Oyez Scholars Program

A paid research assistant program for outstanding first-year students with Oyez.org, a multimedia resource providing free, open access to the Supreme Court of the United States

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Oyez Scholars Program

Suggested Application Deadline: Friday, April 18, 2014
Applications received after 4/18 will be considered as long as seats remain in the program

The Oyez Scholars Program selects outstanding first-year students to serve as paid Research Assistants for Oyez.org during the first year of law school. Established in 1997, Oyez serves as a multimedia resource providing free, open access to the Supreme Court of the United States. Oyez.org and its mobile apps offer plain-English case summaries, decision information, opinions, and transcript-synchronized audio recordings dating back to 1955. The site receives 7.2 million annual visits and is linked to by NPR, The New York Times, and CNN.

Much of Oyez's content is created by student researchers. As part of Oyez Scholars, a new paid program, students will be able to gain familiarity with the Court by direct contribution. From case summaries to in-depth Court analysis on contemporary topics, students will learn crucial job-related skills. Former Oyez student researchers have gone on to work for the White House, Jones Day, Latham & Watkins, Venable LLP, and clerk for federal judges on U.S. District Courts, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and at the Supreme Court of the United States for Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr.

Oyez's founder, Jerry Goldman, designed the database to serve as a civics education tool. Goldman is a research professor of law at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law and spent thirty-six years teaching political science at Northwestern University. Built with research grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and Google, Oyez's comprehensive Court profile and media archive of 15,000+ hours provide open access to those who need it most - the public.

Oyez Scholars will work approximately ten hours per week during the fall and spring semesters and will be paid $11 per hour. The total compensation will be approximately $3,080. (The final total will vary depending on the actual number of hours worked).

Application Process

Up to five Oyez Scholars will be selected for the 2014-15 academic year. To apply for the Oyez Scholars Program, please submit the following materials by email to the Office of Admissions (admissions@kentlaw.iit.edu):

  • Resume
  • Cover letter describing your background and interest in the Oyez Scholars Program
  • Essay of 1-2 pages that answers the following question: "What challenges do you expect are involved in communicating the work of America's legal institutions, like the Supreme Court of the United States, to average members of the public? How would you address these challenges?"

Candidates for the Oyez Scholars Program must apply and be admitted to Chicago-Kent College of Law for the 2014 entering class. If you have not yet applied to the law school, you must submit the online application in addition to the Oyez Scholars application materials.

Selection

The Oyez Scholars selection committee will review the applications and invite select candidates to interview for the program. Interviews may be completed on campus in conjunction with one of the small group admitted student visit days on April 25 and May 2. Candidates may also arrange for a Skype interview.