The Volokh Conspiracy

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Apply for the 10th Annual James Wilson Fellowship

"The Institute will make a place for up to 15 Fellows who are law students, clerks, or lawyers and legal academics only a few years out of law school."


I am happy to pass along this announcement from my friends at the James Wilson Institute:

10th Annual James Wilson Fellowship

August 6-11, 2023

Washington, D.C. Area

Deadline to Apply: April 19, 2023

Professor Hadley Arkes, joined by other distinguished scholars, will offer an in-person seminar over six days in the Washington, D.C. area, on Natural Law and its bearing on our jurisprudence. The course will focus on discussing the central points of a jurisprudence of Natural Law, such as the classic connection between the "logic of morals" and the "logic of law," the properties of moral truths and the principles of judgment, and how we would see certain landmark cases differently if they were viewed through the lens of Natural Law. Our main objective is to restore a moral coherence to our jurisprudence.

Topics discussed in past seminars have included, "The Natural Law, the Positive Law, and the American Regime"; "The Natural Law and Ordinary Language: Recovering the Philosophic ground for the Restriction of Assaulting Speech Acts"; "Abortion, Privacy, and the Law: Who is the Bearer of Natural Rights?'"; and "Religion and the Law." To read the biographies of our 2022 faculty, please visit here.

The Institute will make a place for up to 15 Fellows who are law students, clerks, or lawyers and legal academics only a few years out of law school. Each Fellow will receive a $500 stipend and additional funds partially to defray travel expenses. Accommodations, most meals, and entertainment will be provided. 


Please submit the following package of materials to be considered for the James Wilson Fellowship. An electronic package of materials in PDF files isgreatly preferred, though not required:

  1. Personal Information: Full name, DOB, mailing address, preferred telephone number, and email.
  1. Resume/CV: Undergraduate and graduate education with degrees expected, professional experience, fellowships, internships, awards, and publications.
  1. Personal Statement: In 500 words or fewer, please explain what draws you to the Fellowship for the James Wilson Institute and this project on the recovery of Natural Law: why are you interested in spending a week with peers studying Natural Law and its connection to our jurisprudence? Have you done any reading on the subject, or are you interested in acquiring a firmer hold on it? Have you read any of Professor Arkes's writings, with his own perspective on Natural Law?
  1. Legal Writing: A journal article, legal brief, course paper, or other relevant piece excerpted up to 15 pages.
  1. Contact Information: Two References, Academic or Professional.
  2. Official Academic Transcripts: All undergraduate and graduate work may be submitted separately from the application package via undergraduate and graduate transcript services.

All electronic application materials may be emailed to: Fellowships at 

All physical application materials may be sent to: 

James Wilson Fellowship, Attn: Garrett Snedeker, 124 S. West St., Suite 200, Alexandria, VA 22314 

A complete application package is due no later than 11:59 pm on April 19. Candidates will be notified no later than April 28. 

Please email any questions to staff at