Cornell University embraces diversity and seeks candidates who will contribute to a climate that supports students, faculty and staff of all identities and backgrounds. We strongly encourage individuals from underrepresented and/or marginalized identities to apply.

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Founded in 1887, Cornell Law School is a top-tier law school, currently ranked 13th by U.S. News & World Report. We offer a 3-year JD program for about 200 students per class, a one-year LLM program for about 90 students from countries throughout the world, and a doctoral (JSD) program for about 2-3 new students per year. Cornell Law School has 41 tenured and tenure-track faculty, including 20 with chaired faculty positions; and 15 clinical professors in the legal research and writing program and in clinics at the local, national, and international level. Our faculty is consistently ranked among the top in the country for scholarly productivity and influence, and has pre-eminence in many areas, including quantitative and qualitative empirical legal studies, international and comparative law, and robust doctrinal scholarship in core fields. Our school is committed to being recognized as the leader among law schools at combining inspiring theoretical, doctrinal, and experiential teaching with cutting-edge scholarship in a supportive, intellectually rich community, so that our graduates can achieve excellence in all facets of the legal profession.

The Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide provides transparent data on death penalty laws and practices around the world, publishes reports and manuals on issues of practical relevance to lawyers, judges, and policymakers, trains lawyers in best practices, and engages in targeted advocacy and litigation. The Center has gained a reputation for providing comparative legal analysis of the application of the death penalty, as well as for its one-of-a-kind Makwanyane Institute for capital defenders. Our Alice Project, which is the first global project to focus on women facing capital punishment, examines the role of gender in death penalty cases. By representing women before national and international tribunals, organizing judicial trainings, and through data collection and analysis, we are exposing the connection between gender-based discrimination and capital sentencing. Center staff and associated faculty continue to defend persons facing the death penalty around the world, with a combined caseload of dozens of death row prisoners. Students play a major role in our advocacy efforts through Professor Babcock’s International Human Rights Clinic. Generations of Cornell undergraduates and law students have contributed to our research, training, and individual case representation. More information is available at

The Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide seeks a Research Fellow for the 2022­–2023 academic year. This is an opportunity to become part of the core staff of one of the country’s leading centers on the death penalty and international law. The ideal candidate will have a demonstrated commitment to human rights and/or criminal justice issues and strong research, writing, and analytical skills.

This is a temporary, benefits eligible position for up to 40 hours a week, and is non-exempt. The hourly rate of pay will be based upon experience/qualifications and will be within the following range: $23.50-$26.00.

This role may be eligible for hybrid or remote, but in person work in Ithaca, NY, is preferred. Please note that the New York Convenience of employer guidelines require New York State individual tax reporting and withholdings for this position. Additional individual state income tax filings may also be required if working outside New York State.

What you will do:
The Research Fellow will have the opportunity to gain valuable experience working closely with the Center’s attorneys and will gain hands-on experience by:
  • Compiling empirical data and contributing legal analysis to the Center’s Alice Project on the rights of women facing capital punishment around the world;
  • Monitoring the press and social media for developments in death penalty law and practice;
  • Publication of blog posts
  • Supporting the training of African capital defense lawyers;
  • Advocating for the abolition of the death penalty and the protection of human rights law in creative ways, including through social media campaigning and event organizing; and
  • Conducting international and comparative legal research to contribute to the Death Penalty Worldwide Database, the world’s most comprehensive source of legal information on death penalty laws and practices.

Additional responsibilities may include:
Speaking and writing opportunities to communicate the Center’s research to a broader audience.

What we need:
Applicants must have:
  • A law degree from any jurisdiction, or a graduate degree in a related field (e.g. public affairs, international development, human rights, comparative law, etc.);
  • Excellent research, writing, and communication skills; and
  • A demonstrated commitment to advancing human rights.
  • French is strongly preferred but not required.