Law

Fellowships

Fellowships

In addition to scholarships, renewable fellowships are offered to first year students as well as returning students. These fellowships offer in-depth, real-world experience to students interested in a range of specialized legal topics and career opportunities.

Cincinnati Law fellowships start either during the summer after your 1L year (OIP) or at the start of your second year of law school and continue through the 2L year. While opportunities to extend the fellowship beyond the 2L year may be available, we encourage students to also experience other clinics and externship through the College of Law.

2023 Deadline for Fellowship Applications: February 15


Corporate Law Fellowships

The Corporate Law Center selects three to five students each year to serve as Corporate Law Fellows. As part of their Fellowships, they:

  • Research current corporate law topics
  • Participate in activities to enhance their understanding of corporate law practice.

Each Fellow receives tuition assistance in exchange for their work with the Center. Fellows are among the most attractive students in our placement pool for firms, businesses and government agencies looking for attorneys with this specialized background.

The Corporate Law Center at Cincinnati Law connects opportunities in business and corporate settings— inside and outside of Cincinnati Law—to ensure that you get real-world insights about this high-demand field for legal professionals. The Corporate Law Center at Cincinnati Law consists of three primary components designed to give students:

  1. a broad foundation of substantive knowledge;
  2. the practical skills necessary to represent businesses in the new economy; and
  3. significant real-world experience.

These three modes of learning are integrated so that each experience complements the others. Our students also have many opportunities to learn from Business Law scholars and practitioners.

» Substantive Courses – As a Cincinnati Law student, you may elect to take a wide range of courses in business, corporate, and tax law. These courses provide you with a detailed foundation in the fundamental areas of Business Law, particularly the legal forms for business entities, tax, corporate finance, intellectual property, and contracts. We also offer a variety of specialized business courses for those seeking to focus in particular Business Law practices, such as labor and employment, health care, securities regulation, and mergers and acquisitions. The College of Law and the College of Business offer a joint degree whereby a student earns both a J.D. and a Masters of Business Administration in four years.

» Practical Skills – The practical skills program with the Corporate Law Center is designed to hone your expertise in the fundamental tasks that all business attorneys must master. The core of this program is our upper level writing program, where you will learn how to analyze, draft, and review complex commercial contracts in concise, understandable language. You will also practice counseling clients in a variety of simulated contexts in your client counseling workshop, and may elect to take a class on the fundamentals of accounting and finance, providing you with a critical foundation for understanding business issues that affect all clients.

The capstone of the skills program is a transactions course offered in your third year. Working in teams, you will negotiate, draft, and complete the sale of a private company from beginning to end. You may find it the most demanding — yet most fulfilling — course in your law school experience. Collectively, the skills program empowers you to hit the ground running on your first day of practice.

» Real World - Active Learning – The class experiences provide you the substantive knowledge and skills training necessary to become an outstanding business law attorney. However, training without real-world experiences is an incomplete education. At Cincinnati Law, we believe that you learn best by doing.

To that end, our Business Law program offers an incredible range of experiential opportunities that complete your transformation from law student to lawyer. We are fortunate to have a number of global companies based in Cincinnati, and Cincinnati Law has partnered with these companies to offer students a diverse range of externships and internships. You will have the chance, while in school, to work with major law firms and companies such as Procter & Gamble, General Electric, Kroger, and Fifth Third Bank. Perhaps the crown jewel of our experiential program is the Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic, where students obtain hands-on experience representing local small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs on transactional legal issues critical to their success. 

How to Apply: Incoming First-Years

Interested in applying for a Corporate Law Fellowship? Incoming students admitted to the College of Law can apply during the spring prior to the start of law school. Corporate Law Fellows are selected annually on the basis of academic performance and a demonstrated interest in the area. Fellowships are renewable.

Once you are admitted, you can apply for the Corporate Law Fellowship using this link.


Ohio Innocence Project Fellowships

Each year, the Ohio Innocence Project at Cincinnati Law, which ranks among the most successful projects in the Innocence Network, selects a team of 20 law students to serve as Fellows.

