The Crowley Scholars Program provides Fordham Law School students with a unique opportunity to combine the academic study of international human rights with the practical participation in a two week overseas human rights fact-finding study conducted at the end of the spring semester.
Crowley Scholars participate in all aspects of the Crowley Program in International Human Rights. Scholars take the basic international human rights law course in the Fall semester, and enroll in a special Crowley International Human Rights Seminar in the Spring. The Crowley Seminar examines a specific human rights issue in that year’s chosen focus country. In the two weeks following the end of Spring semester exams, Crowley Scholars and faculty participate in a two-week overseas fact-finding study which results in a report written by the Crowley Fellow and Leitner Center faculty. Past Crowley Program reports can be reviewed on the Crowley Program webpage.
Students participate in all aspects of the project, including substantive and logistical preparation for the two-week fact-finding study. During the fieldwork, Scholars interview government officials, academics, community leaders, judges, lawyers, representatives of non-governmental organizations, and other stakeholders. After the fieldwork, Scholars assist the Crowley Fellow in preparing the report that documents findings and provides recommendations.
Project Subject Matter
The subject of the 2014–2015 Crowley Project will be decided in the fall of 2014 by the Crowley Fellow in conjunction with the Leitner Center faculty.
The 2012-2013 project focused on disability rights in Rwanda. Past projects have investigated pre-trial detention in Bolivia, mental health and human rights in Cambodia, women’s housing rights in Tanzania, land rights in Nepal, domestic violence in New Zealand, the feminization of HIV/AIDS in Malawi, women, customary law, and constitutionalism in South Africa, educational access and segregation of Roma in Romania, access to health care in Kenya, social and cultural rights in Bolivia, civil rights in Malaysia, women’s inheritance rights in Ghana, criminal defendants’ rights in Mexico, the rule of law in Hong Kong, and torture and extra-judicial killings in Turkey. For more information, visit the Crowley Program webpage.
Fordham Law School 1L students (Day or Evening) or 2L Evening students may apply to the Crowley Scholars. Students are designated as Crowley Scholars during their 2L year (for Day students) or 2L/3L year (for Evening students).
Application to or acceptance in the International Human Rights Clinic does not prejudice a student’s candidacy for the Crowley Scholars Program.
Terms and Conditions
The Crowley Program requires a serious commitment of time and energy during both semesters of the year and over the summer. Potential applicants should think carefully about their other obligations (academic and otherwise) before deciding to apply.
Specifically, Crowley Scholars must agree to undertake the following responsibilities:
- Enrollment requirements
- Fall: Crowley Scholars must take the basic 3-credit international human rights course.
- Spring: Crowley Scholars enroll in the 3-credit Crowley International Human Rights Seminar taught by the Crowley Fellow with other Leitner Center faculty.
- Office hours: Crowley Scholars are required to undertake regular office hours for the Crowley Fellow at the Leitner Center during the fall and spring semesters.
- Attendance at Leitner Center events: Crowley Scholars must attend all Leitner Center events, including the weekly brown bag lunches and periodic lectures, panel discussions, and conferences.
- Participation in Crowley Project:
Crowley Scholars participate in the Crowley Program’s annual fact-finding study at the end of the Spring semester that is lead by the Crowley Fellow and other Leitner Center faculty. The trip is usually conducted during the two weeks following the end of exam period. All expenses are covered by the Leitner Center. Students’ grades in the Crowley Seminar are not contingent on participation in the two-week fact-finding study.
- After the trip, and over the summer, Scholars assist the Crowley Fellow by typing up interview notes, among other tasks. These tasks do not interfere with completing summer associate positions or other internships.
- In the following fall semester, Scholars help to finalize the project, publicize the project report, and participate in additional advocacy projects. Scholars are also expected to assist the Crowley Fellow in monitoring and reporting on changing conditions in the subject country during the year following the fact-finding trip.
Crowley Scholars are also strongly encouraged to enroll in additional human rights courses and to undertake human rights-related internships, writing projects, and independent studies.
The extended application deadline for the 2014-2015 Crowley Scholars is April 14, 2014.
Applicants should submit one complete application package consisting of four (4) copies of the following:
- Cover letter: A one- to two-page letter stating your interest in the Crowley Scholars Program, relevant past experience and background, and your summer plans, and what you hope to gain from the experience.
- Résumé or CV
- References: Contact information for two references.
Undergraduate transcript (official or unofficial)
- Letter authorizing the Registrar to release your law school transcript to the Crowley Scholars Program Selection Committee. The letter should be captioned, “Authorization of Transcript Release,” and should state, “I, [your name], give my permission for the Office of the Registrar of the Fordham University School of Law to release my academic transcript to the Crowley Scholars Program Selection Committee in connection with my application to the Crowley Scholars Program.” The letter should be signed and dated by you and include your social security number and dates of attendance at Fordham Law School.
- Writing sample: You may submit a paper from your legal writing class, an unedited scholarly paper from your undergraduate studies, or another substantial piece of writing that has only been edited by you.
A small number of applicants will be selected for interviews in late spring or early summer.
Evaluation and selection
Six to eight students are selected as Crowley Scholars each year. Applications are evaluated by a committee that may include Professor Martin Flaherty, Professor Tracy Higgins, Executive Director Elisabeth Wickeri, Crowley Fellow Brian Tronic, and other faculty at the Leitner Center.
Applications will be evaluated based on the student’s demonstrated interest in international human rights (prior coursework and academic study, internships and jobs, planned work, experience abroad or in international communities); maturity, discipline, and organizational skills; academic performance.
Please contact Crowley Fellow Brian Tronic at firstname.lastname@example.org with further questions.