Skip to content

Wasserstein Fellows are practicing public interest attorneys who meet individually with Harvard Law students to advise them about public interest career paths. Three-Day Wasserstein Fellows are public interest attorneys in any practice setting and issue area. The Wasserstein Fellow-in-Residence is an international human rights practitioner who spends four months with HLS (September-December) and splits their time between OPIA and the Human Rights Program (HRP). BIPOC, first generation, and anyone who represents the diversity of the HLS student body are especially encouraged to apply!

The deadline for the 2022-2023 application cycle is Monday, April 11, 2022.


  • One-on-One Advising

    Wasserstein Fellows can expect to meet with 3-7 students per day during their three-day visit. The students sign up in advance through OPIA for 30-minute advising sessions. During these sessions, Fellows focus on each student’s individual career aspirations and concerns.

  • Develop Advising Resources

    All Fellows assist OPIA in developing materials that provide further resources for students who are interested in public interest careers. Prior to their campus visit, each Fellow must provide OPIA with the following:

    • A bio
    • A 1-2 page description of a “typical” workday
    • A 2-3 page written overview of careers in their field
    • A list of key organizations in their field, as well as lesser-known organizations conducting similar or related work and networking contacts at those organizations
    • Any additional resources OPIA staff should be aware of when advising students interested in their field
  • Community Discussion

    Fellows typically offer a discussion about their work and career path to students, either as a lunchtime event or as part of a meeting with interested student groups.

  • Additional Wasserstein Fellow-in-Residence Responsibilities

    In addition to the above responsibilities, the Fellow-in-Residence participates in HRP programs related to the Fellowship and the Fellow’s area of expertise. In coordination with the Associate Director of HRP, the Fellow develops a plan for engagement, which may include research into a human rights related topic, participation in colloquia, symposia, events hosted by HRP, and/or presentations to HRP staff, faculty, and/or students.


  • Three-Day Wasserstein Fellows

    Each Three-Day Fellow receives an honorarium of $1000 in addition to funding for travel, hotel, and other expenses related to their visit.

  • Wasserstein Fellow-in-Residence

    The Wasserstein Fellow-in-Residence receives the following:

    1. Office space in OPIA and research space
    2. Use of the Harvard library system
    3. A $24,000 stipend to cover travel, housing and related expenses

    Secretarial support will not be provided, and Fellows are responsible for securing their own housing. HLS will work with the selected Fellow to secure an appropriate visa, if necessary.

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

  • All Wasserstein Fellows

    Both programs seek applicants who have shown a long-standing commitment to public interest law and have made significant contributions to their fields. We aim to select a group of Fellows who reflect the diversity and breadth of public interest experiences, areas of expertise, and geographic locations. In addition, the programs look for Fellows who work in practice settings and substantive areas of law that are of particular interest to our current students. Most importantly, the programs seek Fellows who will enjoy meeting individually with a diverse group of students and who possess interpersonal qualities that will enable them to be effective career advisors. Most Wasserstein Fellows have had at least five years of post-law-school public interest experience at a nonprofit, public defender or prosecutor’s office, government agency, intergovernmental organization, or private public interest firm.

    Previous Wasserstein Fellows are not eligible to apply for the same Fellowship a second time. Previous Three-Day Fellows may apply for the Fellow-in-Residence. Judges and attorneys practicing in an academic setting are not eligible for the program.

    All Wasserstein Fellows must have substantial flexibility in their availability to commit to three consecutive days of advising during the fall semester of the year they are applying.

  • Three-Day Wasserstein Fellows

    Three-Day Wasserstein Fellows are selected by a small committee composed of Harvard Law School faculty and OPIA staff. On occasion, the program will select early career Three-Day Wasserstein Fellows, who have three to six years of experience. Early career Fellows are selected through the same process and participate in the same activities on campus as other Three-Day Wasserstein Fellows.

  • Wasserstein Fellow-in-Residence

    The Wasserstein Fellow-in-Residence is chosen jointly by OPIA and the Human Rights Program. The Wasserstein Fellow-in-Residence must have substantial international experience beyond any domestic work.

Application Materials and Instructions

The deadline for the 2022-2023 application cycle is April 11, 2022.

You may apply to be a Three-Day Wasserstein Fellow by completing the Wasserstein Fellow Application.

*If you know of someone who would make a great Wasserstein Fellow, email us their name and email address and we will invite them to apply.

  • Three-Day Wasserstein Fellows Application Materials
    • A brief personal statement (1-3 pages) discussing your interest in becoming a Fellow and highlighting any previous mentorship or career advising experience
    • A resume
    • Two letters of recommendation. We welcome letters of recommendation from law student and/or early career mentees, in addition to those who can speak to your commitment to public service (colleagues, supervisors, collaborators).

    If you wish to resubmit a prior Wasserstein Fellowship application, simply fill out the required fields on the Wasserstein Fellow Application with any updates and indicate that you are reapplying with the year(s) of your prior application(s) as your personal statement document.

    Questions about the application process may be sent to Jillian Tuck. Applicants can expect to be notified of the final status of their application by mid-June.

  • Wasserstein Fellow-in-Residence Application Materials
    • A brief personal statement (1-3 pages) discussing your interest in becoming a Fellow
    • A resume
    • Two letters of recommendation. We welcome letters of recommendation from law student and/or early career mentees, in addition to those who can speak to your commitment to public service (colleagues, supervisors, collaborators).
    • A proposed plan (one page) for how you would engage with the human rights community at the law school, which may include research or presenting on a human rights related topic, supporting clinical work, and/or conducting skills trainings or workshops
    • A sample of any writing on international human rights (in English, Spanish, or French)
    • A statement indicating that you are fluent in oral English