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 organization that works with communities under threat to fight for justice and liberation through creative litigation, advocacy, and strategic communications. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, we have taken on oppressive systems of power, including structural racism, gender oppression, economic inequity, and governmental overreach, to advance and protect constitutional and human rights. CCR's fall and spring legal internships are part of a year-round internship program that includes our summer Ella Baker Program.
The intern will spend 10-20 hours per week between January and May 2019 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: a challenge to abuse by private military contractors at Abu Ghraib; an 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 U.S. militarism in Iraq and Afghanistan; and FOIA litigation seeking information about the Muslim Ban waiver process and U.S. militarism in Central and West Africa. 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: the stop-and-frisk litigation Joint Reform Process and other projects challenging discriminatory policing policies; a 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 and family separation; a challenge to state sodomy statutes; case supporting sovereignty rights and challenging discrimination against a local indigenous tribe; cases defending First Amendment rights of animal rights activists and environmentalists; and challenges to infrastructure projects such as oil pipelines that endanger local communities.
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 partners; 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 the Center for Constitutional Rights will reimburse MetroCard fare to and from the internship, as well as a portion of other local travel (e.g. LIRR or NJ Transit). CCR also works with student interns to secure academic credit for internships from their schools when available.
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. Please note any program deadlines clearly in your application. 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 LGBTQIA+ and gender non-conforming people. No phone calls please.