Law & Ethics Fellowship

The 2022 Law and Ethics Fellowship program will be held during the winter and spring terms. Fellows will discuss pending cases before the Supreme Court, new research on the Constitution and ethics, and attend our public lectures. Fellows will have the opportunity to meet our speakers while they are at the institute. The Institute plans to accept no more than 15 students. It is open to all undergraduates from all academic backgrounds.  Applications available November, 2021.

Applications available in the fall, 2021

2022 Law and Ethics Fellowship

2021 Law and Ethics Fellowship



Sonu Bedi
Session 1:  Does the First Amendment protect unethical behavior?  

(Sonu BediJoel Parker 1811 Professor in Law and Political ScienceProfessor of GovernmentHans '80 and Kate Morris Director of the Ethics Institute)



Vikram Bhargava
Session 2:  How should businesses respond to social media outrage directed at what their employees do-off duty?

(Vikram Bhargava, Assistant Professor, Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University)






Vincent Phillip Munoz
Session 3:  Should the Supreme Court overturn its precedence on religious exemptions in a pending case this term?   

(Vincent Phillip Muñoz, Tocqueville Associate Professor of Religion & Public Life, University of Notre Dame)







Nimu Njoya
Session 4:  What does dignity mean under human rights law when a state sterilizes individuals without their consent?  

(Nimu Njoya, Lecturer in Political Science, Williams College)


2020 Law and Ethics Fellowship

The Law and Ethics fellowship program is a two-term undergraduate program taking place over Winter 2020 and Spring 2020.  This year's theme is at the intersection of ethics, law and science.  The fellowship requires attendance at the events listed below, which include the public lectures, meetings with our speakers,  sessions on pending Supreme Court cases, and a session on new research in ethics.  As part of the fellowship, our fellows will also meet our lecturers prior to their lecture. Given the seminar style format of the fellowship meetings, we anticipate an enrollment of 15 students. The fellowship is open to all undergraduates, including first year students, from all academic backgrounds who have not participated in the program before. 


January 17, Introductory Fellows Dinner with Professor Bedi 6:30-8:30pm "Do we have a free speech right to encourage suicide?"

January 27Nina Tandon, (CEO EpiBone) Meeting with Fellows, 3:00-4:00pm. Public Lecture "Body 3.0 and the Ethics of Building with Biology", 4:30-6:00pm

February 14, Elizabeth Kamali, (Harvard Law), Fellows Dinner, 6:30-8:30pm "Is it wrong, under the Constitution, to abolish the insanity defense?" (pending case before the Supreme Court)

March 5, Mitchell Reich, (Hogan Lovells, LLC) Fellows Dinner 6:30-8:30pm "Is it wrong, under civil rights law, to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity?" (pending case before the Supreme Court)


April 15, Steven Pinker, (Harvard University) Meeting with Fellows, 3:00-4:00pm.  Public Lecture "Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress", 4:30-6:00pm.

May 8, Nimu Njoya, (Williams College) Fellows Dinner 6:30-8:30pm New Research in Ethics.

May 21, 2020Nita Farahany, (Duke Law) Lunch Meeting with Fellows, 12:30-1:30pm.  Public Lecture "Technology that Reads Minds: Understanding the Ethical and Legal Implications of Artificial Intelligence" , 4:30-6:00pm

May 28, Wrap Up Session, Fellows Dinner 6:30-8:30pm

2019 Law and Ethics Fellowship

Are you interested in discussing and learning about the relationship between law and ethics?  Are you interested in meeting the author of the Handmaid's Tale?  Are you interested in hearing from litigants who have argued current cases before the Supreme Court?  Are you interested in learning about cases involving the Eighth Amendment's ban on cruel and unusual punishment and excessive fines?  Or a case involving the Establishment Clause and the separation of church and state?   Are you interested in meeting with a CNN correspondent and former dean of admissions at Yale Law School?  Are you interested in engaging with new research in ethics? If the answer is "yes," you should consider applying for the Ethics Institute's 2019 Law and Ethics Fellowship Program. 

This undergrad student fellowship program will be a two-term program taking place over Winter 2019 and Spring 2019.  It is open to all undergraduates from all academic backgrounds. 

The fellowship is comprised of three parts.

