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Harvard Law School is a leading center for pioneering work at the intersection of law and technology.  From the Berkman Klein Center to the Library Innovation Lab, and through countless courses, labs, initiatives, and programs, Harvard Law School is exploring the frontiers of the law of technology and technology’s roles in the law.  At the same time, we have a deep institutional commitment to pursuing research and action that further access to justice.  This commitment is reflected in trailblazing efforts such as the A2J Lab and Developing Justice and our vast array of clinical and pro bono offerings that focus on serving vulnerable populations.  Building on these twin areas of inquiry, and recognizing that technological innovation is central to any meaningful agenda for increasing access to justice, we are very pleased to announce two new Harvard Law School fellowship opportunities: the Caselaw Access Project Fellowship and the Public Welfare Foundation A2J Tech Fellowship.

Public Welfare Foundation A2J Tech Fellowship

Harvard Law School invites applications for the Public Welfare Foundation A2J Tech Fellowship for a one-year project starting between January 1 and June 30, 2018.  The Fellowship is open to exceptionally qualified graduates of Harvard Law School, including alumni as well those who will graduate in May of 2018, who desire to spend a year housed in a legal services provider (broadly defined) working on one or more technological innovations to promote access to justice. Drawing on and contributing to the Law School’s dynamic programs at the intersection of access to justice and technology, the Fellow will pursue a project she and her host organization develop that holds promise for improving the way individuals and families who cannot afford to hire lawyers interact with the legal system.

The Fellowship may serve as a stand-alone opportunity to innovate on a project leveraging technology to improve access to justice.  Or it may serve as a launching pad for a creative, entrepreneurial, and technically savvy Harvard Law graduate who intends to pursue a career in technology innovation and access to justice.  The Fellowship is made possible by a generous gift from the Public Welfare Foundation.

The models for the Fellowship are the Equal Justice Works, Skadden, and Public Service Venture Fund Fellowships, although (again) this fellowship is equally open to alumni as well those who will graduate in May of 2018.  The Public Welfare Foundation A2J Tech Fellow and her host legal services provider (“LSP”) will jointly identify a project, to be identified and described in the application, that the Fellow will pursue during the Fellowship year.  The LSP will provide office space for Fellow to work as well as a working environment allowing her the opportunity to pursue her defined project.  The Fellow will work as a member of the LSP’s team for the Fellowship year.

To be eligible as a sponsor, an LSP must be a not-for-profit organization that includes access to justice for low-income individuals and families as a primary activity within its portfolio.  Traditional legal aid providers and volunteer bar projects are presumptively eligible, as are labor unions that provide legal services.  Law school clinics housed at Harvard Law School (but not elsewhere) are also eligible.

Terms of the Fellowship

The Fellowship will provide one-year of funding to support a salary of $55,000, up to $20,000 of funding to cover the LSP’s requisite fringe costs for the position, and $5,000 in funding  to support the fellow’s need for technology hardware, software, or services.

Applying

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until the Fellowship is awarded, with review of applications beginning September 30, 2017.  The Law School will extend an offer as soon as an outstanding applicant is identified.

To apply, please submit the following materials via e-mail to PWFA2J@law.harvard.edu:

  • a curriculum vitae,
  • a law school transcript,
  • at least two references,
  • a letter from the host LSP describing how the proposed project will leverage technology to further the LSP’s access to justice mission and how the LSP will support the Fellow so as to allow the project’s successful completion, and
  • a statement of interest, not to exceed 1000 words, that describes:
  • the proposed project, including,
    1. how it furthers access to justice,
    2. why it is innovative,
    3. its fit within the host organization,
    4. the technology need to support it, and
    5. why it is feasible to expect that it can be completed within the Fellowship year;
  • the applicant’s experience relevant to project completion,
  • the applicant’s proposed career post-project career path.

Caselaw Access Project Fellowship

Harvard Law School invites applications for the Caselaw Access Project Fellowship, a one-year opportunity to explore technology that enhances access to and understanding of the law and improves access to justice. The Fellowship is open to justice-minded technologists and technology-minded lawyers seeking to make a positive impact at the intersection of technology and legal information.

The Caselaw Access Project has produced a unique and nearly comprehensive structured dataset of all published American court decisions. During the Fellowship year, the Fellow will work with the lawyers, librarians and programmers in the Harvard Law School Library to identify discrete opportunities to enhance or apply the data produced by the Caselaw Access Project to advance justice. The Fellow will design, prototype and iterate on a technology project (or projects) that seeks to achieve this goal. The Fellow’s work will reflect a bias in favor of action and experimentation, emphasizing committed code over planning, analysis and discussion. The Fellow will be expected to do his or her own technical work, but this opportunity promises active collaboration with, and feedback from, the Library, the Library Innovation Lab and the broader community of fellow travelers.

Terms of the Fellowship

The successful candidate will receive a one-year appointment as a fellow in residence at Harvard Law School, which appointment includes a salary of $45,000, healthcare benefits, a computer with a suite of software development tools, and access to other Law School and University resources and amenities.

Diversity

The work and well-being of the Library are strengthened profoundly by the diversity of our network and our differences in background, culture, experience, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, and much more. We actively seek and welcome applications from people of color, women, the LGBTQIA community, and persons with disabilities, as well as applications from researchers and practitioners from across the spectrum of disciplines and methods.

Applying

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis, beginning on September 30, 2017. The Law School will extend an offer as soon as an outstanding applicant is identified.

To apply, please submit the following materials via e-mail to techinnovation@law.harvard.edu:

  • a curriculum vitae,
  • at least two references, and
  • a statement of interest, not to exceed 1000 words, that describes: 1) the basis for the applicant’s interest in the Fellowship and 2) a potential project or projects the applicant might pursue during the fellowship year.

The application should demonstrate the candidate’s technical proficiency and commitment to enhancing access to law and justice. A successful application also will describe a course of activities or experiments the candidate proposes to pursue, explain how those activities will advance justice and describe possible one-year outputs or a plan for post-fellowship sustainability.

About the Library Innovation Lab

The Lab is an integral part of the Harvard Law School Library. It is a multidisciplinary team of lawyers, programmers, librarians and designers working together to explore opportunities and challenges at the intersection of libraries, technology and law. Its recent efforts have focused on large technical initiatives like the Caselaw Access Project, Perma.cc, H2O and the Nuremberg Trials Project, as well as smaller explorations like Local Memory and Time Capsule Encryption.