BELS Fellowship

The Center for the Study of Law and Society

The application period for the 2024-2025 academic year
is February 7 - April 19th, 2024 

The Center for the Study of Law and Society (CSLS) at Berkeley Law is pleased to announce the Graduate Fellowship in Empirical Legal Studies for the Academic Year 2024-2025. The University of California Berkeley has long been associated with innovative empirical research on law, at least since the founding of the Center for the Study of Law and Society by Philip Selznick in 1961. CSLS is one of the headwaters for the law and society field and empirical legal studies. Today, Berkeley Empirical Legal Studies (BELS) is characterized by a rich interdisciplinary approach that seeks to ground empirical analysis theoretically and embrace a broad range of methods, both quantitative and qualitative. 

BELS Fellows will be doctoral students drawn from a wide range of disciplines across the UC Berkeley campus, including those in the Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities, Biological Sciences, International Studies and Area Studies, Schools of Public Health, Business, and Public Policy, Colleges of Natural Sciences and Engineering, as well as from the School of Law (PhD, JD and JSD). We anticipate ten to twelve (10-12) Fellows will be selected annually. 

Eligibility: UC Berkeley doctoral, JD, and JSD students engaged in theoretically-informed, empirical research projects that investigate the origins, dynamics, and/or consequences of law and law-related social institutions. Preference will be given to students who will be in their third year or beyond during the period of the Fellowship. We welcome projects that use quantitative and/or qualitative methodology, and address contemporary or historical contexts. Students are expected to be in residence at UC Berkeley for the duration of the period they hold a BELS Fellowship. 

The benefits of the Fellowship are: 

1) A research fund of $2,000 to offset expenses related to the research process (e.g., purchase of data sets, transcription and/or coding costs, purchase of equipment such as tape recorders, purchase of video tapes, research related travel costs, subject costs, copying expenses, computer software, etc.). Salary may not be funded by the Fellowship. 

2) Monthly BELS Fellows Workshops led by CSLS Faculty Director KT Albiston where Fellows will present and discuss their research. Fellows will also have the opportunity to attend and participate in CSLS activities, such as the Empirical Methods Mini-Series, the CSLS Speaker Series, and other conferences and events. 

3) Opportunities for informal scholarly exchange with other Fellows from many UCB departments, faculty members from Berkeley Law and other units on campus, and with many of the visiting scholars doing research at CSLS. 

Visit the links below for more information about the application process and to access application materials.

BELS Fellowship Information

BELS Fellowship Application Cover Sheet

Application Procedure

For further information: 

If you have questions about the application process, contact

For questions about your eligibility, your research project or the BELS Fellowship, please contact Professor Catherine Albiston, CSLS Faculty Director, at