Since 1973, the Supreme Court Fellows Program has enabled exceptionally talented people to contribute to the work of the Supreme Court of the United States, the Federal Judicial Center, the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, and more recently the United States Sentencing Commission. Founded by Chief Justice Warren Burger, the program provides fellows an opportunity to study firsthand both the administrative machinery of the federal judiciary and the dynamics of interbranch relations.
The Supreme Court Fellows Commission, a panel appointed by the Chief Justice, selects the Fellows. The Commission seeks outstanding individuals from diverse professions and academic backgrounds, including law, the social and behavioral sciences, public and business administration, systems research and analysis, communications, and the humanities. Professionals who will receive long-term career benefits from the experience and who are interested in improving both the operation of the federal judicial process and the public’s understanding of it are best suited for the fellowship.
As competition is intense, a degree of self-screening, according to the following criteria, is advisable. Candidates must have:
- at least one post-graduate degree,
- two or more years of professional experience with a record of high performance, and
- multi-disciplinary training and experience, including familiarity with the judicial process. (A degree of proven administrative ability is desirable for some assignments.)
Fellows must be bright, energetic, and highly motivated; original and flexible in their thinking; articulate speakers and capable writers; able to prepare quality staff work within tight deadlines; personable, discreet, trustworthy, and committed to serving the federal judiciary.
The commission will choose approximately eight finalists who will visit Washington as guests of the program in February for an orientation session, reception, and individual interviews with the Commission. Immediately thereafter, the Commission selects the fellows for the fellowship year.
Fellowship applications can be submitted by mail or online. Mailed applications must be postmarked by the November 30, 2012, deadline. Online applications must be received by the November 30, 2012, deadline.
Applications must include the following:
- a candidate information form
- a résumé highlighting academic, professional and personal achievements
- copies of no more than two writing samples on 8½ x 11-inch paper in a format that is easily reproduced
- a candidate statement of 700 words or less describing why you are applying for the fellowship, what you consider your major strengths and qualifications for the program, and what benefits you feel are likely to result from your participation
- three candidate evaluations forwarded directly to this address:
Supreme Court Fellows Program
Supreme Court of the United States
Washington, D.C. 20543