Illinois Academic Fellowship Program

The Illinois Academic Fellowship Program prepares future legal academics, who spend one or two years in residence at the College of Law devoted to scholarly research and writing (under the close mentorship of Illinois faculty), teaching one course per semester, and fully participating in the College's famously rich intellectual environment. By treating Illinois academic fellows as the virtual equivalent of tenure-track faculty (although with a light teaching load and no administrative responsibilities) and providing them the support and counseling necessary to the development of a serious scholarly portfolio, we expect fellows to be competitive for tenure-track positions at leading law schools.

Beginning in 2014, new visiting assistant professors at the College of Law will be known as Larry Ribstein Fellows. 

Selection Criteria

Applications for the Illinois Academic Fellowship Program are invited from law school graduates, as well as Ph.D. recipients or candidates in any field who have a sustained academic interest in law's interaction with their discipline. Applicants may be students in their final year of law school or the final stage of a doctoral program, recent graduates, or persons with several years of law practice experience. The number of fellows will vary from year to year, and fellowship positions may be awarded for proposed scholarship in any subject matter area or using any methodological approach. Fellows will be chosen on the basis of an assessment of their potential, with appropriate support and mentoring, to obtain a tenure-track position at a leading law school. The University of Illinois is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity employer.

Scholarship and Teaching

Fellows will teach one class per semester. Depending on the interests of the fellow, the course may include traditional law school courses across the full range of the curriculum and/or seminars that focus on the research interests of the fellow. Each fellow's teaching package will be designed to provide meaningful preparation for the academic job market and to complement the current writing projects of the fellow, subject to the curricular needs of the College of Law.

Most importantly, fellows will receive substantial faculty assistance with their research projects; the opportunity to present works in progress to the faculty in a workshop setting; the opportunity to attend and participate in lectures, colloquia, symposia, roundtables, and faculty workshops; faculty advice and assistance in preparing for the academic job market; and, where appropriate, pairing with a faculty mentor. Assisting fellows in preparing a substantial piece of scholarship, with an emphasis on the "job talk" paper, is a primary goal of the Illinois Academic Fellowship Program.

The number of fellows will be limited to insure that each fellow will have substantial opportunities for direct interaction with senior and junior members of the faculty. The College of Law offers a rich intellectual environment with numerous faculty workshops and specialized speaker programs.

Fellows will be full participants in faculty workshops and similar programs.

Compensation and Benefits

Illinois Academic Fellows receive a salary and full benefits, including health insurance. Salaries will be competitive with those offered by similar programs at major research universities. Fellows also receive a regular faculty office and administrative and secretarial support. The University of Illinois College of Law is located in Champaign-Urbana, which offers a variety of affordable housing options in a college-town environment with rich cultural offerings.


Applications for the 2015-2016 academic year will be accepted between September 1, 2014 and January 15, 2015. Candidates should submit the following materials electronically by January 15, 2015 to Robert Lawless, Associate Dean for Research at

1. Curriculum vitae
2. Writing sample
3. Three letters of recommendation