Research Professors hold joint appointments at Chicago-area universities. Recognized as a major institution in the field of law and social science, the Foundation offers a rich environment to students considering an academic or research career.

ELIGIBILITY

Eligible to apply are American citizens and lawful permanent residents including, but not limited to, persons who are African American, Hispanic/Latino, Asian, Native American, or Puerto Rican, as well as other individuals who will add diversity to the field of law and social science.

Applications will be considered only from sophomores and juniors, that is, students who have completed at least the sophomore year and who have not received a bachelor's degree by the time the fellowship begins. Applicants must have a Grade Point Average of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) and be moving toward an academic major in the social sciences or humanities.

PROGRAM, TENURE AND STIPEND

Four summer research fellowships will be awarded each year. Each student will be assigned to an American Bar Foundation Research Professor who will involve the student in the professor's research project and who will act as mentor during the student's tenure. The students also will participate in a series of seminars and field visits to acquaint them with the many facets of sociolegal research and the legal system. The students will work at the American Bar Foundation's offices in Chicago, Illinois for 35 hours a week for a period of 8 weeks. Each student will receive a stipend of $3,600.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE

Applicants for the Summer Research Fellowships must provide the following:

  • 2 brief essays on the topics indicated in the application form
  • Official transcripts of all academic courses completed at the time of application
  • One letter of recommendation from a faculty member familiar with the student's work. 

Each year, completed applications (including transcript and letter of recommendation) are due no later than February 15. Awards will be announced by April 15.

Frequently asked questions

Transcripts and letters of recommendation should be sent to: American Bar Foundation, Summer Research Diversity Fellowships, 750 North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60611 Email: Telephone: (312) 988-6515; Fax: (312) 988-6579. Email is preferred.