One way to enter the privacy profession is to do a fellowship, and fortunately, an increasing number of fellowship opportunities are emerging.
I have written about the challenges of breaking in to the privacy law profession, especially the challenges that recent law school graduates will face. There are no established career paths in this field yet, so it takes some effort to get started. Once you’re in the club, you’ll be in big demand, but there’s a bottleneck at the entrance. This is why fellowships can be a great way to kick start a career in privacy law.
Here are a few fellowships related to privacy that I’m aware of. If you know of others I should add to the list, please email me.
FELLOWSHIPS AT PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS
Description: The IAPP Westin Fellowship Program was created in 2013 to encourage and enable research and scholarship in the field of privacy. Applicants from all disciplines are encouraged to apply. Previous research, coursework or experience in privacy law, information technology, sociology, marketing or business may be useful. Applicants must be U.S. citizens, permanent residents or be authorized to work in the U.S. The one-year fellowship generally begins and ends in August.
Approximately half of the time will be devoted to selected research topics, the other half focusing on substantive IAPP projects. Fellows are present in the IAPP office working closely with the Research and Publication teams. Occasional travel to IAPP events will be part of the fellowship experience. A white paper, research report, academic article or similar publishable deliverable may be completed as part of the fellowship. All work product is expected to be of very high quality, appropriate for publication through professional or academic channels, as well as useful to practicing privacy professionals.
Location: Portsmouth, NH
Compensation: About $45,000/year depending on credentials plus an employee benefits package
Application: Submit a resume, personal statement, two letters of reference, a recent publication or example of work and transcript online. Once you have received confirmation of your resume and personal statement submission, please email the following supporting documentation to Diane McDonough, Leadership Coordinator, at WestinFellowship@iapp.org:
Two letters of recommendation
Recent publication or example of work
Deadline: Applications will be reviewed as received by the Vice President of Research & Education and the Research Director. The IAPP will perform initial screenings, conduct interviews with selected candidates, and extend offers as soon as feasible after October 18 (the original deadline), but applications will still be accepted until the position is filled.
Contact: Rita Heimes, Research Director, firstname.lastname@example.org
FELLOWSHIPS IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR
Description: ZwillGen, a leading boutique law firm specializing in the intersection of law and technology, is seeking candidates for its 2018 Fellowship Program. The program presents a unique opportunity to work with and learn from some of the most experienced privacy and data security lawyers representing the biggest names in technology.
The ZwillGen Fellow position is for attorneys who have graduated from law school (or will have by June 2019), taken the bar exam (or will have by July 2019), and are new entrants into the workforce as full-time attorneys. Applicants must have a zeal for all things technology and have taken some relevant classes in law school on technology-related subjects such as data privacy, cybersecurity, cyber-surveillance, copyright, or mobile applications. Experience working with a technology company or organization is a plus.
ZwillGen Fellows work closely with ZwillGen attorneys on a variety of cutting edge and legally challenging Internet privacy, security and surveillance issues. Because ZwillGen Fellows wear a variety of hats, we are looking for someone that is not only able to provide high-quality legal analysis in a concise and cogent manner, but also someone who is motivated and enthusiastic and embraces a fast-paced and lively environment. A good sense of humor and a desire to work hard and have fun are a must. Fellows are expected to engage in client development, speaking and writing engagements, blogging, teaching, marketing, assisting with development of firm forms and precedent materials, and generally helping out around the firm. They are also required to complete a substantial writing assignment (either a law review article or significant journal article) during the Fellowship.
Location: Washington, D.C.
Duration: 12 months
Compensation: A salary of $90,000-$100,000, commensurate with experience.
Application: Qualified and interested candidates should submit to email@example.com whatever materials they deem interesting and material to our consideration of their candidacy, which should include, at a minimum, a cover letter, resume, law school transcript, and professional references.
Deadline: 10/11/2019. Applications submitted after the deadline may still be considered at our discretion.
FELLOWSHIPS IN ACADEMIA
Description: The Berkman Center Fellowship begins in September and continues until May, although individuals may be able to extend for additional terms. Fellows generally work on Internet issues.
Application: Send a resume, personal statement that should explain your interest in a fellowship and outline proposed work during the fellowship (roughly 1,000-1,500 words or a multimedia equivalent), copy of a recent publication or example of work related to Internet research (paper, chapter, or presentation instead of a complete book or dissertation); explain also your disciplinary background (up to two disciplines), five tags that describe ideas on which you want to work during a fellowship, and Berkman projects of interest; two letters of recommendation should be sent from recommenders.
Location: Cambridge, MA
Description: The Privacy Tools Project develops ways for scientists to share research data for producing open, replicable science without compromising the privacy of the individual research subjects whose data is used. Past students have written and contributed to publishable research papers in this fast-moving field, and we expect the same in future years.
Prospective Legal Research Assistants – The Privacy Tools team at the Berkman Klein Center regularly seeks law students at the start of each semester to help with research and analysis on privacy law and policy issues. Under the direction of project team leaders, student tasks may include researching and writing short memoranda on selected topics in law, summarizing recent publications in professional journals, and attending lectures and events with the larger project team. For more information, please visit: https://privacytools.seas.harvard.edu/students-interns-postdocs-and-visitors
Summer Research The Berkman Klein Center looks for law students to help the Privacy Tools Project research data privacy issues. Successful applicants will participate in the Berkman Klein Center’s full time, 10-week summer internship program. Applications are typically due in early February. For more information, please visit: https://privacytools.seas.harvard.edu/students-interns-postdocs-and-visitors
Location: Cambridge, MA
Description: The Information Law Institute at NYU is accepting applications for research fellowships to begin in Fall 2018. The initial fellowship term is for one year, with the possibility of renewal for a second year. Applicants should hold a law degree or a Ph.D. in a relevant area, and show interest and promise in conducting research and writing. We will give preference to applicants with demonstrated interest in ILI areas of focus, including privacy, algorithms and automated decision-making, and information/data ethics and politics.
Research fellows will devote time to their own research, to collaborative projects, and to planning ILI events. Teaching may be an option, depending on availability and interest. Collaborative projects will be supervised by ILI faculty.
Fellows are expected to reside in the New York area, participate in Information Law Institute activities, attend weekly meetings of ILI’s multidisciplinary Privacy Research Group, and participate in regular Fellows’ meetings. They will also have ample opportunity to interact with faculty in the School of Law and other departments at NYU, and to take part in the lively intellectual life of the university and New York City.
Application: Applications (by email) and inquiries should be addressed to ILI administrator Nicole Arzt, firstname.lastname@example.org, and should include: a CV, copies of 2 relevant publications or writing samples, a transcript of graduate work (unofficial is acceptable), the names and contact information of three references, and a cover letter summarizing the candidate’s relevant background and accomplishments and outlining his or her perceived fit with the ILI.
Deadline: We will review applications on a rolling basis until the positions are filled.
Contact: Further information about the ILI and the Privacy Research Group can be found at http://www.law.nyu.edu/centers/ili/index.htm.
Description: CTIC Fellows, who receive an entire year of funding from the National Science Foundation and may apply for renewal, will complete at least one original piece of writing and teach one class for every year of funding. They will also be involved in drafting CTIC reports. Although this fellowship is billed as ‘postdoctorate,’ JD’s are welcome to apply.
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Application: Send a detailed research proposal, writing sample(s), resume, graduate school transcripts, and two references (at least one must be academic) to email@example.com; while electronic applications are preferred, candidates may also send a hard copy to:
Center for Technology, Innovation and Competition
University of Pennsylvania Law School
3501 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6204
Deadline: Applications will be considered on a rolling basis, so the position could be filled before the deadline.
FELLOWSHIPS IN PUBLIC INTEREST
Legal Internships for Spring 2019
Description: The Future of Privacy Forum (“FPF”) is a non-profit organization that serves as a catalyst for privacy leadership and scholarship, advancing principled data practices in support of emerging technologies. FPF brings together industry, academics, consumer advocates, and other thought leaders to explore the challenges posed by technological innovation and develop privacy protections, ethical norms and workable business practices. FPF helps fill the void in the “space not occupied by law” which exists due to the speed of technology development. As “data optimists,” we believe that the power of data for good is a net benefit to society, and that it can be well-managed to control risks and offer the best protections and empowerment to consumers and individuals.
FPF seeks legal interns to support Policy Counsel responsible for developing and evaluating data practices in the consumer and commercial sector by shaping corporate practices, engaging with regulators and government agencies, and providing thought leadership in a variety of settings. Issue portfolios may include privacy concerns related to current commercial and consumer technologies such as – but not limited to – Big Data and the Internet of Things, connected cars, student data, ad tracking, mobile location data use, smart cities, deidentification standards, algorithms, and biometrics and AI.
