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Expectations and Support

Students chosen as Chayes Fellows work with International Legal Studies staff to ensure that their placements are appropriate and that students are well-positioned to derive maximum benefit from the summer. This includes a discussion of the specifics of the placement, work involved, academic and professional goals, and how best to prepare. Once a placement has been secured and approved, students are also encouraged to remain in contact with their supervisors in order to continue to obtain as much information as possible about the project(s) on which they will be working and the specific roles and responsibilities they will be assigned, as well as any expected end-products.

Fellows are expected to contact the Chayes Fellowship Program upon beginning their placements and send an update communication once during the summer.  As well, each Fellow has an opportunity to speak with an ILS staff member at least once during the summer to ensure that work is going smoothly and discuss any challenges. If students encounter any change of plans or difficulties — in terms of the nature or duration of their work, supervision, or personal safety — they should contact the Chayes program in order to receive guidance and assistance.

After completing the fellowship, recipients are expected to attend a mandatory debriefing to share their summer experiences with the other Fellows and the Chayes Fellowship Selection Committee, and to also submit a written evaluation of their experience. These evaluations are made available to interested students and others through the Office of Public Interest Advising and our Student Evaluations secure webpage (HarvardKey required). Fellows are also expected to satisfy certain collegial and educational obligations throughout the year, such as advising students interested in applying for the Chayes Fellowship for the following summer. If a student does not meet the obligations of the Chayes Fellowship, they may be asked to refund some or all of the stipend.

Please note: students may apply to both the Chayes Fellowship and the Human Rights Program Summer Fellowship, but they may only receive funding from one of these programs in the same summer.  Please note that if an applicant invited to participate in both programs accepts a placement offer from a pre-approved Chayes placement organization, it is expected that the student will undertake that placement as a Chayes Fellow.


Chayes Fellows will be eligible for stipends from the Law School’s Summer Public Interest Funding Program (SPIF), supplemented by funds from the Chayes Fellowship. The amount of the supplement  is determined by the location of the student’s placement and typically ranges from $900 to $1,400.  Fellows are expected to make their own travel, visa, and housing arrangements for the summer fellowship once they have confirmed approved placements. Fellowships must consist of a minimum duration of eight weeks of full-time work unless express authorization is received from the Chayes program for a Fellow to work for a shorter period.

Chayes Fellows must fulfill the international travel procedures for students traveling abroad with Harvard funding.

Students may fulfill the HLS pro bono work requirements through summer placements, but will not receive class credit.


In addition to the support and advising offered to Chayes Fellows prior to and during their summer placement, they become part of a global network of individuals engaged with organizations around the world and are invited to attend periodic meetings at Harvard.

Among other events, these include small group “career conversations” with Chayes Fellowship alumni who are engaged with international, comparative or foreign law and can provide insights and guidance to current students. Read about recent participants here.