Applications for Summer 2024 are Complete

Winter 2025 Fellowship Applications will begin in late August 2024. 

The 12th Annual Summer James Wilson Fellowship

Washington, D.C. Area, August 3-9, 2024

Deadline to Apply: April 17, 2024

In partnership with First Liberty’s CRCD, JWI Co-Directors, Profs. Hadley Arkes and Gerry Bradley, joined by other distinguished scholars, will offer an in-person seminar over seven days in the Washington, D.C. area, on Natural Law and its bearing on our jurisprudence. The course will focus on discussing the central points of a jurisprudence of Natural Law, such as the classic connection between the “logic of morals” and the “logic of law,” the properties of moral truths and the principles of judgment, and how we would see certain landmark cases differently if they were viewed through the lens of Natural Law. Our main objective is to restore a moral coherence to our jurisprudence.

Fellowship topics fall into two categories: the first half of the week focusing on the foundational principles of Natural Law jurisprudential reasoning, and the second half centering on the practical applications of that reasoning to issues arising in our constitutional order. Sessions include, though are not limited to:

  • The Natural Law, the Positive Law, and the American Regime
  • Moral Truth and Constitutional Conservatism
  • Judicial Supremacy, Departmentalism, and the Modern Court
  • After Dobbs, the Natural Law Moment
  • The Moral Ground of the Free Economy
  • Backing into Relativism on Speech and Religion
  • Transgenderism and the Test of Truth

The seminar-style sessions are taught by an all-star faculty, led by JWI Co-Directors Hadley Arkes and Gerry Bradley. To read the biographies of our 2023 faculty, please visit here.

For a sample schedule of the Fellowship, please visit the link here.

The Institute will make a place for up to 15 Fellows who are law students, clerks, or lawyers and legal academics only a few years out of law school. Each Fellow will receive a $500 stipend in addition to funds partially to defray travel expenses. Accommodations, most meals, and entertainment will be provided.

The Fellowship provides participants with the opportunity to network, not only with other like-minded members, but also with our faculty and our alumni. Completing the Fellowship means you are added to the ranks of over 165 alumni from around the world, connecting you with a community of like-minded lawyers who care about the role of the Natural Law and the American Founding in modern jurisprudence.


Please submit the following package of materials to be considered for the James Wilson Fellowship. An electronic package of materials in PDF files is greatly preferred, though not required:

1. Personal Information Full name, DOB, mailing address, preferred telephone number, and email.

2. Resume/CV Undergraduate and graduate education with degrees expected, professional experience, fellowships, internships, awards, and publications.

3. Personal Statement In 500 words or fewer, please explain what draws you to the Fellowship for the James Wilson Institute and this project on the recovery of Natural Law: why are you interested in spending a week with peers studying Natural Law and its connection to our jurisprudence? Have you done any reading on the subject, or are you interested in acquiring a firmer hold on it? Have you read any of Prof. Arkes’s or Prof. Bradley’s writings, with their perspectives on Natural Law?

4. Legal Writing A journal article, legal brief, course paper, or other relevant piece excerpted up to 15 pages.

5. Contact Information Two References, Academic or Professional.

6. Official Academic Transcripts All undergraduate and graduate work; may be submitted separately from the application package via undergraduate and graduate transcript services.

All electronic application materials may be emailed to: Fellowships at JamesWilsonInstitute.org

All physical application materials may be sent to:

James Wilson Fellowship, Attn: Garrett Snedeker, 124 S. West St., Suite 200, Alexandria, VA 22314

A complete application package is due no later than 11:59 pm on April 17. Candidates will be notified no later than May 1.

Please email any questions to staff at jwinst.org

A note before applying: The James Wilson Fellowship is a semi-annual Fellowship, meaning that beginning in 2024 the Institute will offer the same program twice a year, once in the Summer and once in the Winter. Applying for the program during one season does not preclude previous applicants from applying during the next application cycle. We encourage multiple applications, so if you are not accepted for this cycle, please feel free to apply for the next! Those who have applied previously and opt to renew their application will be invited to be considered at the start of the next cycle.

If you are interested in the Fellowship or wish to be kept updated about applications for the Summer and Winter programs in the future, please subscribe to our reminder list at the link here.


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