Policing Project 2022-2023 Legal Fellows

Posted on

Policing Project 2022-2023 Legal Fellows


The Policing Project at NYU Law is seeking to hire Legal Fellows to join our team for the 2022-2023 academic year. This unique opportunity is open to current 1Ls and 2Ls (rising 2Ls and 3Ls). Legal Fellows commit to working approximately 10 hours per week during the Fall and Spring semesters and will receive a stipend of $5,000 for their efforts. 


The Policing Project’s Mission

The Policing Project partners with communities and police to promote public safety through transparency, equity, and democratic engagement. We work across a broad range of issues—from use of force and racial profiling, to facial recognition and predictive policing. We do so in close collaboration with groups from across the ideological spectrum and with stakeholders that typically find themselves at odds, including policing agencies, community organizations, governments, and other non-profits. Our work takes us all over the country and is moving the needle in tangible ways. 

We bring a new approach to this fraught area, one grounded in democratic values. In particular, our work focuses on ensuring accountability and democratic participation on the front end. Front-end accountability involves promoting public voice in setting transparent, ethical, and effective policing policies and practices before the police act. The goal is achieving public safety in a manner that is equitable, non-discriminatory, and respectful of public values.

We also are deeply involved in efforts to reimagine what public safety should look like. Too often government has turned to the police to address social problems, when armed officers are not the answer, but other social services—governmental and community-based—are. We have a national research and redesign effort underway, including deep engagement with impacted communities, to transform substantially what public safety means and how it is achieved.

Learn more about our work on our website: PolicingProject.org.


Responsibilities of Legal Fellows


Legal Fellows engage in a wide variety of work depending on the Policing Project’s priorities. Responsibilities include:

  • Conducting a range of factual and legal research for our litigation and emerging police technologies portfolios. Past projects include:
    • Legal research to help develop case strategy for impact litigation challenging unauthorized domestic surveillance program;
    • Researching First Amendment implications of an agency’s aerial surveillance program;
    • Factual research into the biometrics testing program developed by the Department of Homeland Security;
    • Factual research on emerging surveillance technology for the AI Ethics Board of a leading policing technology company.  
  • Drafting model policies, statutes, and public-facing materials. For example:
    • Drafting model use of force and automated license plate reader policies;
    • Outlining a regulatory framework for law enforcement use of private surveillance systems as part of a civil rights audit of a major tech company;
    • Authoring blog posts and explainers for our website.
  • Attending our public and closed-door events with opportunities to interact with key stakeholders and experts. Past events include:
    • Closed-door roundtable on legislative regulation of police reliance on “lateral surveillance” – private individuals using technologies to surveil one another, in ways that ultimately make that surveillance available to the police – featuring tech industry leaders, chiefs of police, and leading civil rights advocates.
    • Conference on private and public agency use of emerging biometric technologies attended by privacy advocates, legal experts, government officials, and tech vendors.


Legal Fellows will work closely with the Policing Project’s leadership team, including Professor Barry Friedman, and with other members of the Policing Project staff. Our work often requires close collaboration with both community groups advocating for police reform and with active police officials. Legal Fellows should be comfortable with this type of broad engagement.


Legal Fellows must commit to working approximately 10 hours per week throughout the academic year, attend Policing Project weekly staff meetings and any additional meetings pertaining to your projects through the year, and attend Policing Project public events (conferences, salons, etc.) as often as possible.


Application Instructions


To apply to be a Legal Fellow, submit a cover letter, resume, transcript, and at least two references to info@policingproject.org. We are requesting a short writing sample (no more than 10 pages). Indicate “Legal Fellow Application” in the subject line. Applications are due by April 15, 2022, and will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the positions are filled. 


Alumni of our legal fellow program are available to provide additional information and answer applicant questions. They may be contacted at:


Nick Tonckens, ngt237@nyu.edu

Paula Ajumobi, pa1394@nyu.edu

Brandon Vines, brandon.vines@columbia.edu


The Policing Project heartily welcomes applicants from diverse background and is an equal opportunity employer. We do not discriminate on the basis of age, citizenship status, color, disability, marital or parental status, national origin, race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation. 

EOE/AA/Minorities/Females/Vet/Disabled/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity.