At The Brennan Center for Justice they focus on the basics of democracy and justice. The Center’s work concentrates on issues such as voting rights, campaign finance reform, racial justice, criminal law, and even presidential power in the fight against terrorism. The Center is considered to be many things including: part public interest law firm, part advocacy group, and part think tank. To create a meaningful change in the public sector, the Center puts together scholarship, legislative and legal advocacy, and communications in order to complete its organizational goals.
The Brennan Center for Justice offers opportunities for law students to work together with staff members on legal and policy analysis, legislative drafting at all levels, advocacy, public education and scholarship, and litigation taking place in trial and in appellate courts. Why interns get such a rich experience working for The Brennan Center for Justice revolves around the fact that they are integrated into all aspects of what goes on at the Center while also being involved in the programmatic and strategic planning. Internships at the Brennan Center are intellectually stimulating along with the Center’s trying to make it a fun place to work for legal interns who will also get to experience legal advocacy as it is approached by The Brennan Center.
Internships at The Brennan Center for Justice begin the end of May and lasts for 10 weeks.
The Brennan Center offers grants up to the amount of $5,000 to students who are in need of summer funding. Money for these grants come from the James E Johnson Legal Intern Fund. Any students who are not able to procure funding from other sources are elibible to apply for the Johnson fellowships.
Excellent legal research, writing, analysis, skills are required for students interested in pursuing an internship with The Brennan Center.. Interns must also possess an ability to initiate, be imaginative and versatile, and have a passion for issues that The Brennan Center deals with on a daily basis.
The Democracy Program:
The Democracy Program provides a chance for legal interns to advocate for public policies and institutions while collaborating with grassroots groups, organizations, and reform-minded government officials. One of the goals of The Democracy Program is to promote policies and remove those barriers that exist to prohibit full and equal political participation. Interns working in The Democracy Program will get the chance to visit issues such as voting rights, campaign finance reform at all levels and to maintain the integrity of the court system.
The Justice Program:
An internship with The Justice Program gives students a chance to be part of advocating for equal treatment in our court system. Interns will get an opportunity to work directly with grassroots groups, advocacy organizations, and reform-minded government officials. The Justice Program seeks to expand how civil cases are evaluated to increase the number of low-income individuals who have a right to counsel. The Justice Program also seeks to increase funding for the federal Legal Services Corporation to remove various restrictions and improving language access in the courts. As part of the goals of The Justice Program, they look to ensure that the costs of the criminal justice system is not unfairly shifted to those who are least apt to be able to afford them. They also elect to do research on racial disparities and work alongside defender programs to achieve greater racial justice in the system.
The Liberty and National Security Program:
The Liberty and National Security Program works hard to maintain a world that existed pre 911. The focus in this program is to work to develop policies and establish public advocacy to be sure that our national security follows the rule of law and maintains our fundamental freedoms.
How to apply:
Applicants who are interested in applying for one of The Brennan Center internships should upload a PDF or Word document containing a resume and cover letter. To apply interested students should upload a single PDF or WORD document containing the following on the website.
- Cover letter explaining particular programs or projects you are interested in joining: (Democracy Program (NY), Justice Program (NY), Liberty & National Security (NY or DC), or DC Office)
- Current law school transcript
- Legal writing sample
- Current resume
- Contact information for three references.
Applications are only accepted through this website. Anyone having difficulties with the online system, can upload a cover letter and resume and email the remaining documents to firstname.lastname@example.org with "Summer Legal Internship" in the subject line.
Sally Kane, About.com Guide to Legal Careers, offers some excellent advice on finding legal internships, externships, clerkships, and clinics.