The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights hosts Legal/Graduate Volunteer Interns and Undergraduate/Recent Graduate Volunteer Interns. The Lawyers’ Committee is unable to pay any portion of the applicant’s salary or provide assistance with securing housing during the internship period. However, we are happy to work with students so that they may receive academic credit or outside funding for their work. Students who complete this internship will gain invaluable experience in the field of civil rights and exposure to the exciting work of a non-profit legal organization.
Summer interns must work a minimum of 37.5 hours a week for at least 8 weeks during the summer.
Fall and spring interns with a full course load must work a minimum of 10 to 15 hours a week during the fall and spring semesters, and 20 hours without a full course load. Students should be able to commute to the Committee’s downtown office for at least two days a week during the academic year. Full-time interns are also accepted. Fall and spring interns typically attend colleges and universities in or around the metropolitan District of Columbia region, although the Lawyers’ Committee is also happy to host students participating in externship or academic exchange programs.
The Lawyers’ Committee does not discriminate on the basis of actual or perceived race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, disability, medical condition, marital status, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, family responsibility, personal appearance, genetic information, matriculation, political affiliation, or any other status protected under law.
We strongly encourage applications from candidates of color and candidates from underrepresented communities. Positions will remain open until filled, and applications will be reviewed as received.
Note: We are unable to accept phone calls due to a high number of application submissions. Please email your questions about our internship program or to check on the status of your application to [email protected]. We will notify applicants whom we choose to interview by e-mail.
Legal/Graduate Volunteer Internship Program
The Lawyers’ Committee hosts interns in the spring, summer, and fall semesters, with flexible start dates. Law and graduate students who complete an internship with the Lawyers’ Committee will gain invaluable experience in the field of civil rights and exposure to the exciting work of a non-profit legal organization.
At a minimum, all applicants should possess:
- Strong research and writing abilities, and
- A demonstrated commitment to civil rights and/or social justice
Summer interns must work a minimum of 37.5 hours per week for at least 8 weeks.
Fall and spring interns with a full course load must work a minimum of 10-15 hours per week during the fall and spring semesters. Full-time (or close to full-time) interns are also accepted. Students should be able to commute to the Committee’s downtown office for at least two days a week during the academic year.
We are unable to pay any portion of the applicant’s salary or provide assistance with securing housing during the internship period. However, we are happy to work with students so that they may receive academic credit or outside funding for their work.
Law student interns are assigned to work primarily with one of the following projects or initiatives:
- Criminal Justice
- Educational Opportunities
- Economic Justice
- Fair Housing and Community Development
- Hate Prevention
- Public Policy
- Voting Rights
Graduate student interns are typically assigned to work with the Public Policy Project.
Although assignments for each intern vary by project, students are generally asked to draft legal documents, write legal research memoranda, and conduct factual investigations. Legal interns work under the close supervision of experienced civil rights attorneys.
How to Apply
Interested students may submit an application at the following web address: https://podio.com/webforms/17839178/1198910.
For questions about our internship program, please email [email protected].
Undergraduate/Recent Graduate Volunteer Internship Program
Each undergraduate student intern is assigned to work primarily, but not exclusively, in one of the following areas: Communications/Development, Educational Opportunities (+ PREP), Economic Justice, Public Policy, Stop Hate, or Voting Rights (+ Election Protection).
- The Communications and Development Departments‘ internship offers a unique opportunity to engage in all of the Lawyers’ Committee’s civil rights project areas. Interns will work with staff on press releases, op-eds, speeches, scripts and testimony. They will learn how to build media lists and track news coverage using a highly in-demand public relations and marketing software. Interns will gain valuable experience in creating and posting web content and desktop publishing. Interns will also assist with management of donor files, foundation research and the planning of upcoming events.