Part I: Engaging with our Public Programming

Students will meet and hear from Margaret Atwood, author of The Handmaid's Tale who will be our Burt Dorsett Fellow and Asha Rangappa, Senior Lecturer at Yale, who will be our Roger S. Aaron lecturer.  








Part II:  The Supreme Court Workshop

Students will attend four sessions of the Supreme Court Workshop.  This workshop brings scholars and practitioners to campus to discuss cases currently before the Court, cases that raise issues that are at the intersection of law and ethics.  Learn more about last year's workshop. 


Sonu Bedi
Introduction to the Fellowship Program

Does the Constitution protect unethical behavior?  And why should we care?

Facilitated by Sonu Bedi, Hans Morris Director of the Ethics Institute on February 20, 2019.


Neal Katyal
American Legion v. American Humanist

Does the Establishment Clause of the Constitution permit the government to erect and maintain a Latin cross? 

Facilitated by Neal Katyal, Professor of National Security Law, Georgetown University Law Center on, March 1, 2019.  Katyal is one of the lawyers in this case.


Wesley Hottot
Timbs v. Indiana

Does the ban on excessive fines in the Eighth Amendment apply to states? 

Facilitated by Wesley Hottot, Attorney for the Institute of Justice, March 28, 2019. Hottot argued this case before the Court, his oral argument is here::


Norrinda Hayat
Madison v. Alabama

Does the ban on cruel and unusual punishment in the Constitution prevent the state from executing a prisoner who no longer remembers committing the crime?

Facilitated by Norrinda Hayat, Associate Clinical Professor of Law and Director of the Civil Justice Clinic at Rutgers Law, April 29, 2019.


                                   Part III:  Engaging with New Research in Ethics


Nina Windaetter
"Epistemic Injustice and Workplace Domination"

Facilitated by Nina Windgaetter, Lecturer in the Department of Philosophy, University of New Hampshire, April 9, 2019.        




2018 Law and Ethics Fellowship

Supervised by:  Sonu Bedi, Director of the Ethics Institute and Associate Professor of Government
Are you interested in some of the hot button issues the Supreme Court will decide this coming term involving cell phones and the Fourth Amendment, Trump's immigration ban, discrimination against same sex couples in providing wedding services, and the permissibility of political gerrymandering?  Do you want to engage with scholars in a seminar style format about the ethical issues these cases raise?  If the answer is "yes," you should consider applying for the Ethics Institute's Supreme Court Workshop.

Description:  The United States Supreme Court hears cases for the 2017-18 term from October to early spring, with decisions being announced later that year.  The Ethics Institute will conduct a workshop in Winter 2018 where students learn about some of these pending cases and the ethical issues they raise.  For each session, the Institute will bring a visiting legal scholar to discuss the case.   The speaker will be coming solely to meet with students in the workshop.  The Institute will provide dinner during the session.  The hope is that students will get a chance to learn about a pending case and to think critically about it before the Court announces its decision. No prior background in law is required. The workshop is open to all undergraduates.  This will be a unique opportunity for students to interact with leading legal scholars in a more informal, seminar style setting rather than a conventional lecture format.  These scholars will be coming from the University of Chicago Law School, Boston University School of Law, and the American University Washington College of Law.

The requirements of the workshop include:  attendance at all sessions, completion of selected readings before each session, and a commitment to participate fully during the session. Although students will not receive formal academic credit for the workshop, the Ethics Institute will confer a certificate of completion for those students who complete the workshop.  The enrollment cap is 12 students.

Case List

A session was devoted to each of the following cases:

Trump v. International Refugee Assistance

The Court will decide whether Trump’s immigration ban is a violation of the Establishment Clause of the Constitution.

Facilitated by Professor Sonu Bedi, Department of Government on January 17, 2018

Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission

The Court will decide whether wedding cake bakers have a constitutional right to refuse to serve same sex couples for religious reasons.

Facilitated by Professor Linda C. McClain, Boston University School of Law on February 27, 2018

Carpenter v. United States

The Court will decide whether the government violates the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution by accessing a cell phone’s GPS location without a warrant.

Facilitated by Professor Jennifer Daskal, American University Washington College of Law on February 16, 2018

Gill v. Whitford

The Court will decide whether political gerrymandering—crafting districts on the basis of political affiliation—violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution.

Facilitated by Professor Nicholas O. Stephanopoulos, University of Chicago Law School on January 29, 2018