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We are excited to announce that applications for the Legal Priorities Project (LPP) Summer Research Fellowship in Law & AI 2023 are now open. For 8–12 weeks, participants will work with researchers at LPP on how the law can help to mitigate existential risks from artificial intelligence. Fellows will receive a stipend of $10,000.

If you are interested in carrying out research in this field and are considering using your career to mitigate existential risks, particularly those from AI, we invite you to apply. The application deadline is July 6 at 11:59 pm Anywhere on Earth; however, we will consider applications and select fellows on a rolling basis, so we encourage you to apply as early as possible. Current students are encouraged to check their academic calendars and apply with enough time to complete the fellowship, or as much of it as possible, before classes resume.

We look forward to receiving your application!


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SRF 2023

The following six fellows were part of the 2023 cohort: Kevin Frazier (Assistant Professor, Crump College of Law), Nick Caputo (JD at Harvard ‘24), Andrew Steen (JD/MBA at Harvard ‘25), Emily Hua (JD at Harvard ‘25), Matteo Pistillo (LLM at Stanford ‘23), and Dan Bateyko (PhD at Cornell ‘28). This year's smaller cohort allows us to supervise all fellows more closely and integrate them into our ongoing research projects.

About Us

The Legal Priorities Project is an independent, global research and field-building project founded by researchers at Harvard University. We conduct strategic legal research that mitigates existential risk and promotes the flourishing of future generations, and we build a field that shares these priorities. Significant ongoing developments in the world, including rapid advances towards transformative AI, have led us to increase our focus on risks from artificial intelligence.

Our teammates are affiliated with top law schools and private research centers worldwide, such as Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Oxford, Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México, Strathmore University, OpenAI, the Centre for the Governance of AI, and the United Nations, among others.

At LPP, you will enjoy a highly interdisciplinary and friendly research environment and will work together with intellectually curious colleagues who deeply care about doing the most good they can through law. You can learn more about our recent work and future priorities in our latest annual report.

About the Fellowship

You will take the lead on a research project, with mentorship and support from other LPP researchers. We will support you in deciding what project and output will be most valuable for you to work towards, for example, publishing a report, journal/law review article, or blog post. We also expect fellows to attend regular meetings, give occasional presentations on their research, and provide feedback on other research pieces.

Fellows will have the opportunity to select a research topic from a list prepared by LPP. Potential research topics for the summer may include:

  • Tort law liability, including strict liability for abnormally dangerous activities, for activities related to the development and dissemination of transformative AI.
  • Product liability law as a way to address harms from transformative AI.
  • The role of litigation in mitigating risks from transformative AI.
  • Potential obstacles for AI regulation presented by the major questions doctrine.
  • First Amendment issues related to AI regulation.
  • The design of a new international organization, similar to the IAEA or CERN, for the international governance of AI.
  • The legal authorities of agencies in the United States government to address risks from transformative AI.
  • The influence of different jurisdictions on the development and dissemination of transformative AI.
  • Developing a syllabus for a course on law and transformative AI.

This list of topics is non-exhaustive, and is presented to give an overview of the types of research we are interested in. Fellows will further define the research question at the beginning of the fellowship.

In exceptional cases, we are open to research project proposals relevant to existential risk in one of our other focus areas.

Selection Criteria

We are looking for graduate law students (JD or LLM), PhD candidates, and postdocs working in law. Students entering the final year of a 5-year undergraduate law degree are also welcome to apply.

We strongly encourage you to apply if you have an interest in our work and are considering using your career to study or mitigate existential risks, particularly those from transformative AI. Candidates will be expected to apply their research capabilities and legal knowledge to AI governance, but are not required to have previous experience or expertise in AI.

In addition to a willingness to engage with existential risks from AI, the ideal candidate will have the following strengths:

  • Ability to carry out self-directed research with limited supervision.
  • Excellent written communication skills.
  • Excellent problem-solving and critical thinking skills.

If you're not sure about applying because you don't know if you're qualified or the right fit, we would encourage you to apply anyway.

Further Details

  • Funding: You will receive a stipend of $10,000 for the entire fellowship.
  • Duration: Fellows can choose a period of 8–12 weeks starting as early as July and ending as late as October 2023.
  • Work quota: This is a full-time role with flexible working hours. We will also consider exceptional candidates who are only able to join on a part-time basis but for a longer period of time. Students whose classes resume during the fellowship may complete it part-time during the semester.
  • Location: Remote. We will consider applicants from all countries.
  • Diversity and equal opportunities: LPP is committed to providing an inclusive and equitable work environment, and we encourage individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences to apply. We especially encourage applications from women, gender minorities, and Black, Brown, Indigenous, Latinx, and other people of the global majority who are excited about contributing to our mission. We are an equal opportunity employer and welcome applicants of any race, religion, age, origin, class, citizenship, parental status, disability status, sexual orientation, and gender.
  • Requests for accommodation: If you are unable or limited in your ability to apply for this fellowship as a result of a disability or incompatible assistive technology, please contact us at careers@legalpriorities.org to request reasonable accommodations.