- The Educational Opportunities Project strives to guarantee that all students receive equal educational opportunities in public schools and institutions of higher learning by promoting school integration; supporting the mission of the No Child Left Behind Act, and challenging discriminatory discipline and classroom assignment practices as well as school finance inadequacy. The Education Project’s Parental Readiness and Empowerment Program seeks to improve K-12 student performance, retention, and access to equal educational opportunities. PREP serves low-income and minority children in targeted communities (currently San Diego, CA and Arlington, VA) by increasing parental engagement in education and ensuring that parents become successful advocates for their children. PREP is particularly interested in candidates with near or complete Spanish fluency.
- The Public Policy Department leads and coordinates the organizational policy agenda through the development, analysis and support of all Lawyers’ Committee projects by providing policy leadership, advocacy, visibility and materials for the Hill and in coalitions on substantive priorities as they arise on the legislative calendar. Public Policy interns engage in research and writing, producing issue briefs and policy statements. They attend and report on coalition meetings, as well as briefings and hearings taking place on the Hill, and may prepare testimony and talking points for Lawyers’ Committee staff members. Interns are likely to work on a wide range of issues related to any of our substantive projects, such as Voting, Education, and Fair Housing, as well as perform duties related to Public Policy core initiatives, such as the Judicial Diversity Program and Criminal Justice reform efforts. Interns placed in this project should expect a collegial but fast paced and demanding work environment.
- The Voting Rights Project strives to achieve equality and protect advances in voting rights for racial and ethnic minorities and other traditionally disenfranchised groups through an integrated program of litigation, voter protection, research, advocacy, and education. The project is currently active in battles to defend the Voting Rights Act, combat voter ID laws and voter suppression activities, and ensure that eligible voters are able to cast a meaningful ballot on Election Day. The Voting Rights Project leads the Election Protection Coalition, which administers the 1-866-OUR-VOTE voter assistance hotline, analyzes data on existing electoral problems, and supports positive election reforms and advocacy efforts to ensure that all eligible citizens have the right to vote.
- The Economic Justice Project seeks to address persisting inequality and high poverty rates faced by African American and other minority communities. EJP brings challenges to all forms of racial, national origin, and sex-based discrimination in the workplace, both private and public, including discrimination by federal, state, and local agencies. EJP also brings litigation seeking to lift the employment barriers faced by individuals with criminal histories who are seeking to reintegrate into their communities.
- The Stop Hate Project works to strengthen the capacity of community leaders, law enforcement, and organizations around the country to combat hate by connecting these groups with established legal and social services resources. Hate incidents across the United States are surging, devastating individuals and entire communities. To help combat this trend and support those organizations, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law launched the Stop Hate Project in March 2017. Individuals and organizations that call the hotline receive resources they need as we leverage our national network of pro bono attorneys, connect callers and individuals targeted by hate to community organizations, mental health services, and in appropriate cases, provide access to counsel. Interns will gain knowledge about hates crimes and incidents and the laws and policies that are already in place to combat them and the community resources that are available, along with hands-on legal research experience.
Although assignments for each intern vary, most students are asked to draft documents, track news, and policy changes, write legal research memoranda, conduct factual investigations, participate in conference calls, and complete some administrative work.
The Lawyers’ Committee welcomes applications from current undergraduate students and recent graduates interested in civil rights to work as interns during the fall semester, spring semester, or over their summer breaks. At a minimum, all applicants must possess:
- Strong research, writing, and communications abilities.
- Demonstrated commitment to civil rights and/or social justice.
- Experience with Microsoft Office (Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Publisher, Word).
For Communications interns:
- Skills and experience with social media, web-based multimedia or Adobe Creative Suite are strongly encourage.
How to Apply
To apply for an Undergraduate/Recent Graduate Volunteer Internship, please fill out the application form and submit a resume, cover letter with expected start and end date, and a 2-3-page writing sample at https://podio.com/webforms/20985154/1447489.
Students on a quarterly schedule should put the semester closest to their internship dates on the application form in addition to their specific start and end dates.
For questions about our internship program, please email [email protected].
Decisions will be made on a rolling basis, so early applications are encouraged.
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
1500 K Street NW, Suite 900
Washington, DC 20005