William H. Hastie Fellowship Program

Increasing the Diversity of the Law Teaching Profession

William H. Hastie

William H. Hastie

For over 40 years, the University of Wisconsin's William H. Hastie Fellowship Program has provided an opportunity for lawyers of color to prepare for a career in law teaching. The Hastie Fellowship is customarily a two-year program, leading to an LL.M. degree. Candidates pursue a scholarly interest of their choice and are encouraged both to pursue publishable research for their thesis and to demonstrate a capacity to contribute as a scholar to legal studies.

The University of Wisconsin established the Hastie Fellowship in 1973. It honors William H. Hastie (1904-1976), a lawyer, teacher, jurist, and civil rights advocate who championed the importance of high-quality legal education. University of Wisconsin Law School Professor James E. Jones, Jr., a well-known as a leading expert in labor law and as the architect of several significant programs aimed at achieving greater racial equality in the work force, was a moving force in creating this program.

The Program

The Hastie Fellowship Program encourages scholarship in the full range of law studies, including law as related to minorities. The strong Wisconsin tradition for studies of the law in action and for interdisciplinary work creates a particularly supportive atmosphere for those with these interests. Candidates are encouraged to take full advantage of long-established ties between the law faculty and faculty in other disciplines, and they will have easy access to the vast resources of the entire University. 

Each Hastie fellow, before beginning work, establishes a relationship with a faculty member who will serve as the fellow's principal research advisor, guiding the fellow's research project. Additional faculty are likely to assist as well.

Highest priority is attached to the production of an LL.M. thesis that meets the requirements of the Graduate Committee of the Law School. Most fellows base one or more articles on the thesis. Ideally one article should be ready for submission prior to completion of the program.  The thesis work has proven of great value to Hastie Fellows in demonstrating scholarly ability to prospective employers.

Another important aspect of the Hastie Fellowship Program is to help each fellow develop strong teaching skills. Throughout the Fellowship, fellows are teamed with teachers covering subjects of interest to the fellow. This allows the fellow to observe and assist in teaching. Whenever possible, in the final semester of the program, the Hastie fellow will have the opportunity to teach a course or seminar in an area of interest to the fellow.

Fellows are encouraged to become involved in the life of the law school by attending colloquia, faculty meetings, and social gatherings; engaging with the many scholars and public officials who visit at the school each year; participating in student-sponsored activities; and simply joining in the oftentimes rich exchanges that occur over lunch or morning coffee. The Hastie fellow is treated more as a junior colleague than as a graduate student.

Fellowship Term

The term and internal sequence of the Hastie program are designed to accommodate the need for intensive research and writing, participation in the hiring process of law schools, and gaining some teaching experience. Hastie fellows will be appointed for a term of usually two years. During the term of the appointment, fellows are required to be in residence in Madison and enrolled in the Law School, with a commitment to participating fully in the life of the law school.

Applications for the program are solicited in the fall of each year. (Application information is given below.)

The first year of the program is devoted primarily to work on the thesis. By the fall of the second year, it is expected that Hastie fellows will be sufficiently advanced in their research to enable them, as they seek law school faculty appointments, to submit their draft materials and make oral presentations based on their work. The final semester in residence focuses on providing, whenever possible, a teaching experience and finishing work on the thesis or publication derived from it.

Application Process

The goal of the Hastie Fellowship is to contribute to diversity in American law school teaching based on experience in and understanding of this country. For that reason, the Committee strongly prefers applicants who have substantial life experience in the United States and whose basic law degree is from an accredited American law school.

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To apply for the Hastie fellowship, an applicant should submit electronically:

  • a completed Hastie Fellowship APPLICATION. The document may be filled in online and saved as a pdf or printed and scanned in as a pdf.
    •  If you are claiming Wisconsin residency please complete a record of residence form This form should be printed out and then scanned in and emailed with your application. The Record of Residence form does not need to be completed if you answered "No" to Question 16 on the application.
  • a RESEARCH PROPOSAL--A brief summary of your proposed research project is a critical part of the application process, but it need not be detailed (3-5 pages, double-spaced). Our experience is that it is helpful to have a general indication of the applicant's interest so that we can involve one or more members of the faculty who share this interest in the review process, and be assured that the research will have the active interest and involvement of a faculty member who will then serve as the Hastie fellow's advisor. The specific focus of the research will most likely be altered or refined through the initial collaboration of the fellow and his or her advisor.  Submit as a pdf.
  • a PERSONAL STATEMENT--a statement that tells us why you are interested in a Hastie Fellowship, and because the mission of the Hastie Program is to enhance the diversity of the law school professoriate, please explain how our selection of you would contributed to that mission (up to 2 double-spaced pages). Submit as a pdf.
  • a current résumé, submitted as a pdf.
  • three original LETTERS OF REFERENCE from persons who can, in detail, assess your past performance and your potential as both teacher and scholar. The letters should be on letterhead and should have a waiver attached.
  • OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPTS from all higher education institutions you attended (undergraduate, law school, and possible others, depending on your situation)

THE APPLICATION DEADLINE IS FEBRUARY 1 to be considered for the next academic year. The application itself may be completed online and saved as a pdf. The Record of Residence form (if necessary), résumé, research proposal and personal statement should be emailed as pdf documents. If you are unable to send them as a scan or pdf, you may mail the original documents. Please email these documents to gradprog@law.wisc.edu

We must receive the original letters of reference (with waivers) and official transcripts (not scans or copies). These documents should be mailed to:

 Hastie Fellowship
University of Wisconsin Law School
975 Bascom Mall, Room 3222
Madison, WI 53706-1399

The Hastie Committee reviews all completed applications as soon as possible after the deadline date. 

Remuneration and Support Services

The fellowship provides a stipend, currently at $38,000/year, which is increased from time to time to reflect the local cost of living, and a research support fund (currently 5,000 per year for each year of the fellowship). For more information about the stipend and research fund, please email gradprog@law.wisc.edu. The fellow is responsible for paying the University's special fees each semester (currently around $639/semester); other tuition fees are waived as part of the fellowship. Complete fringe benefits are available for a modest cost and may include medical insurance, dental care, and major catastrophic and life insurance.

In addition to the stipend, the law school furnishes support services. Each fellow is provided a private office. A desktop computer and printer are provided, as are office supplies and photocopying.

For further information, contact Professor Thomas W. Mitchell at 608-890-1237 or tmitchell@wisc.edu

Current Hastie Fellow

The Hastie Fellow for the 2015-16 academic year is Charisa Smith.

Hastie Fellow Program Graduates

Hastie fellows have served or are now serving on the faculties of law schools throughout the country. Among our graduates are:

Shalanda H. Baker '12
Associate Professor of Law
University of Hawaii at Manoa 

Mario Barnes '04
Professor of Law
UC Irvine School of Law

Daniel O. Bernstine '75, former Dean of the University of Wisconsin Law School
President and CEO
Law School Admissions Council

Nancy O. Bernstine '76
Executive Director National AIDS Housing Coalition

Gregory H. Bigler '88
Sole Practitioner representing Indian Tribes

Paula E. Bonds '84
Attorney, Organizational Development Consultant and Coach  

Marilyn O. Bowens '93
Interim Pastor
Imani MCC of Durham

Laura A. Cisneros '08
Associate Professor of Law
Golden Gate University School of Law

Kimberle Williams Crenshaw '85
Professor of Law
Columbia and UCLA Law School

David S. DeHorse '06
DeHorse Law Office    

Douglas B.L. Endreson '80
Sonosky, Chambers, Sachse, Endreson & Perry, LLP   

Rory S. Fausett

Ruben Garcia '02
Professor of Law
UNLV School of Law

Michele Goodwin '00
Professor of Law
University of California - Irvine

Michael Green '99
Texas A&M University School of Law

Donald Harris '03
Associate Professor of Law
Temple University Beasley School of Law

Cori Harvey '14
Associate Professor of Law
Florida A&M College of Law

Osamudia James  '08
Associate Professor of Law
University of Miami School of Law

Thomas D. Jones '79

Del Laverdure '99
Akin Gump, Strauss Hauer & Feld LLC

Stacy L. Leeds '00
Dean and Professor of Law
University of Arkansas School of Law

Cary Martin
Assistant Professor of Law
DePaul University College of Law

Teresa A. Miller (1988/1991)
Vice Provost for Equity and Inclusion and Professor
SUNY Buffalo Law School

Thomas W. Mitchell '99
Professor of Law
University of Wisconsin Law School

Richard A. Monette '97
Professor of Law
University of Wisconsin Law School

Daniel I. Morales '10
Assistant Professor of Law
DePaul University College of Law

Adele Morrison '03
Associate Professor of Law
Wayne State University Law School

Michael Oeser '10
Associate Professor of Law
Atlanta's John Marshall Law School

Victoria Palacios '76
Associate Professor of Law
Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law

Stephanie L. Phillips '88
Professor of Law
University at Buffalo Law School
The State University of New York

Yusuf A. Salaam

Lahny R. Silva '11
Associate Professor of Law
Indiana University School of Law

D. Daniel Sokol '07
Professor of Law
University of Florida Levin College of Law 

Carmen R. Stanfield '93

Donald Tibbs '07
Associate Professor
Earle Mack School of Law at Drexel University

Winnie F. Taylor '79
Professor of Law
Brooklyn Law School

Susana L. Valdovinos '90
Director of the Office of Academic Personnel
Kansas State University

Ruth A. Witherspoon '82
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Visiting Professor
Barry University - Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law

Lua Yuille '13
Associate Professor of Law
University of Kansas School of Law

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