Kaminstein Program


Abe Kaminstein, 6th Register

Through its Abraham L. Kaminstein Scholar in Residence Program, the Copyright Office is honored to invite leading academics with a demonstrated commitment to the study of copyright law and policy to spend time at the Copyright Office, at the invitation of the Register, conducting research and/or working on mutually beneficial projects. Appointments are not made on any fixed schedule but are instead based on the availability of qualified candidates and appealing projects as well as the Office's funding and priorities at the time of consideration.

Legal academics (law professors, fellows, and the like) with three or more years of significant experience teaching and/or analyzing copyright law and policy who are interested in the Abe Kaminstein Scholar in Residence Program should submit a letter of inquiry describing their research interests as they relate to the Copyright Office, accompanied by a current CV or resume, to LawProgramInfo@loc.gov.

Abe Kaminstein served as the sixth Register of Copyrights, from 1960 to 1971. He was a leading force in adapting the copyright registration system to the public interest, and in laying the groundwork for the general revision of copyright law.

Ringer Program


Barbara Ringer, 8th Register

The Barbara A. Ringer Copyright Honors Program ("Ringer Honors Program") offers 18 to 24-month paid fellowships for attorneys in the initial stages of their careers who demonstrate exceptional ability and interest in copyright law ("Ringer Fellows"). Ringer Fellows work closely with senior attorneys and others in the Office of the General Counsel (OGC), the Office of Policy and International Affairs (PIA), the Office of the Register (REG) and/or the Registration Program Office (RP) on a range of copyright-related law and policy matters. In addition to performing an important public service, Ringer Fellows acquire unparalleled insight into the U.S. copyright system to draw upon in their future careers.

Barbara A. Ringer, for whom the fellowship is named, served as the eighth Register of Copyrights, from 1973 to 1980. She was instrumental in the review and drafting process that led to Congress' adoption of the 1976 Copyright Act.

The Ringer Honors Program is a distinguished public service opportunity for attorneys in the early stages of their career who have strong interest and a demonstrated record of academic or practical success in copyright law. The Program accepts applications from individuals who are in their final year at a U.S.-accredited law school or have graduated from such a law school within the five-year period preceding their application date. In addition to promising law students, the Program welcomes applications from judicial law clerks and those practicing at a law firm or in another setting. Although bar membership is not required for the position, Ringer Fellows must have been awarded their J.D. by the time they begin the fellowship.

Ringer Fellows serve as full-time federal employees and are eligible for salary and benefits as permitted under federal law. Up to three Ringer Fellows may be appointed each year.

Ringer Fellows are appointed at a General Schedule ("GS") level ranging from 11 to 14, depending upon their individual qualifications and experience. A Fellow who is admitted to a state bar during the period of his or her appointment may be eligible for promotion to a higher GS level, contingent upon his or her performance, the Office's staffing needs and funding considerations.

Applications for the Ringer Honors Program are accepted from August 1 through October 15 (or if October 15 falls on a weekend day, the first following business day) of the calendar year prior to the calendar year in which the applicant would begin his or her fellowship (typically in September).

To apply, a candidate should email the following materials, combined into a single document file (preferably in a PDF format) that is labeled with the applicant's name and intended start date (for example, "Jane Smith Fall 2014") to RingerHonorsProgram@loc.gov:

1.  A statement of the candidate's interest in and qualifications for the Ringer Honors Program

2.  Resume

3.  Most recent law school transcript

4.  Writing sample that is reflective of the candidate's own writing (i.e., that has not been substantially edited by others)

5.  Contact information (name, title, organization, street address, email address and phone number) for three academic and/or professional references with an indication of whether they may be contacted by the Copyright Office without first obtaining clearance from you.

Applications must be complete and sent to the correct email address. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Those candidates who are found most qualified to move forward in the selection process typically will be contacted within three to four months of their application date to schedule an interview at the Copyright Office in Washington, D.C. at a mutually convenient time. The Office is unable to reimburse candidates' travel expenses in connection with interviews. If a candidate is selected for an interview and travel costs are a concern, the Office may be able to offer an alternative arrangement, such as an interview in the candidate's area if a Copyright Office attorney happens to be traveling there or a video conference interview.

In selecting individuals for the Ringer Honors Program, the Office considers candidates' application materials, as well as their academic performance, work experience, writing skills, performance during the interview process, references, and interest and expertise in copyright law and policy.

Depending upon the applicant pool and scheduling of interviews, candidates who are chosen to serve as Ringer Fellows may be notified of their selection at any time following their interview through the end of March.