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The ABA International Law Section (ILS or Section) proudly sponsors a generous Diversity Fellows Program (“Program”).  The Program robustly supports the ABA’s policy of active involvement and participation of diverse lawyers in the ABA, the Section, the profession, and the justice system.  See ABA Goal III (to promote full and equal participation).  The Program is for young barred lawyers (under 36 years old with five years or less of legal experience) who have an interest in international law and come from diverse backgrounds – including diverse races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and abilities/disabilities.

Among the opportunities available to the 3-5 selected Fellows will be:

  • abundant entrée to ILS substantive programs and conferences – including an allowance for registration, travel, and lodging;
  • waiver of Section dues;
  • specialty-specific mentorships/sponsorships with experienced attorneys;
  • membership in a close circle of Fellows and alumni of the Fellows program;
  • appointments to Section leadership positions; and
  • liberal publishing opportunities.

Fellows will be assigned to substantive ILS Committees.  The Committee Chairs will engage Fellows in all aspects of committee membership, including projects involving policy formulation and program development.  The ILS’ Diversity Officer and Membership Officer and their respective Deputies will also work with Fellows, monitoring their progress and providing periodic reports to ILS’ Administration Committee. 

Fellowship Eligibility

Successful applicants will demonstrate that they work in the international legal arena and/or that they have a deep interest in international law.  They will further show that they are 36 years old or younger and at least one year out of law school.  Applicants will also document that they have been admitted to a bar and that their admission took place less than 6 years prior to the date of their Program application.  In furtherance of its goal to make the Fellowships available to a diverse group of young lawyers, application reviewers will take information regarding applicants’ race, ethnicity, disabilities (if any), and gender/sexual identities into account.  See ABA Goal III. 

If an applicant is not a member of the ABA or the Section at the time of application, such applicant will be required to become a dues-paying member of the ABA upon a grant of the Program application.  The Section will, however, cover Section dues. 

Fellows’ Responsibilities

During their Fellowship, Fellows will be required to produce specific deliverables, as directed by the ILS Diversity Officer.  At a minimum, Fellows will: engage in active Committee participation, as the Section requires of all Section Leaders; regularly communicate with their Committee Chair, the Diversity Officer, the Membership Officer, and their Section mentor and complete progress reports. Fellows will be required to sign a Fellowship Agreement with ILS.  Should a Fellow fail to comply with the terms of the Fellowship, the Section will automatically stop all support – including but not limited to financial support.

Application Requirements

Applicants for the Section Diversity Fellows Program must submit:

  • a cover letter explaining why the Section should consider their application;
  • a fully executed application, addressing all the application questions;
  • two letters of recommendation; and
  • documentation of the requisite bar membership.

Completed applications must be submitted to Angela Benson, ILS Director of Membership, Meetings, and Marketing at [email protected].