1. As a Consortium member law school, is identification of a fellow required?
No. While we encourage each school to nominate a fellow, it is not required. We recognize that there was limited lead time for the fellowship, and it may not be feasible
for all schools to identify someone before December 2021. We do intend to have a fellowship program each year, and lessons from this roll-out will be used to better inform
2. Can a school have more than one fellow?
Every school may nominate one fellow for the first year. Requests for additional fellows may be considered in future iterations of the fellowship.
3. Who will be overseeing the fellows?
Jessalyn Brogan Walker, ABA Legal Education Police Practices Consortium Director, will be meeting every other week with the Fellows. This bi-weekly meeting will allow an
opportunity for the Fellows to meet and engage with one another, discuss challenges and possible responses to their work, as well as hear from invited speakers and subject matter experts relevant to the work of the Consortium. Law schools are welcome to structure the Fellowship in a manner that best suits their Fellow and their school. For example, a Fellow could be a paid research assistant or receive course credit for independent study or as part of a class.
For schools that offer course credit for Fellows, Jessalyn will report Fellowship progress to a point person within each law school. All coursework for the Fellowship will be
submitted to Jessalyn for review and feedback (with additional support provided from Consortium advisors) and shared with the school’s point person as appropriate, to ensure
that credits are allocated in keeping with the requirements of each school.
4. How much work will be required of the Consortium staff point person at each law
That is up to the discretion of the law school. While additional involvement is encouraged, we understand and respect that all law school staff already have full workloads. At the very least, the staff person will be required to submit the grading information/mark completion for the fellow.
5. What experience does Ms. Walker bring to oversight of the fellowship?
Prior to joining the ABA, Jessalyn managed an international portfolio of work promoting a community-oriented approach to policing, with specific focus on countries affected by
the threat of violent extremism. This work included outreach and engagement with police headquarters, facilitating training opportunities with police leadership, front line officers, and academy trainers, assessing police curricula (for both new recruits and in-service officers), and working with local partners to augment mandatory training to support the understanding of a community-oriented approach to policing. She has engaged with the policing services of Jordan, Kosovo, Nigeria, Northern Ireland, the Maldives, and Tanzania. She is the co-author of Community-Oriented Policing for CVE Capacity: Adopting the Ethos through Enhanced Training and was the study director for Policing to Promote the Rule of Law and Protect the Population: An Evidence-Based Approach (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering & Medicine, 2021). Jessalyn has a master’s degree in Criminology from the University College of Cork.
6. To whom is Ms. Walker accountable?
Jessalyn reports to Kevin Scruggs, director of the Criminal Justice Section of the American Bar Association. She meets regularly with the Consortium Advisory
Committee. Issues regarding the fellowship may be raised with Jessalyn, Kevin or any of the Advisory Committee members, should anonymity be required or preferred. Contact
information for all will be provided to all Fellows and their point person on campus.
7. What kind of work will the Fellows be doing?
Fellows will primarily be responsible for data collection and research related to issues of relevance to the Consortium. Each fellow will be provided with instructions and a data
gathering template upon onboarding; for the pilot program, Fellows will be collecting information related to their local policing department, including points of contact, other
organizations working on policing issues, and available policies and procedures. The research and data collection templates have been informed by the expertise of
Consortium advisors and law library directors. The work of the Fellows will also be impacted by where each individual law school places the Fellow programmatically. Externships, internships, research assistants and independent studies all have separate curricular constructs that must be honored.
8. Is that information all publicly accessible?
Yes, primarily. The Consortium will compile submissions from across member schools into one central database of information, accessible to all Consortium members and
members of the public. This will create one central repository of information which will continue to be strengthened and fleshed out as schools (and fellows) join.
9. Will there be a final assignment for the Fellows?
Yes. While we hope that fellows will procure all policies that are available to their local agency, their thematic selection will inform the topic of their final assignment. Fellows
will use their topic specific research to write a paper summarizing their findings and proposing an action plan of who might be engaged going forward to strengthen the theme
of most pressing need. The stakeholder mapping does a great job of showing who is involved in this space and fellows can use this information to determine how they might
work together to strengthen this issue going forward, and where their law schools are best positioned to support. The Fellows will NOT be asked to identify a solution to the issue they’ve researched, but rather determine who might need to be involved in future conversations and what expertise their campus already has in this space, to help drive a
collaborative sense of public safety.
10. Will the ABA or the Consortium be providing a financial stipend to Fellows?
We are not currently in a position to do so. Fellows will be provided with professional development opportunities and letters of recommendation may be offered to Fellows as
11. 10 hours/week (referenced in the Fellowship Introduction document) is a lot to expect for a fellow on top of their scholarly work. How will that time be structured?
Fellows will NOT be required to complete timesheets or account for their time. The 10 hours/week is an estimate and guideline to assist schools in identifying someone with the appropriate bandwidth to take on the research projects identified as well as relevant reading and engagement with the Consortium director.
12. How does the work of the Fellowship contribute to the vision of the Consortium?
Before we can effectively contribute to the reform of current policing policies and procedures, we first must better understand the current context in which we are operating.
Recognizing the diversity of jurisdictions currently represented by Consortium members, we hope this initial fellowship can foster a deeper understanding from Fellows into how
their local policing department operates, under what policies and procedures, and undertake local research projects of relevance to the goals of the Consortium. This data
gathering will also be used to inform the scope of future fellowship work and the programming of the Consortium going forward.
13. My school has an existing relationship with the local police department and they have requested something specific that I was hoping the Consortium could assist with. What might that look like?
That’s great! Per this report from the International Association of Chiefs of Police (and founding principles of the Consortium), law enforcement and academic partnerships are
one way to increase access to information and evidence-based practices by police officers. You have an existing in-road which is exciting and important for us to know
about. However, without more information we are ill equipped to respond. Please contact Jessalyn to discuss in more detail. What role (if any) your Fellow might play in that work will need to be determined in coordination with your campus and the degree of oversight that can be provided by a staff person, in an effort to comply with a “do no harm”
14. My school has no relationship with the local police department. Will that put the Fellow from our school at a disadvantage?
Not at all. This initial data collection was designed for a student without a firm understanding of their local policing department. All of the information requested is
likely available online and does not require an existing relationship with the department. Our hope is that in undertaking this fellowship, the student will have a better
understanding of their local department to assist either those on campus or the Consortium to engage with them in the coming years.
15. The fellow my school has identified already has a wealth of experience and expertise in this space. What do they stand to gain by engagement in this work?
They will have the opportunity to work with students of different abilities and perspectives across the Consortium’s network. Fellows will be encouraged to write about
their experience and submit proposals for consideration in various ABA publications. The data collected will contribute to a national database of information.
16. How will the success of each fellow be measured?
A successful fellow will
1) Accurately collect all the information related to their local policing
department and other organizations currently working on policing issue
2) Submit this information to the ABA through MSForms
3) Collect policing policies and training manuals, as available, from their local
4) Stay abreast of local policing legislation and current events
5) Attend bi-weekly meetings with the Consortium director (every effort will be
made to identify a standing day & time that works for the majority of fellows.
If a fellow is NOT available during this time, meetings will be recorded and
uploaded to a site accessible to Fellows).
6) Submit a final assignment on their thematic focus (identified at enrollment)
reflecting an understanding of the issue within their community, existing
available policy on the subject, and evidence-informed recommendations on
how this theme might be strengthened/augmented