Center on the Administration of Criminal Law Student Fellowships 2021-22

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The Center’s mission is to promote good government practices in criminal matters at all levels of government.  In recent years, the Center has focused its work on (i) the proper exercise of prosecutorial power and discretion, and (ii) the proper exercise of resentencing mechanisms available to various federal, state, and local actors, including federal and state clemency and discretionary resentencing processes.  The Center pursues this mission through a mix of academic and public policy research and litigation advocacy. The academic and public policy components include producing reports and white papers on reforming the criminal legal system as well as hosting symposia and conferences to address significant topics in criminal law and procedure and enhance the public dialogue on criminal legal matters. The litigation component uses the center’s research and experience with criminal justice practices to inform courts in important criminal justice matters, particularly in cases in which exercises of prosecutorial discretion create significant legal issues.

Student Fellowships

The Center seeks to hire five rising 2L law students for the 2021-2022 academic year.  Student Fellows are paid a stipend for their work with the Center and will be involved in all aspects of the Center’s work, which could include: conducting research into various criminal legal topics to be included in white papers and policy reports; contributing to the Center’s sharing of expertise and research with external organizations and partners; assisting with the Center’s various public events on criminal legal reform; planning and organizing the Center’s annual conference, involving prominent academic scholars and practitioners; planning and organizing the Kenneth P. Thompson Lecture on Race and Criminal Justice Reform, which is co-hosted with the Center on Race, Inequality, and the Law; and assisting in research projects with practitioner and academic partners.  Fellows may also be involved in the Center’s long-term planning and the initiation of future projects.
In recent years, Student Fellows have assisted with the following:
  • Planning and organizing symposia focused on (i) mental health reforms and prosecutorial best practices, (ii) plea-bargaining reforms and prosecutorial best practices, and (iii) reforming major criminal justice practices to achieve sound public safety outcomes in line with Professor Barkow’s book, Prisoners of Politics: Breaking the Cycle of Mass Incarceration;
  • Conducting research with a District Attorney’s Office on prosecutors’ constitutional and ethical pretrial disclosure obligations pursuant to Brady v. Maryland and analyzing how the Office’s prosecutor offices often avoid or distort their obligations in practice; and
  • Conducting research on gubernatorial power to commute sentences and/or grant temporary reprieves in light of the public health threat posed by COVID-19.
In the 2021-22 academic year, the Center seeks to hire two second-year law student to serve as the Charles Stillman Fellow and Gus Newman Fellow, respectively.  The Stillman and Newman Student Fellows are selected based on their commitment to a career in public defense and/or criminal defense work, and they engage in all of the same work as the Center’s Student Fellows but do so with the generous support of Charles Stillman and the family of Gus Newman.

Application Instructions

Interested students should email Courtney M. Oliva ( the following by April 21, 2021:
  • Cover letter explaining why you would like to become a Student Fellow of the Center and your interest in criminal law and criminal justice reform;
  • Resume;
  • Unofficial law school transcript; and
  • List of two references with email addresses.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. Interviews will be conducted on a rolling basis and selections will be made by May 2021. NYU School of Law seeks to recruit and retain a diverse workforce. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status. To learn more about the Center on the Administration of Criminal Law, visit

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