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.
Description: The International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) Westin Fellowship, which runs from September-August, may require the fellow to write a publishable work, such as a white paper, research report, or academic article on privacy. Candidates must have a background in privacy and an interest in pursuing it in the future.
Location: Portsmouth, NH
Compensation: About $43,000/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 (optional transcript) online
Deadline: 2/15/16 (applications will be accepted beginning on 12/16/15); will be reviewed when reviewed by the Vice President of Research & Education and the Research Director; IAPP will perform initial screenings, conduct interviews with selected candidates, and extend offers as soon as possible after 2/15/16; interviews may be held at the IAPP’s Global Privacy Summit in D.C. but could also occur earlier or in other places.
2017 Deadline: 10/14/16
Contact: Rita Heimes, Research Director, email@example.com
Description: ZwillGen fellows will work on Internet and surveillance issues pertaining to privacy. During their fellowship, they will complete one extensive writing assignment and also blog and participate in speaking engagements and client development. ZwillGen is looking for candidates who are driven and able to work in a fast-paced environment.
Location: Washington, D.C.
Application: Submit whatever materials you deem interesting or material to firstname.lastname@example.org
2017 Deadline: 09/30/16
Description: This 12-month fellowship starting September 2017 will expose you to lobbyists, subject matter experts, and attorneys that apply their expertise in a variety of public policy and governmental affairs areas, including but not limited to international trade, intellectual property rights protection, antitrust, compliance, telecommunication, internet safety, cyber-security, immigration reform, education policy efforts, state law initiatives, and corporate governance before Federal and State administrations, legislatures and agencies. As a Fellow at Microsoft, you’ll work within the U.S. Government Affairs Group in Washington, DC. You’ll have a broad range of responsibilities from across the group which may include:
• Conducting research across a wide-range of public policy topics other issues impacting business strategy.
• Working closely with government affairs team and attorneys to support government affairs strategic engagement plans and public policy agenda.
• Assisting in drafting memos, briefings and other materials for internal stakeholders or external agencies and partners.
• Attending association and think tank meetings and hearings.
• Collaborating with teams on cross-group projects.
Duration: 12 months starting September 2017
Application: Online form
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
Deadline: 12/21/15 at 11:59 PM
2017 Deadlines TBA
Description: Working collaboratively with faculty and senior research staff from the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, the fellow’s primary responsibilities will be to provide managerial support and substantive contributions to the Berkman Center’s research on the legal and policy dimensions of online privacy across multiple projects, with specific tasks including but not limited to:
● working closely with faculty and senior research staff from the Berkman Klein Center to coordinate, oversee, and conduct research, written project outputs, and publications;
● cultivating and supporting relationships between faculty and other experts in law, social science, applied mathematics, computer science, and other fields to understand legal and non-legal substantive issues, policy objectives, and regulatory mechanisms;
● planning, communicating, and implementing privacy-related workshops and convenings;
● managing the selection, oversight, and mentorship of student interns and research assistants; and
● developing plans and timelines to advance project priorities, meet deadlines, and
● providing additional project support.
The fellow will report directly to a Senior Researcher at the Berkman Klein Center.
Location: Cambridge, MA
Compensation: The annual salary is $48,000, and includes health and other benefits.
Application: Online form
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://cyber.harvard.edu/getinvolved/internships/privacy_tools
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: http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/getinvolved/internships_summer.
Location: Cambridge, MA
Description: 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.
Location: New York, NY
Application: Applications (by email) and inquiries should be addressed to ILI administrator Nicole Arzt, email@example.com, 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 begin reviewing applications on February 15 and continue until the positions are filled.
Contact: ILI administrator Nicole Arzt, firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit 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.
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: 1/31/16, but applications will be considered on a rolling basis, so the position could be filled before the deadline.
2017 Deadlines TBA
Description: Funds research on the economics of privacy and data security. Fellows are selected based on the quality of their research proposals, and are provided with honoraria over the course of a semester-long research project. Great for current students looking to get some part-time research experience.
Location: Arlington, VA (research can be conducted offsite)
Application: Research proposals should include a statement of issue to be addressed, the proposed methodology, as well as a discussion of the feasibility for completion by the following summer. Proposals should be no longer than three pages (not including charts, graphs, or bibliography).
Deadline: Research proposals are due October 14, 2016.
