Legal History Fellowship

The Legal History Fellowship at the University of Wisconsin Law School is a one-year fellowship in American Legal History sponsored by the Law School's Institute for Legal Studies. The fellowship is designed to support a scholar (a J.D. degree is not required) at an early stage in her or his career when, commonly, career pressures or a heavy teaching load might divert the individual from research.

The fellow is appointed by the Law School's Institute for Legal Studies and works in the Institute's Legal History Program. The Institute provides a supportive environment and a critical audience for the fellow's work.

During the term of the fellowship, the fellow is expected to complete a major research project on some area of American Legal History. Duties of the fellow include assisting in the teaching of American Legal History and in the continued development of the Legal History Program of the Institute for Legal Studies. The fellow is expected to play a leadership role in the Law School's graduate student community and to convene a colloquium in Legal History. These duties should leave up to two-thirds of the fellow's time free for research and writing.

A fellow with prior professional training in law may enroll as a graduate student in the Law School. Because the Law School's graduate degrees (LL.M. and S.J.D.) are research degrees, all graduate degree requirements can be satisfied by completion and acceptance of a research project.


Fellowships do not become available every year. New fellowship opportunities are generally posted in November of the year preceding the fellowship.

Stipend & Term

A fellow receives a stipend of approximately $18,000 for the year and $1,500 for research expenses. The term of the fellowship is one year, usually beginning on July 1 and continuing through June 30 of the next year. A one-year extension is possible.


An applicant must demonstrate an interest in, and unusual aptitude for, historical research on law. While some preference may be given to candidates with professional legal training, historians without a J.D. degree are encouraged to apply. In evaluating applications, the Institute will focus on the quality and significance of a candidate's proposed research project; evidence of long-term potential as a scholar in legal history; commitment to teaching and mentoring; and commitment to community building.


Applicants should send (1) a letter detailing their qualifications; (2) a detailed description (approximately five pages) of their proposed research project; (3) a curriculum vitae; (4) transcripts; and (5) two letters of reference from scholars familiar with their work. Degree candidates must also meet admissions standards set by the committee on graduate degrees of the Law School. The application deadline generally is January 15; the fellowship is awarded by March 1. Application materials should be sent to:

Legal History Program
Institute for Legal Studies
University of Wisconsin Law School
975 Bascom Mall
Madison, WI 53706-1399

For further information, contact Professor Arthur McEvoy, University of Wisconsin Law School. Tel: (608) 265-4771 or email:

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