Application Process

We have done our best to make the application process as simple and time-efficient as possible. We plan to evaluate applications on a rolling basis, so we encourage you to apply as early as possible and by July 6 at 11:59 pm Anywhere on Earth at the latest.

First stage: Please complete this simple application form. The form asks you to:

  • Submit your CV
  • Briefly answer the following four questions (max 750 characters each):
    • How familiar are you with the existing discourse around existential risk from AI?
    • What motivates you to research how the law can help to mitigate existential risk posed by AI? Discuss the potential implications and challenges associated with this area and how you believe your skills and background can contribute to addressing these risks.
    • Are there any topic(s) you would particularly like to work on during the fellowship, and if so, why?
    • What career paths are you considering, and how could the SRF further your career goals?
    • These responses can be completed quickly. We aren't looking for perfect essays! We're looking to get an impression of what you're thinking about, what you care about, and how you'd approach the program.

  • Optionally share previous writing samples (which need not relate to our focus areas).

We will aim to send invitations to the interview stage within two weeks of receiving your application.

Second stage: This stage will consist of one or two short online interviews. We plan to make the final decision shortly after that. You can let us know if you need an earlier decision, for example in order to begin and complete the fellowship before classes resume.

In exceptional cases, we can consider fellows joining us off-season or during the winter.

If you have any questions about the process, please contact us at careers@legalpriorities.org. We very much look forward to receiving your application!


If you have a question that isn’t listed here, contact us anytime at careers@legalpriorities.org. We would love to hear from you!

While previous editions of the SRF have focused on a broader range of topics in existential risk and the legal protection of future generations, recent changes in the existential risk landscape merit prioritizing AI. Expected timelines for the development of transformative AI have significantly shortened based on breakthroughs, analyses, and forecasts from various lines of evidence. Since the deployment of ChatGPT, Bing Chat/Sydney, and GPT-4, an increasing number of high-profile AI researchers have spoken about their concerns, and legal academics and policymakers are more open and motivated to take AI and its risks seriously. Additionally, recent years have seen greater convergence in relevant research communities on what might be robust interventions in the AI risk space (e.g., safety evaluations, licensing schemes, tort law, and comprehensive compute governance). This provides a fertile starting point for LPP and Summer Research Fellows to contribute specific legal insights and proposals to reduce AI risk.

We already have a good sense of what research questions would be both impactful and a good fit for a summer fellowship, so you will select a research topic that fits your skills and interests from a set of topics prepared by LPP. That said, if you have a research proposal that you believe could reduce existential risk from transformative AI, we would love to know more about it and invite you to include it along with your application.

In exceptional cases, we may consider research project proposals relevant to existential risk in one of our other focus areas.

Fellows primarily work on their research projects with close mentorship from an LPP researcher. We value teamwork and encourage everyone to collaborate and give feedback to other researchers whenever possible. Fellows are welcome to come up with their own ideas on how to improve the SRF, which could include:

  • Starting reading groups
  • Having one-on-one conversations with LPP researchers and other fellows
  • Organizing social events
  • Giving talks or hosting workshops on any topics you may be interested in

Fellows can expect to work alongside supportive and kind colleagues who deeply care about doing the most good they can through law. We communicate mainly through Slack, Zoom, and a virtual office in Gather. We care about creating a friendly atmosphere where everyone feels comfortable expressing their ideas openly and challenging others. Past fellows have highlighted this friendly and supportive atmosphere.

You can find a list of previous fellows and their projects here (SRF 2021) and here (SRF 2020).

You can read comments by past fellows and a summary of feedback here.

We support fellows in their aim to publish their research projects in law reviews, peer-reviewed journals, our working paper series, our blog, and similar publication venues. You may instead submit an internal report of your findings at the end of the fellowship. For some research topics, this may be the preferred option.

Yes. Indeed, we may be able to connect you to relevant policy-makers in your field.

The fellowship can be a great way to explore possibilities for future collaborations, as we may continue to support specific projects through grants. We may also consider hiring fellows who have demonstrated a strong commitment to our work and values. Fellows may also be invited to future events organized by LPP. This post also outlines a few opportunities that the SRF opened up for the participants.

Students are encouraged to apply early and let us know if an earlier decision would be helpful, so that the entire fellowship or as much as possible can take place outside of class periods.

If it is not possible to complete the 8–12 weeks of the fellowship without some overlap with classes, students can continue on a part-time basis during the semester. Simply let us know if the application form.

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