OIP fellows gain a wealth of hands-on experience. Under the supervision of an attorney, they review inmates’ applications to determine if a given inmate is innocent and that innocence can be proven in court. Students examine case files and review public records, learning how to perform legal research in a very real setting. OIP fellows work directly with clients and potential clients, and they visit them in prison one or more times in the course of the fellowship. If a case comes to litigation, students handle the court filings and assist OIP attorneys in material ways.

In the classroom component of the fellowship, students learn everything they need to know to perform their work for the OIP. They will also learn from OIP Director Mark Godsey about the causes of wrongful conviction and related issues in the US criminal justice system.

From May through August, the Fellows work 40 hours per week and receive a small stipend for their work. During the academic year, the Fellows work approximately 10 hours per week and receive class credit for their participation.

The Ohio Innocence Project was founded in 2003. Harnessing the energy and intellect of law students as its driving force, the OIP seeks to identify inmates in Ohio prisons who are actually innocent of the crimes they were convicted of committing. Innocence is often determined by DNA testing, but can include other types of evidence such as new witnesses, new expert testimony, or evidence of police misconduct. Once an inmate’s innocence has been established through investigation, the OIP sends the case back to court and litigates in the hope of obtaining the inmate’s freedom. Innocence Projects across the country have freed more than 250 wrongfully convicted inmates to date. The Ohio Innocence Project to date has helped 28 individuals obtain their long-sought freedom.

The faculty and administration at the College have created a robust academic program with a wide range of opportunities, both inside and outside the classroom, for students with an interest in criminal law and social justice. 

» Criminal Law Elective Course Offerings – Advanced Problems in Constitutional Law: Contemporary Constitutional Challenges; Antitrust; Appellate Practice and Procedure; Civil Rights Litigation; Computer Crime Law; Counterterrorism Law; Criminal Defense: Investigation and Discovery; Criminal Procedure I; Criminal Procedure II; Crimmigration; Evidence; Federal Courts; Introduction to Law and Psychiatry; Negotiations; Trial Practice; and White Collar Crime

How to Apply: Incoming First-Years

Incoming students admitted to the College of Law can apply during the spring prior to the start of law school. The OIP fellowship will be completed during the summer after your 1L year through the second year of Law School.

The application for OIP Fellowships does reopen each spring semester so current 1L's can also apply. 

Once you are admitted, you can submit your OIP fellowship application using this link.


Social Justice Fellowships

Social Justice Fellows at the Jones Center for Race, Gender and Social Justice are a select group of students who:

  • research current social justice issues
  • engage in coursework that involves legal analysis through the intersecting lenses of race, gender, class and sexuality
  • complete externships with local social justice organizations
  • benefit from a wide range of other opportunities on their journeys to become social justice scholars, leaders and activists.

Each fellow receives tuition assistance in exchange for work with the Jones Center for Race, Gender and Social Justice. Fellowships carry an annual stipend, currently $3,500 ($1,750 per semester).

Social Justice Fellows are required to enroll in two of the following three courses, at least one in their second year of study:

  • Critical Race Theory
  • Feminist Jurisprudence
  • Gender and the Law

Fellows must also participate in a three-credit research project sponsored by the Jones Center for Race, Gender and Social Justice; help with the Center’s annual fall event; and attend occasional programs throughout the academic year.

Are you called to serve? At Cincinnati Law, the Jones Center for Race, Gender, & Social Justice seeks to cultivate leaders, activists, and scholars committed to social change through the interdisciplinary and intersectional study of race, gender, class, and sexuality. If this is something that may be of interest to you, we encourage you to consider this unique opportunity.

To accomplish its mission, the Center's tools include coursework, research, and public interest work through the four components described below.

» Joint Degree Program in Law and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies– The first of its kind in the nation, the J.D./M.A. program gives students the opportunity to engage in a rigorous, interdisciplinary study of the law. At the College of Law, students take courses such as Feminist Jurisprudence; Gender and the Law; and Critical Race Theory. In the university’s Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department, students take courses such as Gender, Sexuality, and Public Policy; Third World Women; and Environmental Justice and Equality. Program students may also apply their coursework to “real world” problems by serving as externs at national feminist legal organizations such as Equality Now, a New York City based non-profit dedicated to ending violence against women and girls around the world.

» Domestic Violence and Civil Protection Order Clinic– Working in partnership with the Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati, clinic students have represented over 1,600 survivors of domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault, and human trafficking. Our students also have advocated successfully for greater city funding to address the harms of domestic violence.

» Freedom Center Journal – Students participating in this interdisciplinary journal gain valuable research and writing skills while examining the interconnected issues of gender, sexuality, race, and class. A joint, scholarly publication of the College of Law and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (located in Downtown Cincinnati), the Freedom Center Journal explores legacies of historic struggles for freedom in order to provide a better understanding of ongoing forms of subordination and to craft strategies for social change.

» Legal Participatory Action Research Program– The Center engages with community stakeholders to identify legal issues and develop strategies to address them. Currently, two ongoing projects are focused on addressing predatory lending and domestic violence, one focused on public defense reform, and another working with highly-policed communities to define and implement policies that promote “public safety” as the community defines it.

Substantive Courses– Civil Rights Litigation; Constitutional Law I; Criminal Law; Criminal Procedure; Critical Race Theory; Family Law; Feminist Jurisprudence; Gender and the Law; and Law, Literature, and Gender; as well as Bankruptcy; Contracts; Payment Systems; Sales; and Secured Transactions.

How to Apply: Incoming First-Years

Interested in applying for a Social Justice Fellowship? Incoming students admitted to the College of Law can apply during the spring prior to the start of law school. While we use the JD application in selecting fellowship recipients, your statement of interest and demonstrated commitment to social justice issues will play a significant role in the selection process.

Once you are admitted, you can apply for the Social Justice Fellowship using this link.


Urban Morgan Institute Fellowships

Each year, the Urban Morgan Institute awards 10 to 15 fellowships, divided approximately in thirds between 1L, 2L and 3L students at Cincinnati Law. The fellowships carry a stipend of $3,600 for the academic year, and a stipend of $3,000 - $3,500 for a summer externship after the first year of law school.

Decisions are based upon academic merit and take into consideration previous activities in the human rights field and proficiency in foreign languages, which are sometimes required for certain overseas placements.

Do you have a passion for global social justice? If so, we invite you to join students who come from around the country to be a part of the historic Urban Morgan Institute for Human Rights. Founded in 1979, the Urban Morgan Institute was the first endowed institute at an American law school devoted to international human rights law and has long been a world leader in legal education and human rights scholarship. If this is something that may be of interest to you, we encourage you to consider this unique opportunity.

For almost four decades, the Urban Morgan Institute (UMI) has educated and trained human rights lawyers who promote and protect human rights in the international arena. Established at the University of Cincinnati College of Law in 1979, the Institute now serves as a model for many other human rights programs. The Urban Morgan Institute offers many opportunities, both inside the classroom and beyond, for students who are interested in international law and human rights. At the core of the Institute’s success is the Human Rights Quarterly, recognized as the leading academic journal in the human rights field. The Quarterly covers the range of human rights issues encompassed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Published by The Johns Hopkins University Press, the Human Rights Quarterly is edited by Cincinnati Law students who are overseen by Professor Bert Lockwood, Editor-in-Chief and Director of the Institute.

The HRQ is unique in the law school world because you can join the staff in your first year. Recently Google ranked HRQ second in the international law field, and Project Muse ranked HRQ sixth out of 636 academic journals in terms of downloads of articles.

