CCR created the Ella Baker Summer Internship Program in 1987 to honor the legacy of Ella Baker, a hero of the civil rights movement, and to train the next generation of social justice lawyers. Through our program, interns gain practical litigation experience and sharpen their theoretical understanding of the relationship between social change, organizing and lawyering. Ella Baker Interns also become connected to a global community of social justice law students and lawyers through our Ella Baker Alumni Network.
Intern Roles & Responsibilities
Interns work under the direct supervision of CCR attorneys and advocacy program managers on CCR cases and projects. Interns also participate in trainings on litigation skills, movement lawyering, and other relevant topics. Interns’ responsibilities may include: legal research & writing for domestic and international litigation, factual investigation, client & witness interviews, policy/legislative research, and participation in client and community meetings. In addition, students are provided opportunities to attend court proceedings, community and client meetings, and attend other law-related panels and events.
The internship will begin on Tuesday, June 4, 2019 and end on August 9, 2019. Interns are expected to work 40 hours per week.
Students must have completed their first year of law school by summer of 2019. CCR does not accept law graduates in the Ella Baker program.
Excellent legal research and communication skills
Experience and/or a demonstrated commitment to racial justice, gender justice, civil rights, international human rights, national security law, and/or social justice organizing
Because we have limited resources, CCR requires applicants to make every effort to secure their own summer funding. Possible sources include: your law school; local Bar Foundation; Equal Justice America, etc. However, if a student can demonstrate they diligently sought alternate funding but were ultimately unsuccessful, CCR will provide the student with a summer stipend. Accepted students will receive information on CCR-sponsored stipends after receiving notice of their acceptance. The maximum amount of the stipend is $6,000 for the summer.
The deadline has passed for all applicants for summer 2019.
Application Deadlines and Timeline
We are no longer accepting applications for the summer of 2019 class of Ella Baker interns.
Why is the Internship Named After Ella Baker?
Ella Baker devoted her adult life to social change. During the Depression she organized consumer cooperatives and wrote, taught, and lectured on consumer affairs for the Federal Works Progress Administration. In the 1940s she traveled throughout the South, often alone in dangerous segregated areas, organizing chapters of the NAACP. She was an early executive director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, led by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Ella Baker strongly believed that community members and young people could make significant changes in their lives. She said, "My theory is, strong people don’t need strong leaders." She seldom appeared on television or in news stories, explaining that, "The kind of role that I tried to play was to pick up pieces or put together pieces out of which I hoped organization might come." Many consider her greatest influence to be with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). As an advisor to SNCC members who were generations younger, she rarely intervened, although her advice was often sought. She said, "Most of the youngsters had been trained to believe in or to follow adults if they could. I felt they ought to have a chance to learn to think things through and to make decisions."
The Center for Constitutional Rights is proud to honor her life and memory with the Ella Baker Summer Internship Program. It is our hope that many young people will be inspired to follow in her footsteps.
If you have specific questions about the Ella Baker Program, please contact: