About Us - The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law | Legal and Graduate Internship Program

Legal and Graduate Internship Program

We are currently recruiting for:

  • Summer 2015 Legal Internship:
    Internships available in project areas described below.
    - Decisions will be made on a rolling basis until positions are filled. 
    To apply for a Summer 2015 Legal Internship, please click here.

About Us

The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law manages a selective, unpaid internship program for talented and committed students in law school, graduate school, and undergraduate programs. Intern coordinators and individual supervisors take great care to see that each student receives high-level assignments, supervision, and regular feedback.

The Lawyers' Committee was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. The principal mission of the Lawyers' Committee is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice under law.

The Committee uses the skills and resources of the bar to obtain equal opportunity for minority and underserved communities by addressing factors that contribute to racial justice and economic opportunity.  Given our nation's history of racial discrimination, de jure segregation, and the de facto inequities that persist, the Lawyers' Committee's primary focus is to represent the interest of African Americans in particular, other racial and ethnic minorities, and other victims of discrimination, where doing so can help to secure justice for all racial and ethnic minorities.

Lawyers’ Committee is an equal opportunity employer with a standing policy of nondiscrimination. This means that all qualified persons are accorded an equal opportunity for selection without regard to actual or perceived race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, disability, medical condition, marital status, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, family responsibility, personal appearance, genetic information, matriculation, or political affiliation.

Internship Program

Law Student Interns: The Lawyers' Committee welcomes applications from law students interested in civil rights and community development to work as interns in the spring, summer, and fall. Our summer internship program regularly attracts law students from all over the country. Typically, law students working as interns in the spring and fall attend law schools in the District of Columbia. 

Graduate Student Interns & Paralegals: The Lawyers' Committee welcomes applications from graduate students in political science, African-American studies, history, urban planning, demography, and other areas related to the civil rights work of the organization.

The Lawyers' Committee also welcomes applications from graduate students in a paralegal program who are interested in civil rights and community development to work as paralegals in the spring, summer, or fall semesters. Each Paralegal is assigned to work primarily, but not exclusively, in a specific project area. Assignments for each Paralegal will vary according to the project assigned. 

Undergraduate Interns: To learn more about our undergraduate internship program, please click here.

Job Description

Law student interns are assigned to work primarily, but not exclusively, in one of the following project areas: Community Development, Education, Employment Discrimination, Fair Housing, Legal Mobilization, Public Policy or Voting Rights. Graduate student interns are typically assigned to Public Policy.  Although assignments for each intern vary, most students are asked to draft legal documents, write legal research memoranda, and conduct factual investigations. 

  • The Educational Opportunities Project strives to guarantee that all students receive equal educational opportunities in public schools and institutions of higher learning by promoting school integration and challenging discriminatory discipline and classroom assignment practices as well as school finance inadequacy. The Project also trains parents on their legal rights in their child’s education through the Parental Readiness and Empowerment Program.
  • The Employment Discrimination Project works to dismantle systemic barriers faced by women and minorities in hiring and promotion and challenges all forms of racial, national origin, and sexual discrimination in the workplace, both private and governmental, through high-impact class action litigation and public policy advocacy.  The Employment Project also works to dismantle access to employment for those with poor credit histories and criminal records through its Access Campaign.
  • The Fair Housing & Community Development Project works to overcome inequality in housing and lending practices through litigation of lawsuits under the Fair Housing Act and related civil rights statutes, challenging discrimination in the private real estate market, discriminatory zoning practices of local governments and disparate lending practices.  The project also provides legal assistance to community organizations engaged in innovative strategies that promote community revitalization and connect minority and low-income communities with economic opportunities, affordable housing, and healthier living.  The Project is also deeply involved in the work of the Loan Modification Scam Prevention Network with the Legal Mobilization Project.
  • The Legal Mobilization Project provides expertise and support across the organization’s work on how to approach a civil rights issue multi-dimensionally, including the utilization of pro bono resources, technology, organizing skills, scale, and other legal avenues (beyond impact litigation), while working hand-in-hand with the substantive staff.  Legal Mobilization provides support to all of the Committee's other projects, and is active in the Election Protection, Parental Readiness and Engagement Program, and the Loan Modification Scam Prevention Network programs.
  • The Public Policy Department seeks to lead and coordinate the organizational policy agenda through the development, analysis and support of all Committee projects by providing policy leadership, advocacy, visibility and materials for the Hill and in coalitions on substantive priorities as they arise on the legislative calendar.
  • The Voting Rights Project strives to achieve equality and protect advances in voting rights for racial and ethnic minorities and other traditionally disenfranchised groups through an integrated program of litigation, voter protection, research, advocacy, and education.  The Project is actively litigating cases regarding redistricting, the National Voter Registration Act, and voter ID and is engaged in voter protection and education efforts through its 2012 Election Protection program.  


Summer: Interns must work a minimum of 37.5 hours a week for at least 8 weeks during the summer.

Fall and Spring: Interns with a full course load must work a minimum of 10 to 15 hours a week during the fall and spring semesters, and 20 hours without a full course load.  Students should be able to commute to the Committee's downtown office for at least two days a week during the academic year.  Fall and spring interns typically attend colleges and universities in or around the metropolitan District of Columbia region, although the Lawyers' Committee is also happy to host students who are participating in externship or academic exchange programs.  


The Lawyers’ Committee welcomes applications from law and graduate students interested in civil rights and community development.  Summer interns come from many law schools across the country.  Typically, fall and spring interns attend law schools in the District of Columbia.   At a minimum, all applicants should possess: 

  • Strong research and writing abilities, and
  • a demonstrated commitment to civil rights.


The Lawyers' Committee is unable to pay any portion of the applicant's salary or provide assistance with securing housing during the internship period.  However, we are happy to work with students so that they may receive academic credit or outside funding for their work.  Students who complete this internship will gain invaluable experience in the field of civil rights and exposure to the exciting work of a non-profit legal organization.

Hiring Schedule

For summer legal and graduate interns, the Lawyers' Committee begins hiring in November of the previous year, to coincide with the time applications are due for the Equal Justice Works Career Fair held in Washington, DC each fall. After interviewing candidates at the Career Fair and by telephone or over Skype, the Lawyers' Committee makes an initial set of offers for its summer program.

First- and second-year law students can also submit applications for a summer internship by December 15 each year. The Lawyers' Committee will conduct a second round of interviews early in the year and will make additional offers.

Hiring for fall and spring legal and graduate interns generally begins several months before the season starts.  For Fall, the hiring process generally begins in March.  For Spring, the hiring process generally begins in August.


Contact Information

Arusha Gordon and Hallie Ryan
Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
1401 New York Avenue NW, Suite 400
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 662-8600

Practical Progressive - Official Selection 2008