About The Fellowship
Harvard Law School invites applications for the Berger-Howe Fellowship for the academic year 2017-2018. Eligible applicants include those who have a first law degree, who have completed the required coursework for a doctorate, or who have recently been awarded a doctoral degree. A J.D. is preferred, but not required. We will also consider applicants who are beginning a teaching career in either law or history. The purpose of the fellowship is to enable the fellow to complete a major piece of writing in the field of legal history, broadly defined. There are no limitations as to geographical area or time period.
Fellows are expected to spend the majority of their time on their own research. They also help coordinate the Harvard Law School Legal History Colloquium, which meets four or five times each semester. Fellows are invited to present their own work at the colloquium. Fellows will be required to be in residence at the law school during the academic year (September through May).
Applicants for the fellowship for 2017-2018 should submit their applications and supporting materials electronically to Professor Bruce H. Mann.
Applications should outline briefly the fellow’s proposed project (no more than five typewritten pages) and include a writing sample and a curriculum vitae that gives the applicant’s educational background, publications, works in progress, and other relevant experience, accompanied by official transcripts of all academic work done in college and at the graduate level. The applicant should arrange for two academic references to be submitted electronically. The transcripts may be sent by regular mail to Professor Mann at Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138.
The deadline for applications is February 15, 2017, and announcement of the award will be made by March 15, 2017.
The fellow selected will be awarded a stipend of $38,000.
The Berger-Howe Fellow for the academic year 2016-2017 is Nikolas Bowie. He received a B.A. in history from Yale University with a B.A. After graduating from Harvard Law School, he clerked first for Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and then for Justice Sonia Sotomayor of the Supreme Court of the United States. He is currently completely his dissertation on the history of corporate personhood in the history department at Harvard.
The Berger-Howe Fellow for 2009-2010, Deborah Dinner, received her B.A., J.D., and Ph.D. from Yale. She was a law clerk to Judge Karen Nelson Moore on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and a Golieb Fellow at NYU. During her fellowship year she worked on her dissertation, “Pregnancy at Work: Feminism, Maternalism, and the Shaping of Sex Equality Law, 1966-91.” She is currently an associate professor of law at Emory University.
Kara Swanson, the 2008-2009 Berger-Howe Fellow, earned a B.S. in molecular biophysics from Yale, an M.A. in biochemistry and J.D. from Berkeley, and a Ph.D. in the History of Science from Harvard, where her dissertation was entitled “Banking on the Body: Milk Banks, Blood Banks, and Sperm Banks, 1910-1980.” She clerked for Judge William H. Orrick, Jr. of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California and for Judge Cecil F. Poole of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. She is currently professor of law at Northeastern University.
The Berger Fellows for the academic year 2007-2008 were Cynthia Nicoletti and Owen Williams.
Cynthia Nicoletti received her B.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Virginia and her J.D. from Harvard. During her fellowship year, she completed her dissertation, “The Great Question of the War: The Legal Status of Secession in the Aftermath of the Civil War, 1865-1869.” She is currently an associate professor of law at the University of Virginia.
R. Owen Williams received his A.B. from Dartmouth and a M.A. in philosophy from Cambridge University. After a career at Salomon Brothers and Goldman Sachs, he returned to the academy and earned a Ph.D. in History from Yale. During his fellowship year, he completed his dissertation, “Unequal Justice Under Law: The Supreme Court and the First Civil Rights Movement, 1857-1883.” He is the President of Transylvania University.
The Berger Fellow for 2006-2007 was Diana I. Williams, who received her A.B., M.A., and Ph.D. in the history of American civilization from Harvard. During her fellowship year, she revised her dissertation, “They Call It Marriage: The Interracial Louisiana Family and the Making of American Legitimacy.” After a year as assistant professor of history at Wellesley College, she is now assistant professor of history and law at the University of Southern California.
The inaugural Berger Fellow for 2005-2006 was Daniel J. Sharfstein, who received his A.B. in American history and literature and African-American studies from Harvard and his J.D. from Yale in 2000. During his fellowship year, he worked on the manuscript that became his book, The Invisible Line: Three American Families and the Secret Journey from Black to White (Penguin, 2011). He is now professor of law at Vanderbilt University.
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