Clara Belfield and Henry Bates Overseas Fellowships

DEADLINE:  Monday, November 3, 2014


Due to the generosity of Helen Bates Van Tyne, the Law School has an endowment for assisting recent Michigan Law graduates or law students with two or more years of legal study to travel abroad for study or work experience that exposes them to legal and political institutions overseas. Students may apply for grants to enable them to pursue professional internships with international or government agencies, nongovernmental organizations, or other legal or political institutions in foreign countries. Although less common, applications may be considered for the pursuit of legal studies abroad, including independently designed research projects.  Proposals are accepted for design-your-own projects/study as a 3L or post-graduation.  This means projects can take place during a student's second summer, immediately after graduation, post-clerkship, etc.  Proposals for projects of various types and requiring various lengths of time are welcome. However, students may not seek Bates Overseas Fellowships for externships or study abroad programs for academic credit toward the student's JD. Fellowships are awarded on a competitive basis; an award is not guaranteed.

Examples of previous fellowship awards have included support for internships with international agencies, human rights organizations and law offices in foreign countries; and comparative legal study and teaching assistantships at universities throughout the world. Some projects have lasted up to a year. Most have involved an opportunity abroad for three to six months between the bar examination and the beginning of a permanent job. Still others have been short-term visits of six weeks, for example, to enable a student to complete an already well-developed research project. Normally awards are not made to fund work at private law firms. These examples are intended simply for illustration. We anticipate that students will develop their own opportunities to meet their individual goals, not simply replicate a prior internship, unless a previous internship is particularly well suited to the applicant's goals.

Application Process

Interested students should submit a proposal; resume; an unofficial Law School transcript; current term study list (may be obtained from the Law School Office of Student Records); at least one letter of recommendation from a member of the Law School faculty; and an invitation letter from the internship agency, academic institution, research supervisor or equivalent (if available), to the Center for International and Comparative Law, 212 Hutchins Hall, by Monday, November 3, 2014. Late applications will be considered if funds remain available. Please submit your proposal and resume electronically to Stephanie Wiederhold at Letter(s) of recommendation may also be submitted electronically to Ms. Wiederhold. The invitation letter from the internship agency, academic institution, research supervisor or equivalent (if available) may also be submitted electronically to Ms. Wiederhold followed by an original paper letter. In addition, please be sure to complete the Bates Fellowship Application Cover Sheet. This may be submitted electronically to Ms. Wiederhold as well.

The proposal should include a complete description of the student's proposed project or internship abroad; the exact dates of the proposed visit; relevant study and work experience; relevant language skills; and other relevant information. It should be sufficiently detailed to permit the selection committee to evaluate the quality and feasibility of the proposed project or program. Students do not need to have a track record of experience abroad to be considered. However, the proposal should describe how the project or program will contribute to the student's professional development.

If the student is proposing an internship, the proposal should include a description of the agency and a detailed description of the nature of the work the student will be performing. In addition, the application should include the amount of fellowship requested, an estimate of expenses necessary for the proposal, including a line-item budget for living expenses and round-trip travel to the program's location (based on the most economical fares), and a list of other fellowships applied for or received. The fellowship is intended to cover travel, housing, and subsistence (e.g., food and basic living expenses). If other expenses are included in the budget, the applicant should explain why they are necessary.

The proposal should mention the employment the applicant will pursue immediately following the Bates Fellowship, if known. If not yet known, the proposal should describe the type of post-Bates employment the applicant is seeking.

The fellowships are awarded in varying amounts. They have varied in size from several hundred dollars to approximately $12,000. Fellowships do not always cover the full project expenses of those applicants who receive awards. Therefore, all applicants are encouraged to apply simultaneously for alternative sources of funding. Students should know that Bates Fellowship Awards are taxable income. For questions concerning the fellowship or your proposed project, contact Roopal Shah, Assistant Dean for International Affairs, at or 734.764.5269. Her office is located in 212 Hutchins Hall.

Examples of Bates Overseas Fellowship Awards

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