» Co-Curriculars Recently, UMI hosted “The Sir Nigel Rodley Human Rights Conference” that brought together important human rights advocates to pay tribute to the late Sir Nigel Rodley, one of the giants in the human rights field. The quality of the discussions of human rights issues was excellent, and UMI students played a pivotal role making our distinguished guests feel welcome in Cincinnati. UMI’s next major conference will be celebrating its 40th anniversary. Through the course of the year, human rights activists and delegations from around the world participate in our Distinguished Visitors Program. The format typically includes a dinner conversation with human rights students, and these dinners often become some of the students’ most informative and memorable moments in

law school.

» UMI Summer Experiences Students working on the Human Rights Quarterly may also choose to participate in our Summer Experience Program which provides placement opportunities in human rights organizations around the world. Cincinnati Law students have interned in places like Bolivia, Bosnia, Botswana, Chile, China, Colombia, Ireland, India, Nepal, South Africa, Spain, New Zealand, Switzerland, Thailand, The Netherlands, United Kingdom, and Uganda.

How to Apply: Incoming First-Years

Once you are admitted, you can apply for a Human Rights Fellowship using this link. Include your resume and a statement of interest explaining your interest in human rights (typically 1-3 pages, double-spaced).

How to Apply: Second and Third Year Students

Second and third year Cincinnati Law students will be notified regarding Morgan Fellowship application dates and procedures. You must apply each year for a Fellowship for the following academic year. Renewal decisions are based on academic performance as well as work as a member of the Human Rights Quarterly editorial staff.

“The fellowship really opened a lot of doors for me. It broadened and enriched the curriculum in very meaningful ways.”

Heather Heldman UMI Fellow, Class of 2015


Glenn M. Weaver Institute of Law and Psychiatry Fellowships

Each Spring, the Weaver Institute offers fellowships to law students who will be starting their second year of study at Cincinnati Law based on academic merit, school performance and a demonstrated interest in mental health law. Fellowships carry an annual stipend, currently $5,000.

Weaver Fellows learn about the identification, medical treatment and prevention of mental illness along with the many ways in which mental conditions take on significance in the legal system through:

  • formal coursework
  • special seminars with mental health professionals
  • guest lectures
  • meetings and community activities.

Weaver Fellows are required to take three, three-credit-hour courses:

  • Mental Health Law I & II, which must be taken consecutively during the first and second semesters of the Fellows’ 2L year.
  • Introduction to Law & Psychiatry, which can be taken Fall semester of the 2L or 3L year.

Weaver Fellows also must complete an independent research project that requires approximately half-day per week of work. The project will count for 2 to 3 credit hours depending on the project and resulting paper. Each Fellow completes two semesters of community involvement, beginning in the Spring of their 2L year, and continuing with a new placement during their 3L year.

How to Apply

If you are a prospective student or a 1L at Cincinnati Law, you can apply for a Weaver Fellowship during your 1L spring semester. Your application must include:

  • application (click on hyperlink for PDF document)
  • a transcript 
  • a resume
  • a writing sample
  • a personal statement explaining your interest in a Weaver Fellowship.

For your application to be considered, please turn in all materials electronically by 5:00 p.m. on  April 1 to the faculty assistant. 

The Institute director selects applicants for in-person interviews, after which Fellows are selected. This typically happens in April.

Whitman Fellowship

Thanks to the generous and continued support of Bruce B. & Ginny Conlan Whitman, the Whitman Fellowship provides a Cincinnati Law student with a stipend to work for an employer that specializes in representing individual plaintiffs and their families in personal rights litigation, tort and employment law, such as those injured by the negligence of another or wrongfully terminated from employment.  The Fellowship is now in its eighth year. 

The Whitman Fellow spends their summer working on substantive legal assignments under attorney supervision, supporting the employer’s work.  The goal of the Whitman Fellowship is to provide unprecedented experience and exposure to personal rights litigation (i.e. tort and employment law) and simultaneously provide support to a local practice. 

The UC College of Law is grateful for the opportunity this Fellowship provides, both to the student and to a local employer, in advancing this important area of legal practice.

 

How to Apply

Application details available in February.