Law Foundation Scholarships

IMPORTANT UPDATE: THE LAW FOUNDATION IS GOING INTO RECESS. Please refer to the announcement on our news page. Before going into recess, the Foundation will also progressively wind up its scholarships and awards programmes. All approved grants and scholarships on its books at 30 June 2020 will be honoured and the Foundation will continue to function until these projects are completed.

Given the long term nature of some of the awards, some will stop this year, and others in 2020. Refer to each award link for details of when the last applications will be accepted. We are discussing the future of these awards with other funders.

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.

2019 is the last year this Fellowship will be offered. 

Applications close at 5pm on 2nd September 2019.

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

2018 Recipient Craig Elliffe

Doctoral Scholarship

This Scholarship is no longer offered and information is provided for historic purposes only.

The scholarship was awarded to a doctoral candidate to carry out research in a defined area of the law for the benefit of New Zealand and its legal system. The inaugural award of this scholarship was made in 2011 but then withdrawn. In 2016 it was reviewed and was offered again twice a year until February 2019 under different terms of reference as a ‘top up’ to the award of an NZ University PhD Scholarship.

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.

This scholarship will continue to be offered throughout the period the Law Foundation is in recess.  Applications close on 1st March each year.

How to apply Previous recipients
Photo of 2019 Ethel Benjamin Scholarship joint winner Nichola Hodge

2019 Recipient Nichola Hodge (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.

This Prize will continue to be offered throughout the period the Law Foundation is in recess. 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. 2020 will be the last year this Fellowship is offered.

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.

2019 is the last year this Award will be offered.

Applications close 5pm 1st August 2019.

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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