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ABF Announces the Recipients of the 2013 Montgomery Summer Research Diversity Fellowships

May 13, 2013, Press releases


Contact:          Kathryn Harris


Phone:             312.988.6515

Fax:                  312.988.6579


 ABF Research Faculty will mentor four young scholars in summer session

Chicago, IL – May 13, 2013 – The American Bar Foundation has announced the selection of four outstanding undergraduate scholars as the 2013 recipients of the Montgomery Summer Research Diversity Fellowships in Law and Social Science. The 2013 Summer Fellows were selected from a highly competetive group of over 200 applicants and exemplify excellence in their undergraduate work. The 2013 fellows are:

Ayesha Akbar, a junior Government/Psychology major at the University of Texas at Austin. Akbar will work with ABF Research Professor John Hagan on his project, “Crime, War and Wealth in Pre- and Post-Invasion Iraq.”

Kelsey Mollura, a sophomore at Cornell University majoring in Psychology. Mollura will work with ABF Director Robert Nelson on various projects, including his After the J.D. study and topics on employment discrimination.

Diana Lee, a junior History major at Bowdoin College, will work with ABF Research Professor Dylan Penningroth on his project, “Local Courts and African American Life, 1885-1930.”

Kimberly Quick, a junior majoring in Politics and International Affairs at Wake Forest University. Quick will work with ABF Research Professor John Hagan on his project, “Punishment Regimes and the Multi-Level Effects of Parental Imprisonment.”

The 2013 Summer Fellows’ full biographies are available here.

The American Bar Foundation offers a rich environment to students from diverse backgrounds who are considering careers in legal research or the practice of law. Each fellow works closely with a specially designated ABF Research Professor on the design and implementation of a research project, affording them  the rare opportunity to do socio-legal research with experienced scholars. While the students work primarily as research assistants, they also attend a series of seminars conducted by ABF Faculty, program alumni, and practitioners in  the legal system in Chicago who acquaint the students with their career paths and work.

The Montgomery Summer Research Diversity Fellowship has produced many notable alumni, such as Mariano-Florentino “Tino” Cuéllar, a 1990 SRDF alumnus who is now Professor of Law at Stanford University and formerly served as Special Assistant to the President for Justice and Regulatory Policy at the White House.

Cuéllar identifies the Montgomery Summer Research Diversity Fellowship as a turning point in his development as a young scholar. Says Cuéllar, “My summer at the American Bar Foundation opened up a new world that remains part of my life to this day. I was surrounded by engaged, creative and energetic scholars who made it their mission to push the frontiers of knowledge about legal institutions and practices…Building a better legal system depends heavily on the answers to these sorts of questions.”

While many Montgomery Summer Research Diversity Fellowship alumni go on to academic careers in the social sciences and law, many others have chosen to pursue careers as legal practitioners, or to work in government, social policy, or business.

The American Bar Foundation is the nation's leading research institute for the empirical study of law. An independent, nonprofit organization for more than 60 years, ABF seeks to advance 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. 

Designed to introduce promising, diverse students to the rewards and demands of a career in law and social science, the Montgomery Summer Research Diversity Fellowship Program has hosted 106 students since the program’s inception in 1988. The program is supported in part by the Kenneth F. and Harle G. Montgomery Foundation, AT&T, and the National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates. 

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