The James F. Rill Fellowship

The James F. Rill Fellowship

The James F. Rill Fellowship honors one of the finest and most decorated leaders in the field of antitrust law.  It recognizes Mr. Rill’s public service and significant contributions to antitrust practice. 

Mr. Rill served as Assistant Attorney General (AAG) for the Antitrust Division from 1989 - 1992, a pivotal time in the Division’s history.   His strategic vision provided the Department of Justice and the Antitrust Division with the right analytical framework and skills needed to confront rising challenges posed by a digital economy and new ways of doing business.  His accomplishments as AAG are impressive – issuing the 1992 Horizontal Merger Guidelines (the first version to be issued jointly with the Federal Trade Commission); negotiating the landmark United States/European Union Positive Comity Agreement; raising corporate fines for Sherman Act violations from $1 million to $10 million, and many more.  Mr. Rill played a crucial role in fostering a bipartisan consensus on antitrust enforcement and led the Antitrust Division in vigorous preservation of the free market.  Mr. Rill successfully demonstrated that the Chicago School of antitrust thought, focused on consumer welfare, marched hand-in-hand with a robust enforcement program – a philosophy that has influenced a generation of antitrust practitioners across the political spectrum. 

Mr. Rill continued to transform modern antitrust practice after leaving government service.  The Cold War had ended, and a new era of market liberalization had begun.  Due to his vast experience, Mr. Rill was exceptionally well-equipped to serve as a chief ambassador to emerging economies, offering decades of experience to help them develop their own enforcement regimes to the mutual benefit of their economies and U.S. businesses.  In 1997, while serving as co-chair of the Department of Justice’s International Competition Policy Advisory Committee (which advises the DOJ on 21st century international antitrust issues), Mr. Rill and his colleagues recommended the creation of what is now the International Competition Network (ICN), a forum in which over 130 agency members and competition officials from around the world meet and engage on practical issues faced by all.  In addition, Mr. Rill helped shape other crucial global antitrust policymaking institutions and advisory groups, including the Business and Industrial Advisory Committee to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the World Trade Organization, and the International Chamber of Commerce, using his expertise and influence to encourage policies favoring growth and innovation. 

The Rill Fellowship honors Mr. Rill’s decades of guidance to new members of the profession and showcases the Antitrust Division’s commitment to mentorship in the complex field of antitrust law.

Fellowship Details:

The Rill Fellowship is open to all eligible Honors Program applicants, including current law students graduating in the coming academic year.  Each Rill Fellowship offers a 24-month appointment that will be converted to a permanent position at the conclusion of the fellowship without further competition.  Designed to provide elite Honors Program candidates with a special opportunity to participate in antitrust enforcement actions and in the development and implementation of antitrust policy, the Rill Fellowship begins with a one year assignment in the Office of the Assistant Attorney General, after which the Fellow may choose two additional six-month assignments in one of the Antitrust Division’s sections, as listed below.

Rill Fellowship Honors Program applicants must provide two specific Rill Fellowship letters of recommendation via email to

  • Address the letter to the "Rill Fellowship Hiring Committee, Attn:  Marvin Tyler." 
  • The subject line of the email should be:  Rill Fellowship Recommendation for (Name of Applicant).
  • The letters should be in Adobe PDF format (preferred), but Word is acceptable. 
  • References may submit their letters directly or provide them to the applicant for submission.
  • All letters of recommendation must be received by September 8, 2020 (the application deadline).    

Civil Sections:

Criminal Sections:

Additional Sections:


Updated May 26, 2020

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