Description: The Stanford Center for Internet and Society periodically accepts applications for formal affiliations and fellowships based on ongoing research in the areas of net neutrality, cybersecurity, free speech, copyright, privacy, government surveillance, robotics and related topics. Positions are available for young practitioners, post docs, PhD candidates and other students for periods ranging from 1-2 years.
Location: Stanford, CA (research can be conducted offsite)
Application: Resume or CV and a statement of interest not to exceed 750 words. Applicants must propose a specific project integral to the Center’s mission and activities. The proposal should include specific output, criteria for success, and a timeline of at most two years.
Description: The Fellow will play an important role in supporting a major research initiative at the Center focused on examining various legal and policy issues related to improving government transparency, including the impact government transparency can have on privacy, cybersecurity, equality, and other important interests. The Fellow may also work with the UNC Law Library on privacy issues associated with the digitization of court records. The Fellow will assist in conducting non-partisan, interdisciplinary research on these and other topics, as well as organize conferences and events.
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
Compensation: The salary is $47,476 annually and is accompanied by the standard University benefits package and health care insurance for postdoctoral research scholars.
Duration: This is a two-year position with a possible renewal for a third year.
Application: Applications must be submitted through the position posting on the University of North Carolina’s Job Board. Applicants 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 4 references, and a cover letter summarizing the candidate’s relevant background and accomplishments and outlining his or her perceived fit with the Center.
Deadline: Applications will be reviewed beginning immediately and will continue until the position is filled. The successful candidate should be prepared to start no later than July 1, 2017, with a potential commencement date as early as January 1, 2017.
Contact: Media Law Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org
Description: The Institute for Privacy Protection, which was founded in 2016, operates under the leadership of Director and Professor Gaia Bernstein. The Institute seeks to educate consumers and businesses and to provide inter-disciplinary forums to address emerging privacy issues. As the Fellow in the Institute for Privacy Protection your duties would include:
- Developing educational materials for businesses and consumers about privacy threats and relevant privacy rights and legal requirements. These materials may be part of online courses and/or live events.
- Developing and coordinating an outreach and training project for youth, parents and teachers to educate them about privacy threats and appropriate online behavior. This project will include developing training materials, instructing law students and organizing the logistics of the outreach program in schools and other venues.
- Organizing and executing the activities of the Institute. The position requires planning meetings, collaborating with colleagues at Seton Hall University and with community representatives, tracking and reporting on spending and activities, development of materials about the Institute, responding to calls and mail to the Institute, helping to organize conferences, and general administrative support and project management. Organizing inter-disciplinary forums in which leading experts from legal academia, legal practice, psychology, engineering as well as consumer and business representatives will participate to discuss novel privacy threats and potential solutions.
- Developing additional programming, and providing administrative support for those programs, consistent with the Institute’s mission.
The Fellow reports to the Director of the Institute for Privacy Protection.
Location: The Institute is part of Seton Hall Law School, which is located in Newark, New Jersey. It is one block from Newark Penn Station (with trains and subway service to many parts of New Jersey and to New York City).
Compensation: The position includes a competitive salary and compensation package. Position is full-time. Flexible hours are available.
Application: Applicants must have (i) a Bachelor’s degree and; (ii) a J.D., LLM, other relevant Master’s or PhD degree, or at least three years of experience in the privacy field. We seek candidates with a strong academic record, excellent written and oral communication skills, and a commitment to education. Candidates must demonstrate an ability to be proactive and work independently. Strong organizational skills and the ability to perform and prioritize multiple tasks with excellent attention to detail are required. Experience in K-12 education or other youth programming is desirable.
To apply, please send a letter of interest, resume, list of three references, and a writing sample to the attention of Professor Gaia Bernstein at email@example.com.
Deadline: Interested individuals are encouraged to apply at their earliest convenience. Review of applications will begin November 15, 2016, and will continue until the position is filled.
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 fellows work with FPF staff to explore the challenges posed by technological innovation and develop privacy protections, ethical norms and workable business practices.
Location: Washington, DC
Compensation: Unpaid (occasional funding available)
Application: Send a cover letter and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadline: Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis
Description: The Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) Privacy, Surveillance & Security Fellow position is for one or two years and will consist of work on civil liberties, national security, and technology, specifically relating to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, and cybersecurity. The fellow will report to the Director of the CDT Freedom, Security & Technology Project. Candidates should have experience in national security, electronic surveillance, and computer crime law, especially ECPA, FISA, and CFAA.
Location: Washington, DC
Application: Send a cover letter and resume to email@example.com
Description: From August-October 2016, Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) Ron Plesser Fellows will serve two years working in consumer privacy, including Internet policy and civil liberties relating to relating to government ID programs, government access to data, and mobile applications. Candidates should express a commitment to public interest.
Application: Cover letter explaining interest in privacy, civil liberties, and Internet policy, resume, and two writing samples to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Plesser 2016 Fellowship” the subject line; two letters of recommendation will be required of certain candidates but can be submitted with the application
Deadline: 2/12/16; from January-February, semifinalists will be selected and interviewed on a rolling basis; from February-March, one or more finalists will be interviewed and the fellow will then be selected.
2017 Deadlines TBA
Description: The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) Law Fellowship is a one-year position involving work on administrative law, appellate advocacy, consumer privacy, international privacy, open government, and state policy. The fellow will help draft complaints, petitions, briefs, and testimony, work on FOIA requests, and write for EPIC’s website.
Location: Washington, DC
Application: Send a cover letter addressed to Alan Butler, EPIC Senior Counsel, resume, unofficial law school transcript, and a complete writing sample (legal such as a brief, memorandum, or research paper) to email@example.com with “EPIC Law Fellowship” as the subject line; letters of recommendation may be sent, but no more than two.
Description: Fellows spend ten months at an advocacy organization, beginning in September 2016 and ending in July 2017. The 2016 host organizations are the Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Technology Law, which is working this year on Internet freedom in eastern Africa and intellectual property in Nairobi, The Citizen Lab, which is seeking a fellow to work on technology and human rights issues, including Internet filtering and malware attacks in Toronto, ColorOfChange, which works on promoting net neutrality in New York, and Data&Society, which is seeking a fellow to work on the problems with massive technologies in New York, Derechos Digitales, which works on human rights and technology policy in Santiago, Chile, European Digital Rights, which focuses on spreading awareness about digital rights and use of mobile applications in Brussels, Freedom of the Press Foundation, which works on safe communication of journalists with whistleblowers in San Francisco, and Privacy International, which reviews surveillance documents and data and new technologies in London.
Location: Varies depending upon the host organization (Nairobi, Toronto, New York, Santiago, Brussels, San Francisco, or London)
Application: Online Form
Deadline: 3/20/16 at 11:59 PM
2017 Deadlines TBA
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: The Internet Law & Policy Foundry is an organization run by early-career legal and policy professionals in the field of internet law and policy. ILP Foundry Fellows form the foundation of the organization, setting the strategy and direction of the Foundry through participation in planning committees, events, and social media management.
Application: Prospective fellows are asked to submit their professional social media profiles, a brief statement of interest and links to any relevant published/public work.
Deadline: Applications for 2017 Fellows are due September 9, 2016.
Description: During the course of a one-year fellowship, a recent law school graduate will have the opportunity to work on cutting edge issues related to education data records. Primary tasks of the fellow include nationwide legislative tracking of privacy and data security bills, advising internal business owners on privacy and security regulatory compliance and best practices, and contract drafting.
Location: Herndon, VA
Compensation: $20,000, with the potential for a performance bonus
Application: Candidates can apply through an online form.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com with “Recommendation later for [applicant’s name]” in the subject line and must be received by 9/15/16; writing samples and references aren’t accepted but may be requested later.
Deadline: 9/15/16; phone interviews will be conducted in October 2016 and in-person interviews will occur at OGC headquarters in November/December; offers given around 12/15/16.
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: Online; upload your resume, most recent law school transcript, information about your undergraduate degree and any legal fellowships, previous DOJ experience, and other legal or non-legal experience; submit also a minimum of three references, law school courses, your qualifications,
Deadline: 9/6/16; In mid-October, candidates will start being interviewed and from late November until February, offers will be extended.
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: Interviews in Washington, DC at the FCC’s headquarters is preferred, but if travel is a problem, remote interviews may be possible.
Deadline: 9/16/16; Offers will be made in November and December 2016; employment begins in mid-October 2017
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. 24-26, 2016 in Washington, DC), an annual event that aims to bridge the silos between privacy and security.