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Program Overview


JURIST is launching Phase Two of the JURIST Digital Scholars (JDS) Program this summer as part of its ongoing commitment to connecting students for the global good and nurturing their research interests. We have proposed four challenge areas for our selected scholars to explore ranging from improving access to justice to protecting privacy in the digital age. See the call for applications here. Team submissions are strongly encouraged. To apply, send a proposal and the resume of each team member to JDS Program Director Ruth Wang at Applications submitted by May 23 will receive priority.

What is JURIST

JURIST has been the world's only law school-based news and commentary service since its founding at the University of Pittsburgh in 1996. Now an independent 501(c)(3), it is a unique collaboration of law students, law professors and professional editorial staff deploying 21st-century technology to support the development of robust and inclusive communities by promoting a broader and better understanding of law.

JURIST's rapidly growing network of dedicated law student volunteers from over 29 law schools on five continents works together every day in locations as distant as Los Angeles and Mumbai to connect citizens and policymakers to legal developments, documents and informed analysis they can trust. Accessible to anyone with an internet connection, readers from virtually every country in the world use this information to help them navigate and shape a changing world.

As researchers, writers, editors, developers and social media specialists, JURIST students broaden their intellectual horizons, enhance their communication skills and technical abilities, engage with people of diverse backgrounds, and build personal commitments to service that we hope will enhance and inspire their professional careers for the greater good.

Phase One of JDS (Summer 2020)

Soliciting junior scholars in this initial round, we received high-quality applications from students at 16 top schools across the US. We invited the applicants to use JURIST’s extensive archive and Google Analytics data to formulate and test their research proposals, and encouraged them to think broadly about how the projects they proposed could benefit the public and contribute to ongoing conversations in law, technology, and policy.

Based on the quality of those proposals, we selected an inaugural class of 15 JURIST Digital Scholars representing a wide range of technical skills and law and policy interests. This summer the JURIST Digital Scholars hail from:


  • Harvard Law School

  • Yale University

  • Stony Brook University

Each member of JDS Class of 2021 designed their own research projects and received mentoring in their chosen specialties. They built meaningful relationships with other Scholars doing complementary work, and shared the results of their investigations with JURIST’s global audience.

Scholars doing more quantitative work used their technical skills to creatively answer complex questions at the intersection of law and policy. Their research explored algorithmic bias, modeled the effectiveness of police reforms, analyzed reader engagement with legal articles, and use analytics to study the public’s understanding of the US Supreme Court. Scholars engaged in more qualitative research explored questions related to data governance and AI, use data and analytics to support research related to competition law, sustainability and trends in media coverage and public support for LGBTQ+ rights.

JDS would not be possible without the generous support of our dedicated team of external program mentors, who have had work and internship experience at Two Sigma, Datadog, Spotify, Facebook, JP Morgan and the US House of Representatives. Inside JURIST, support for JDS has been provided by JURIST Executive Director Megan McKee and JURIST founder and Editor-in-Chief Professor Bernard Hibbitts of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. 

JURIST is committed to a policy of non-discrimination. We encourage diversity in background and thought and are committed to creating an inclusive learning environment that fosters a range of thought. The ideas and views reflected in the program’s research do not necessarily reflect those of JURIST, its staff, or its donors.

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