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John Norton Distinguished Fellowship

The John Norton Distinguished Fellowship at the Goldwater Institute was established in honor of John Norton. The Fellowship recognizes Mr. Norton's commitment to liberty, as well as his service to his community and country. The Norton Fellowship will give one student each summer the opportunity to work closely with the Goldwater Institute Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation. Along with day-to-day assistance and support for the Goldwater Institute's litigation team, the Norton Fellow will write one op-ed and create a comprehensive legal research memorandum on a legal issue or proposed case.

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John Norton: A Lifetime of Service

From his younger days serving as a First Lieutenant in the Air Force, to his current involvement in charities, John Norton's mission in life can be summed up in one word: service. Mr. Norton has given generously of his time and money to help better his community, state, and country.

A third-generation Arizonan born in Glendale, Mr. Norton graduated from the University of Arizona. Shortly after college, he joined the Air Force and was stationed on Iwo Jima toward the end of the Korean War. Later he went on to found J.R. Norton Co., which at its peak controlled 25,000 acres of farmland in Arizona and California. In 1985, President Reagan appointed Mr. Norton as Deputy Secretary in the Department of Agriculture, where he served until 1986.

Mr. Norton sits on several corporate boards and is involved in numerous charities. He is active as the chairman of Arizonans for Drug Policy Reform and is a board member at the Goldwater Institute, where he was a cofounder of the Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation.

In his free time, Mr. Norton is an accomplished photographer, having had his nature photographs appear in National Geographic. Mr. Norton and his wife, Doris, have three children.

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John Norton was honored with the John Norton Distinguished Fellowship in a surprise announcement at the 2010 Goldwater Institute Dinner. Mr. Norton was also presented with a portrait of the Goldwater Institute staff, signed by each employee.

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Frequently Asked Question

Q. What types of activities does a Norton Fellow participate in?

A. In addition to providing ongoing administrative and research support for the Goldwater Institute's litigation center, Fellows will have an opportunity to receive staff mentoring, participate in lunch-and-learn seminars, and read assigned material. Norton Fellows may also get the chance to write an op-ed and write a comprehensive legal research memorandum on a legal issue or proposed case.

Q. What can Fellows expect to gain from participation in the John Norton Distinguished Fellowship Program?

A. The goal of the program is to expose students to both classical liberal principles and the operational aspects of a litigation team firmly grounded in the Arizona and U.S. Constitutions. Fellows can expect to gain a foundational understanding of limited government principles, how those principles relate to current public policy, and how research organizations advance public policy at both the local and national levels through litigation and persuasive, fact-based arguments.

Q. What types of jobs do Fellows tend to move on to following participation in the John Norton Distinguished Fellowship Program?

A. Many Goldwater Institute interns, externs, and clerks have chosen to attend graduate school to study economics, law or public policy. Others have gone on to assume public policy research positions in the nation's capitol. The Institute has also hired interns, externs, and clerks as full-time employees.

Q. Who qualifies for participation in the program?

A. Applicants should be law school students, law school graduate students, or recent law school graduates. Individuals should be able to work 40 hours per week; exceptions are made on a case-by-case basis. Both domestic and international applications will be considered, however, overseas applicants must possess authorization to live and work in the United States.

Q. What qualities do you look for in an ideal applicant?

A. Successful applicants will demonstrate: 1) An active interest in litigation, particularly in using litigation to expand freedom for individuals and business; 2) Strong intellectual aptitude; 3) Eagerness to work cooperatively and supportively with others; 4) Exceptional judgment and integrity; 5) An appreciation for the free enterprise system and constitutionally limited government; and 6) An interest in learning how to advance free market principles.

Q. Does participation carry a stipend?

A. Yes. Fellows earn a modest stipend based on fellowship duration and hours worked.

Q. What are the required application materials?

A. Applicants should review the Application Procedure section below and submit all required materials.

Q. What is the process following submission of application materials?

A. All applicants will receive acknowledgement that their materials have arrived, and those selected for further consideration will be contacted directly by Institute staff to arrange a telephone or in-person interview.

Q. What do you mean by "full-time" participation in the program?

A. Fellows are expected to work 40 hours per week at the Institute during the summer semester. Exceptions are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Q. Who should I contact if I am having difficulty with the application process, or have questions regarding the John Norton Distinguished Fellowship Program that are not addressed on this website?

A. Questions should be directed to Christina Sandefur at csandefur@goldwaterinstitute.org.

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Application Procedure

The Goldwater Institute seeks law school students, law school graduate students and recent law school graduates to participate in the John Norton Distinguished Fellowship Program. Applicants should be able to work full-time, which constitutes 40 hours each week; part-time applicants will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Both domestic and international applicants are encouraged to apply, however, overseas applicants must possess authorization to live and work in the United States. Due to competition for the Norton Fellowship, the Institute encourages early application.

Applicants best-suited for the program will possess eagerness to work and learn, exceptional judgment, and personal integrity. Although the Institute does not expect Fellows to enter the program with a thorough grounding in classical liberal thought, it does seek applicants who demonstrate an active interest in public policy and an appreciation for the free enterprise system.

Individuals interested in applying for the John Norton Fellowship Program should submit the following:

Cover letter explaining interest and availability
Resume
Two or three references or letters of recommendation
Please also send short answers (200 words maximum for each question) to the following four questions:

1. What do you think is the proper role of government in a free society, and how did you arrive at this view?
2. How can litigation best be used to secure the liberty of both individuals and business?
3. What book, speech, event or similar item has been most influential in your philosophical development?
4. What do you hope to gain from participating in the Goldwater Institute's John Norton Distinguished Fellowship Program?

Materials should be sent to:

Christina Sandefur
The Goldwater Institute
500 East Coronado Road
Phoenix, AZ 85004

Materials may also be sent via e-mail to Christina Sandefur at csandefur@goldwaterinstitute.org, or via fax to (602) 256-7045. No phone calls please. All applicants will be informed when their application materials are received, and those whom the Institute wishes to consider will be invited to interview either in person or over the telephone.

Applicants who have questions regarding the program or application process should first visit FAQ's about the John Norton Distinguished Fellowship Program above. Further questions may be directed to Christina Sandefur.

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