chevron-down Created with Sketch Beta.


Application Period Opening Oct. 2024

At this time, we have closed our application period for the Summer and Fall of 2024. We will re-open applications in October 2024, with a new submission form for applicants.

Please read below for more information about our internship openings.

How to Apply

Internships are available during the Fall (August/September-December) Spring (January-April/May), and Summer (May/June-August/September). Candidates should email the following documents in PDF format: a resume, a brief writing sample (less than 10 pages), and a cover letter detailing the candidate’s interest to

Ms. Alli Kielsgard, Section Associate Director, at [email protected]

The cover letter should include which position the candidate is applying to, in addition to the days and hours during the week that the candidate is available to work. At this time, all Section internships will be conducted remotely, but may be subject to change. This website will be updated as more information becomes available. Please contact the Section with any questions at [email protected].

Section Background

The Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice 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.

Legal Intern - Immediate Start

Duties | The Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice is seeking a law student who will work directly with the Section’s Director and members of its Task Force on Fair Elections and Voting Rights on three voting rights and election protection publications. The Section recently undertook a massive project to expand the number of lawyers prepared to protect voters’ rights by providing training and materials to bolster their skills for engagement in voting rights, fair redistricting, and election protection primarily within Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and historically underrepresented communities. The legal intern will conduct legal research and will assist in monitoring state and federal legislative developments, draft training materials, and assist in the Section’s outreach efforts. This is an opportunity for a law student to have an impact on important work. This would be 10-15 hours/week, for a period of two months.

Requirements | The Section accepts applications for internships from second- and third-year law students who have completed coursework on elections or voting rights. Candidates must possess superior writing and legal research skills. Women, persons of color, LGBT individuals, persons with disabilities, and students from other minority groups are encouraged to apply. The internship is unpaid, although the Section welcomes candidates who have their own funding. The Section also will work with students seeking academic credit for their work through an externship or other similar program.

Undergraduate Interns

Duties | Undergraduate interns will work directly with the Section’s staff members on policy and project development and implementation. Specifically, the interns will research and assist in monitoring legal and legislative developments on various human rights, civil liberties, and social justice 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 interns will write brief reports on events they have attended and may write articles for the Section newsletter. The interns will also work directly with Section staff to maintain a strong social media presence across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube platforms, as well as weekly marketing on these platforms for Section programming. Depending on an intern’s interests and/or time, they 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 internship, “semester in Washington,” or other similar program. Please note that the Section asks for a minimum commitment of 15 hours/week during the Fall and Spring terms, and 20 hours/week during the Summer.

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.