Cicero Law & Policy Fellowship


The Cicero Law & Policy Fellowship offers enthusiastic, high-caliber law, business administration, public policy, or public administration graduate students the opportunity to contribute their unique skills and talents to the policy development work of Cicero Research. Law & Policy Fellows work with the staff of Cicero Research to craft innovative policy initiatives that foster the competition of ideas at the state level. Because of its proximity to 8VC, a premier venture capital fund, Cicero Research has first-hand experience with how laws and regulation can stifle innovation and competition, and it seeks to implement unique, entrepreneurial solutions to confront these problems.

Cicero Research currently focuses its policy reform research on seven key areas: Criminal Justice; Higher Education; Healthcare; Housing; Procurement; Public Finance; and Regulatory Burden. Within each area, Cicero Research identifies barriers to free markets and innovation at the state level and proposes novel and effective reforms. Law & Policy Fellows take an active role in the policy process by crafting inventive policy ideas and helping turn those ideas into effective legislation. Our aim is to apply the entrepreneurial spirit of Silicon Valley to government by designing frameworks that allow the best ideas to emerge spontaneously and prove their worth.

In addition to a stipend of $1,500 a month, Cicero Law & Policy Fellows will be invited to attend roundtables, networking events, and an annual retreat. These events will give Law & Policy Cicero Fellows face-to-face access to the Cicero team and Joe Lonsdale, founder of 8VC and one of the leading entrepreneurs of his generation.


Applicants must be creative, intellectually versatile, and demonstrate very strong writing skills. They should exhibit good judgment, loyalty, and discretion. Cicero Law & Policy Fellows will be expected to commit 10 hours a week to their research and writing duties and join in a weekly meeting by telephone or video, as well as take periodic calls to discuss projects.

The Cicero Law & Policy Fellowship will be awarded on a single-semester basis, with the possibility of extension to the full school year. Final selections will be made after video interviews of the most qualified applicants.  

Past fellows are welcome to re-apply to the program for subsequent years.


Priority Fall 2021 applications are due August 20th. Additional applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. To apply, please submit a CV, cover letter, and writing sample to Your cover letter should state your policy area(s) preference and any prior experience in that field.

About Joe Lonsdale:

Joe Lonsdale is the Founder and Chairman of the Cicero Institute. He is a partner at 8VC, an Austin-based venture capital firm which manages ~$3.5 billion. He was an early institutional investor in many notable companies including Wish, Oculus, Oscar, Illumio, Blend, RelateIQ, Joby Aviation, Guardant Health, and Synthego, and in 2016 and 2017 was the youngest member of the Forbes 100 Midas List, which uses LP data to rank venture capital investors globally.

Before starting his investment firm, Joe co-founded Palantir, a multi-billion dollar global software company known for its work in defense and other industries, as well as for providing the platform to run the COVID-19 common operating picture for key decision makers in over 35 countries. After Palantir, he founded and remains as Chairman of both Addepar, which has ~$2 trillion managed on its wealth management technology platform, and OpenGov, which modernizes various processes for over 2,000 municipalities and state agencies. More recently, he is also a founder of Affinity, Anduin, Epirus, Esper, and other mission-driven technology companies, which he continues to build with his team and network. Previously, Joe was an early executive at Clarium Capital, which he helped grow into a large global macro hedge fund. He also worked with PayPal while he attended Stanford.

Joe received a BS in Computer Science from Stanford in 2003. He often lectures and writes on entrepreneurship, technology, and public policy.

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