Skip to main content

ABF Welcomes 2008-09 Doctoral Fellows In Joint Program With Law And Society Association

September 8, 2008, Press releases


CHICAGO -  SEPTEMBER 8 -  The American Bar Foundation, in conjunction with the Law and Society Association, announces the appointment of four Doctoral Fellows for the 2008-2009 academic year. Two of the four fellowships will be fully funded by the American Bar Foundation for one year, and two are the Law and Social Science Dissertation Fellowship & Mentoring Program Fellowships. These two are jointly sponsored by the Law and Society Association and American Bar Foundation in two-year appointments, with significant support by a grant from the National Science Foundation.  The doctoral fellows will be in full-time residence at the ABF, and will be mentored by Foundation research faculty and designated advisors in their respective areas of study. “This is a history-making joint fellowship program among three leading institutions in law and the social sciences,” said American Bar Foundation Director Robert L. Nelson. “It heralds a renewed commitment to the support of emerging scholars in the field of law and society, and we look forward to many years of collaboration in fostering this caliber of young talent.”

Joseph Conti, American Bar Foundation Doctoral Fellow

is a graduate student in the Department of Sociology at University of California, Santa Barbara. His dissertation is entitled “Power Through Process: Dispute Settlement Outcomes in the World Trade Organization, 1995-2005.” His research examines the impact of state inequality, institutional resources, legal experience, and case complexity on the processes of disputing at the World Trade Organization. He is interested in global governance and law, how emergent international legal practices develop and their implications for international inequality and power relationships between states.

 Nicholas Buchanan, American Bar Foundation Doctoral Fellow

is a doctoral candidate in the Program in Science, Technology, and Society at MIT. His undergraduate degree is in Geography, with a focus on the human and physical dimensions of environmental change. His research focuses on questions of indigenous peoples, rural communities, and environmental legality. His dissertation is an historical and ethnographic exploration of resource management in action. The dissertation follows disputes over water, land, and endangered species and considers the interactions between different ways of knowing and living in nature; the strengthening of interconnections between scientific and legal authority; the interplay of cultures and environments; and the emergence of new configurations of governance meant to address the perceived shortcomings of top-down regulations.

Jamillah Bowman, LSA/NSF/ABF Doctoral Fellow

is in her third year in the Joint Program at Stanford University. Her program combines the Ph.D. degree in Sociology and J.D. degree. Her developing program of research focuses on how law can systematically affect inequality in organizations and society. She focuses on critical intervening social psychological mechanisms such as stereotypes, status processes, discrimination, and diversity institutionalization. Her aim in pursuing the joint degree is to take her empirical research and related theoretical contributions beyond the academy to promote institutional changes that will address racial/ethnic and gender inequality.  Ms. Bowman’s advisors in the Law and Social Science Dissertation Fellowship and Mentoring Program are Professors Cecilia Ridgeway of the Sociology Department at Stanford University and Michelle Landis Dauber, of Stanford Law School. Ms. Bowman will be mentored at the ABF by Research Professor Janice Nadler.                                                                                                                                                                         

Diana Hernandez, LSA/NSF/ABF Doctoral Fellow

is a Ph.D. candidate in Sociology at Cornell University. Her dissertation, entitled “Litigating Health Risks: On Managing Housing and Neighborhood Health Risks through Legal Strategies among Low-Income Families,” is a qualitative analysis of legal services nested within a larger evaluation of housing and neighborhood context. It explores the potential benefits of legal services as a resource in the prevention and intervention of child and family health risks associated with housing and neighborhood conditions. Her research is based on an18-month ethnography of Dorchester, MA, a Boston inner-city community and 72 in-depth interviews with recipients of legal services and comparable families without access to legal services at local community health centers. Advising Ms. Hernandez in the Law and Social Science Dissertation Fellowship and Mentoring Program are Cornell Professors David Harris, Professor of Sociology, Michael Jones-Correa, Professor of Government, and Professor Gary Evans, environmental and developmental psychologist in Cornell’s College of Human Ecology.  Carol Heimer,  ABF Research Professor, will mentor Ms. Hernandez.

The American Bar Foundation is the nation’s leading research institute for the empirical study of law.  An independent, nonprofit organization, for more than fifty years the ABF has advanced the understanding and improvement of law through research projects of unmatched scale and quality on the most pressing issues facing the legal system in the United States and the world.



« Return to Press releases

Site design by Webitects

© 2023 American Bar Foundation (
750 North Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60611-4403
(312) 988-6500
Contact Us
Contact the Fellows
Media Contacts
Privacy policy
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.