Constitutional Law and Legal History

Charles W. McCurdy Fellowship in Legal History

Offered through a partnership between the University of Virginia’s Miller Center and the School of Law, the yearlong Charles W. McCurdy Fellowship in Legal History allows scholars to complete dissertations in legal and political history while in residence at the Law School.

The McCurdy Fellow has a unique opportunity to benefit from synergies between the Law School and the Miller Center. Like other Miller Center National Fellows, the McCurdy Fellow is paired with a "dream mentor" — a senior scholar in the fellow's field from anywhere in the world, who will provide critical guidance during the year. The fellow also participates in the Miller Center's spring conference and receives training on how to reach broader audiences.

During the fellowship year, the McCurdy Fellow spends the majority of her or his time on dissertation research. The Law School's nationally renowned Legal History Program — including a workshop, a writing group, a joint J.D.-M.A. in history program, and a robust community of interested scholars — offers the fellow a rich environment in which to grow as a scholar. The fellow also helps coordinate the Legal History Workshop and has the opportunity to present their work there.

The fellow receives a stipend of $32,000 for the year.


Applicants must have completed the coursework toward a Ph.D. in history. Strong preference is given to applicants who hold a J.D. and who will complete their dissertation by the end of the fellowship year.

For the application deadline and process, please see the Miller Center fellowship website.

About the Miller Center Fellowship Program

Since 2000, the Miller Center fellowship program has helped launch the careers of 134 scholars whose dissertations employ history to shed light on American politics, public policy, foreign relations, science and technology policy, the impact of global affairs on the United States, and media and politics. 

Eighty former fellows now teach at major universities, with 70 of them holding tenure or tenure-track positions. Fellows have published 50 books with major presses, and they regularly place op-eds related to their research in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and other media. Read more about the fellowship program and the achievements of its alumni

About Charles McCurdy

During a 40-year career in the Corcoran Department of History and the School of Law, Charles W. McCurdy has been the intellectual and pedagogical heart of legal history at the University of Virginia. His scholarship earned him the 2003 Order of the Coif Triennial Book Award for "The Anti-Rent Era in New York Law and Politics, 1839-1865." His teaching has earned him not only official recognition but, more importantly, claim to having directed or advised more than 200 doctoral dissertations, master's theses, and undergraduate theses. Generations of students have flourished in the rich legal history community McCurdy has nurtured at UVA. The McCurdy Fellowship will help sustain generations to come.

Related Story: McCurdy Fellowship to Foster Legal History Scholarship with Paid Residency at UVA Law