This week, CCR welcomed its 2016 Class of Ella Baker Summer Legal Interns. Each year, CCR receives hundreds of applications from students around the world interested in learning from us and growing with us. This year, we selected 19 talented and bright law students from across the nation to participate in our esteemed summer program. Students have traveled from as far as UC Irvine in California and from as close by as the CUNY School of Law in New York City, and CCR is proud to welcome them all to our program this summer.
CCR’s annual summer internship program combines theory and practice with the goal of training talented and committed law students to work alongside social movements, community organizations, and impacted individuals. The program allows participants to gain practical litigation experience, bridges student’s theoretical understanding of the relationship between organizing and lawyering, and incubates students in CCR’s approach to social change work.
One of the staple components of our summer programming is that CCR partners with our allies to train law students in various types of legal work, which expands the umbrella of training provided to students based on their interest. CCR partners include the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, The New Orleans Workers Center for Racial Justice, and The Community Justice Project in Miami. With this expansion, students can learn from our experts litigating class-action/impact cases or from experts who provide local day-to-day movement litigation support.
Throughout the summer, students work with CCR staff on active cases and advocacy campaigns. In addition, we bring in CCR clients, movement allies, and other advisors to speak with students about all aspects of our work. Past speakers include Former South African Constitutional Court Judge Albie Sachs, Peter Kinoy, film maker and son of CCR founder Arthur Kinoy, and author Jeanne Theoharis. During the summer, students build a cohort with their colleagues that will further expand our growing network of CCR-trained lawyers from around the world.
Our goal is simple: we want CCR’s legacy to live on through the next generation by training the next generation. Our late President Emeritus Michael Ratner absolutely loved this aspect of CCR’s work and took great pride meeting students each year and giving them an overview of CCR’s legacy and instilling them with the strength, tenacity, and courage needed to do this work in the long haul. For both Ella Baker and our recently passed leader Michael Ratner, CCR will continue to train those who want to continue the fight for equality and social justice.