The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) seeks experienced second- or third-year law students or LLM students with a strong commitment to social justice to provide legal research and analysis as part of a semester-long unpaid internship or externship opportunity. CCR is a national not-for-profit legal, educational, and advocacy organization dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change. CCR's legal internships are part of CCR’s Bertha Justice Institute (BJI), an innovative training institute for social justice law students and lawyers created in partnership with the Bertha Foundation. The BJI supports existing and aspiring social justice lawyers through a range of programs including: post-graduate fellowships, the summer Ella Baker Program, fall/spring internships and externships, Continuing Legal Education (CLE) courses, and regional conferences and national training institutes.
The intern will spend 10-20 hours per week between January and May 2017 assisting attorneys on projects. This position is also open to students seeking full-time, semester-long externships.
Interns will have the opportunity to work with CCR attorneys on a range of projects. Work with the International Human Rights docket is related to corporate accountability, torture, detention, suppression of dissent, anti-militarism, and violations under the Alien Tort Statute, the Torture Victim Protection Act, and universal jurisdiction. Some of our cases include: Challenge to abuse by private military contractors at Abu Ghraib; ATS case in support of LGBTQI Ugandan organizers; defense of activists advocating for Palestinian human rights; advocacy and litigation in foreign jurisdictions and international bodies in support of accountability and reparations for the Iraq War; FOIA litigation seeking information about the U.S. role in the attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla and the coup in Honduras; and human rights advocacy to challenge Catholic Church cover-up of sexual violence by priests. Work with the Government Misconduct and Racial Justice docket is related to policing practices, prisoners’ rights, immigration, racial justice, and national security issues. Some of our cases include: Stop-and-frisk litigation Joint Reform Process and other projects challenging discriminatory policing policies; solitary confinement case monitoring process and challenges to other abusive and discriminatory prison practices; FOIA cases and litigation in support of immigrants’ rights and challenging abusive detention; challenge to state sodomy statutes; cases defending First Amendment rights of animal rights activists; and challenges to NYPD surveillance of Muslims and government appointments that bypass the electoral process.
Responsibilities include: assisting in legal research and writing; performing factual research and review; reviewing and indexing documents released by government agencies in FOIA litigation; assisting in writing reports and engaging in advocacy; corresponding with clients and class members; and assisting with trial preparation.
The ideal candidate will have some experience with one or more of the following: litigation in federal courts; international law (with a focus on human rights, humanitarian law, and/or criminal law); FOIA litigation; engaging with U.N. special procedure mechanisms; First Amendment law; immigration law; prisoners’ rights; section 1983 police misconduct litigation; class action litigation; national security law; and working with communities to advocate for social change. Candidates should also demonstrate experience in and/or commitment to social justice, organizing, and/or social movements.
The position is unpaid, but CCR will reimburse Metrocard fare to and from the internship, as well as a portion of other local travel (e.g. LIRR or NJ Transit).
Qualified candidates should prepare a resume, cover letter, legal writing sample, and list of three references as one PDF document, with your name in the document title, prior to applying via this web form. Your cover letter should include your availability over the term. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis and strong consideration will be given to early applicants. CCR is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and actively recruits people of color, women, people with disabilities, and LGBTQI and gender non-conforming people. No phone calls please.