Law Foundation Scholarships

Six awards of legal scholarships, prizes and fellowships are presented annually to outstanding legal scholars who show considerable potential to improve the New Zealand legal system through their work.

Awards have been made to established legal academics and legal professionals, young barristers and solicitors, post-graduate and doctoral students, and distinguished international legal experts. The legal research scholarship programme provides opportunities for individuals of proven ability to undertake advanced research and study. It also supports the sharing of expert legal knowledge. Our Shadow Report Award has been introduced to assist NGO’s or individuals interested in human rights issues.

About our six Awards:

Each award has a different closing date and its own application process.

International Research Fellowship

Te Karahipi Rangahau ā Taiao

This is New Zealand’s premier legal research award. Valued at up to $125,000, this fellowship is awarded annually to enable an individual of outstanding ability to undertake legal research that will make a significant contribution to New Zealand.

Applications close at 5pm on 1st September each year.

How to apply Previous recipients
Photo of 2018 NZLF International Research Fellow Craig Elliffe

2018 Recipient Craig Elliffe

Doctoral Scholarship

The New Zealand Law Foundation Doctoral Scholarship aims to encourage postgraduate study and research in law in New Zealand. The inaugural award of this scholarship was made in 2011.  The scholarship has been reviewed and from 2016 is now available again under different terms of reference.
Applications are accepted twice a year.  Applications close at 5pm on 28 February and 5pm on 31 August each year.

How to apply Previous recipients
Claire Browning recipient of the 2018 NZ Law Foundation Doctoral Scholarship

2018 Recipient Claire Browning

Michael Morrison recipient of the 2018 NZ Law Foundation Doctoral Scholarship

2018 Recipient Michael Morrison

Ethel Benjamin Scholarship

This law scholarship honours Ethel Benjamin, New Zealand’s first woman barrister and solicitor, who was admitted to the bar in 1897. It is awarded annually to outstanding New Zealand women law graduates to assist with their post-graduate law study, and is valued at up to $50,000 each year.

Applications close on 1st March each year.

How to apply Previous recipients
Photo of 2018 Ethel Benjamin Scholarship joint winner Kate Stone

2018 Recipient Kate Stone (1 of 3)

Cleary Memorial Prize

The Cleary Memorial Prize is awarded in memory of Sir Timothy Cleary, past President of both the Wellington District and New Zealand Law Societies and a Judge of the Court of Appeal. This prize, worth $5,000, is awarded annually to a young barrister or solicitor who shows the most future promise in the legal profession.

Applications close 5pm 30th September each year.

How to apply Previous Recipients
Photo Laura Hardcastle recipient of the 2018 Cleary Memorial Prize

2018 Recipient Laura Hardcastle

Distinguished Visiting Fellowship

This fellowship enables law schools to take turns at hosting a distinguished international legal scholar of their choice, for up to two months each year.

Selection is by invitation from the law school hosting the Distinguished Visiting Fellow, in conjunction with the Law Foundation.

Previous Distinguished Visiting Fellows
More about the Fellowship and the 2014 Distinguished Visiting Fellow
Photo of 2019 NZLF Distinguished Visiting Fellow The Rt Hon Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd PC

2019 Recipient The Rt Hon Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd PC

Shadow Report Award

This award focuses on human rights issues. It supports a person or body to prepare shadow reports and/or attend the presentation of these reports to the United Nations monitoring bodies for human rights treaties. It is valued at $10,000, annually.

Applications close 5pm 1st August each year.

How to applyPrevious Recipients
Human Rights Foundation of Aotearoa New Zealand is a recipient of the 2017 Shadow Report Award

2017 Recipient: Human Rights Foundation of Aotearoa New Zealand


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