Internships

Internship Applications

The Section of Individual Rights & Responsibilities is accepting internship applications for Summer 2014. Please read below for more information on undergraduate and law student positions.

Section Background

The Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities is the only entity within the ABA dedicated solely to civil rights, civil liberties, and human rights issues. The Section takes pride in its unique mission within the ABA of providing leadership to the legal profession in protecting and advancing human rights, civil liberties, and social justice. Through education and advocacy, the Section expresses the legal profession's commitment to achieving the American ideals of justice, freedom, and equality for all through the legal system.

Since its founding in 1966, the Section has sponsored policies adopted by the Association that address a broad range of civil rights, civil liberties, and human rights issues, including capital punishment due process issues; constitutional equality for women; the rights of the physically and mentally disabled, lesbians and gay men, children, and the elderly; the right to privacy, equal educational, employment, and housing opportunities; adherence to American Indian treaty obligations and international human rights conventions; homelessness; and apartheid in South Africa. In recent years, the Section has successfully proposed ABA policies on "child exclusions" in welfare legislation, gender equity in Social Security regulations, legal mechanisms for the long-term care of people with AIDS, gay and lesbian parents' child custody and visitation rights, immigrant rights, religious liberty, medical records privacy, education rights of children with disabilities, discrimination in bar admissions and judicial appointments, support of affirmative action programs, death penalty implementation, and community public health programs that authorize needle exchange for drug users. Other projects include participating in working groups and steering committees to discuss the ratification of both the UN Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Undergraduate Interns

Duties

Undergraduate interns will work directly with the Section’s staff members on policy and project development and implementation. Specifically, the intern will perform research and will assist in monitoring legal and legislative developments on various civil rights, civil liberties, and human rights issues. Interns' duties may include attending congressional hearings, Supreme Court arguments, meetings of civil rights and civil liberties organizations and coalitions, and other events involving individual rights issues. The intern will write brief reports on events they have attended, assist with the Section’s social media efforts and may write articles for the Section newsletter. Depending on an intern’s interests and/or time, he or she may also develop a project independent of the intern’s day-to-day duties, but related to Section priorities and issues. The Section also will work with students seeking academic credit for their work through an externship, “semester in Washington,” or other similar program.

Requirements

The Section strongly prefers internship candidates to be in their junior or senior years, but applications from all students will be accepted. A candidate must be hard working, mature, and professional, and must possess superior writing and research skills. A candidate also must have a demonstrated commitment to working on Section issues. Women, persons of color, LGBT individuals, persons with disabilities, and students from other minority groups are encouraged to apply. Internships are unpaid, although the Section welcomes candidates who have their own funding.

Legal Interns

Duties

Legal interns will work directly with the Section’s attorneys and other staff members on policy and project development and implementation. Specifically, the intern will conduct legal research and will assist in monitoring state and federal legislative developments on various civil rights, civil liberties, and human rights issues. The legal intern’s duties may include attending congressional hearings, Supreme Court arguments, meetings of civil rights and civil liberties organizations and coalitions, and other events involving individual rights issues. The intern will write articles for the Section newsletter and will perform other tasks as assigned. Depending on an intern’s interests and/or time, he or she may also develop a project or research paper independent of the intern’s day-to-day duties, but related to Section priorities and issues. The Section also will work with students seeking academic credit for their work through an externship or other similar program.

Requirements

The Section accepts applications for legal internships from first-, second-, and third-year law students. Candidates must possess superior writing and legal research skills and have a demonstrated commitment to working on Section issues. Women, persons of color, LGBT individuals, persons with disabilities, and students from other minority groups are encouraged to apply. Internships are unpaid, although the Section welcomes candidates who have their own funding.

How to Apply

Internships are available year-round and applications are accepted until positions are filled. Candidates should email a resume, a brief writing sample (less than 10 pages), and a cover letter detailing the candidate’s interest in working for the Section to: Ms. Patrice M. Payne, Associate Director, at irr@americanbar.org. The cover letter should also include the days and hours during the week that the candidate is available to work. Please do not hesitate to contact the Section office with any questions, either via email as indicated above or by phone at (202) 662-1030.

Advertisement