Location: Up to 5 positions, located in the Washington D.C. office.
Duration: Internship start and end dates are flexible.
Application: To apply, please send your resume and cover letter to HR@fpf.org.
Deadline: Applicants are encouraged to apply asap as applications are considered on a rolling basis.
Description: FPF works to advance responsible data practices. Staffed with experts in law, technology, and public policy, FPF operates on the belief that technological innovation and new uses of data can help solve big societal problems and improve lives. Technological innovation must be accompanied by fresh privacy thinking, so that it is possible to build a world where technological innovation and privacy can coexist. We work to reach consensus on ethical norms, policies, and business practices to address new privacy challenges. This Fellowship is designed to equip recent law school graduates with the skills to succeed in the privacy law profession, and to provide private and public employers with privacy professionals of exceptional knowledge, understanding, and commitment to privacy and individuals.
The fellowship is a one-year, public interest position for recent law school graduates committed to the advancement of responsible data practices. Candidates are selected based on both academic qualifications and a commitment to the personal qualities exemplified by Elise – collaboration with co-workers, peers and the broader privacy community and a commitment to ethical conduct. The Elise Berkower Fellow focuses on consumer and commercial privacy issues, from technology-specific areas such as advertising practices, drones, wearables, connected cars, and student privacy, to general data management and privacy issues related to ethics, de-identification, algorithms, and the Internet of Things.
Location: Washington, DC
Application: Send a cover letter and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org
Description: FPF established the Christopher Wolf Diversity Law Fellowship in dedication to the vision and commitment of Christopher Wolf, founder of the Future of Privacy Forum. Chris Wolf is widely recognized as a pioneer in Internet law. This Fellowship is also in recognition of Chris’ dedication to diversity and non-discrimination. Chris has worked throughout his life to fight discrimination, bigotry, and bias. He is a national leader of the Anti-Defamation League, leading an international fight against online hate. He has also been a leader of NGOs committed to serving diverse people in need and to promoting equality, and his law practice has included a variety of pro bono cases.
The Wolf Fellowship actively seeks applicants of diverse races and color, people of diverse national origins, LGBTQIA persons, and women. The Wolf Fellowship is distinguished by its commitment to bring diverse perspectives to FPF’s work on contemporary privacy issues. The Wolf Fellow will focus on consumer and commercial privacy issues, from technology-specific areas such as drones, wearables, connected cars, and student privacy, to general data management and privacy issues related to ethics, deidentification, algorithms, and the Internet of Things. Responsibilities may include filing comments on proposed regulatory actions, researching and analyzing US and European privacy issues, developing industry best practices or standards, and tracking consumer privacy legislation.
The Wolf Fellowship is a two-year fellowship for recent law school graduates committed to the advancement of personal privacy and interested in data management, advancing technology, and Internet policy. It will be located in FPF’s Washington, DC office.
Location: Washington, DC
Application: Send a cover letter and resume to email@example.com
Description: The Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT)’s Fellows program is an opportunity for academics to engage directly with and inform our policy work. Our Fellows represent a wide range of academic fields and disciplines, reflecting the tremendous impact technology has on all aspects of life. CDT Fellows commit to a two-year, non-resident engagement and must be affiliated with an institution of higher education. Fellows participate in quarterly policy strategy calls and are regularly invited to join tele-briefings around emerging issues. They are also encouraged to contribute original writing to CDT’s blog and explore collaborative research projects with our policy teams. In addition to providing a platform for publishing fellows’ work, CDT commits to provide regular updates on key tech and internet policy developments, engage Fellows directly in relevant working groups, and offer expert insight relevant to research interests. All Fellows are also invited to attend CDT events, including our Annual Dinner, Tech Prom, as a our guest.
Description: EPIC invites outstanding applications for the 2020 EPIC Law Fellowship. EPIC encourages applications from law students graduating in 2020, recent graduates, and judicial clerks.
The EPIC Law Fellow will fill an integral role in EPIC’s Washington, DC office. The Fellow will work on various EPIC Projects in areas such as Administrative Law, Appellate Advocacy, Consumer Privacy, International Privacy, Open Government, and State Policy. Creative, highly motivated, and accomplished law school graduates are encouraged to apply.
The EPIC Law Fellowship is a one-year position to begin September 2020, with the possibility of renewal for a second year.
Location: Washington, DC
Applicants should prepare a cover letter, resume, unofficial law school transcript, and writing sample. The writing sample should be legal in nature (brief, memorandum, or research paper) and should be the applicant’s own work, not a collaborative piece or something heavily edited by someone else. Please send the complete document, not an excerpt. Letters of recommendation are welcome and encouraged, not to exceed more than two. Applications to be submitted via email should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “EPIC Law Fellowship.” Please direct cover letters to Alan Butler, EPIC Senior Counsel. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.
Description: Google annually sponsors summer fellowships with an array of privacy-related policy organizations such as the Center for Democracy and Technology, Access Now, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and many others.
Location: Varies depending on the host organization.
Application: Online applications vary depending on the host organization.
Deadline: This year’s deadline was March 15. The details for next year’s program have not been published.
Description: Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Honors Attorneys are hired for a two-year term beginning in October in which they will experience six-month rotations (one is at DHS headquarters in one of the Office of General Counsel’s divisions: Immigration, General Law, Intelligence, Legal Counsel, Technology Programs, Regulatory Affairs, Ethics, Operation and Enforcement, and National Protection and Programs and three others will be at different OGC components—FEMA, TSA, USCIS, USSS, USCG, CBP, ICE, and USCG). Candidates will gain experience in litigation, administrative law, commercial law, procurement law, legislative and regulatory drafting, maritime law, immigration law, enforcement law, and national security law during the program.
Location: Washington, DC
Application: Cover letter addressed to Honors Attorney Program Manager, resume, law school transcript (unofficial accepted) to email@example.com in separate PDF attachments to your email; PDFs should be saved you’re your last name, first name, and the document title (Doe Joe Resume, Doe John Cover Letter, Doe John Transcript); “[Last name First name] Honors Attorney Application” in the subject line; optional recommendation letter may be attached or sent separately to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Recommendation later for [applicant’s name]” in the subject line and must be received by 9/15/18; writing samples and references aren’t accepted but may be requested later.
Deadline: August 1, 2019 until September 3, 2019.
Other Relevant Information: Can apply for permanent positions after 18 months and if there are special circumstances, after one year.
Description: The FBI’s Office of General Counsel offers entry-level positions for law school students as part of the DOJ’s Honors Program. Honors attorneys will do a two-year rotation in the following specialties: cyber law, national security law, employment law, civil litigation, fiscal and property law, science, technology, and investigative law. Immediately afterward, the Honors attorney will be placed in one of these units within the FBI’s Office of General Counsel. Applicants must pass an FBI background investigation and maintain a Top Secret security clearance.
Location: Washington, DC
Application: The application opens on July 31st and closes Sunday, September 8, 2019
Deadline: September 8, 2019.
Description: Honors attorneys will be trained for two years in communications law and policy, helping draft decisions in adjudicatory and rulemaking matters, working on international negotiations, and also representing the FCC before other government agencies, Congress, and in the private sector. Those selected will be assigned a bureau or office based upon their interests, qualifications and the FCC’s needs. Honors attorneys may be permitted to rotate within the agency once their first year is complete. After the two years, they may be considered for permanent employment at the FCC.
Location: Washington, DC
Application: Applications are accepted from August 1, 2019 through September 17, 2019. Interested candidates should submit the following materials in a single email to Honors.Program@fcc.gov: a cover letter explaining your interest in and qualifications for the Honors Program, resume, writing sample (preferably not more than 15 pages), current official or unofficial law school transcript, and a list of three professional references (with both phone and email contact information).
- To expedite processing of your application, please save each of the required documents as a separate PDF file, with your last name as part of the file name.
- The subject line of the transmittal email submitting your application should include: “AHP 2019 Application.”
- Selected applicants may be invited for interviews. While we prefer interviews to be held at the FCC’s Headquarters in Washington, D.C., remote interviews are available if travel to Washington, D.C. is a hardship. We typically begin selecting candidates for interviews in October/November, and begin making offers before the end of the year. This tentative timeline is subject to change. Participants who enter the fall 2020 class will be expected to begin their employment with the agency by mid-September 2020.
Deadline: September 17, 2019
If you know of other fellowships I should add to the list, please email me.
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This post was authored by Professor Daniel J. Solove, who through TeachPrivacy develops computer-based privacy training, data security training, HIPAA training, and many other forms of awareness training on privacy and security topics. Thanks to Ariel Glickman for research assistance with this list.
Professor Solove is the organizer, along with Paul Schwartz of the Privacy + Security Forum (Oct. 3-5, 2018 in Washington, DC), an annual event that aims to bridge the silos between privacy and security.