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Civil Rights Legal Internship

The Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs civil rights internships provides undergraduate and law students with hands-on experience in civil rights litigation and advocacy.

Each year, students from around the country spend a quarter, semester, or summer at the Committee completing a variety of assignments under the supervision of experienced staff.

Law Student Internships
  • Law students assist staff attorneys in all aspects of our work. Depending on the needs of our cases and clients at a given time, law student interns should expect to do work in one or more of the following areas:
  • Creating equal opportunity to economic stability for individuals and families.
  • Challenging the conditions that force racial and economic segregation and that limit options for safe, decent and affordable housing based on race and national origin.
  • Reducing barriers to public services and public accommodations.
  • Creating equal opportunity for an education.
  • Advocating on behalf of DC prisoners and reducing the impact of an unfair criminal system.

Work assignments will typically involve factual and legal research, drafting memos or pleadings, and other work supporting our litigation and advocacy agenda, as well as participating in case/issue area check-ins and strategy sessions. Full semester, part-time (15 hours/week minimum), and summer internships are available.

Undergraduate Internships
  • Undergraduate interns typically provide support in, and apply separately to, either our prisoners’ rights or workers’ rights initiatives. Work assignments are based on the Committee’s workload, but typically will include:
  • Responding to prisoners’ correspondence.
  • Participating in client/prospective client and witness interviews.
  • Providing support to the Committee’s off-site workers’ rights clinics, including supporting volunteer recruitment, training, and management.
  • Conducting background, factual, public policy, or other research.
  • Providing administrative support to the Committee’s civil rights work.

Undergraduate interns working on prisoners’ rights may meet with individuals at the DC Jail; interns working on workers’ rights will provide support at Workers’ Rights Clinics located off-site. Quarter, semester, or summer internships are available.

General Information
  • Interns are an important part of our work and many remain connected to the Committee long after their internship is over. We expect our interns to be committed to social justice, to work hard, have fun, ask questions, and learn a great deal. During the summer, the Committee provides interns with a multi-day orientation and training program, and provides additional training through a ‘lunch and learn’ series of talks. Throughout the year, we look for opportunities for interns to participate in many learning and other activities in Washington DC’s vibrant public interest legal community.
  • Students may be eligible to receive academic credit from their schools, depending on their school’s requirements.

Application Deadlines And How To Apply For Internships

We are accepting applications for the following time periods. All applications are reviewed, and interns are selected, on a rolling basis. We encourage you to apply soon.
  • Fall 2019
  • Spring 2020
  • Summer 2020

Applications must include the following, combined in one PDF document:
  • Cover letter explaining your interest in the internship, your experience with/commitment to social justice, and your anticipated dates of availability.
  • Current resume.
  • Brief writing sample.
  • List of references.
  • Undergraduates interested in workers’ rights: Spanish language fluency is a plus.
  • Current transcript (unofficial is fine).
  • Email subject should specify Law or Undergrad (undergrads – select either Prisoners’ Rights or Workers’ Rights), and Fall/Spring/Summer internship.

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