U.S. Summer Legal Internship
Location: Washington, D.C.
EarthRights International, a nongovernmental, nonprofit organization that combines the power of law and the power of people in defense of human rights and the environment, is seeking a recent U.S. law graduate for a fellowship in our Washington, D.C., office.
Position: U.S. Summer Legal Intern (unpaid)
Starts: Summer 2019
Reports to: U.S. Staff Attorneys
ERI’s U.S. Summer Legal Interns are law students able to work full-time for at least 10-12 weeks in ERI’s Washington D.C. office during the summer. Legal interns provide legal research, writing, and program support for ERI activities all over the world. Law students may be J.D. or LL.M. students, but must have at least one year of U.S. legal training by the time of the internship.
Over the past 20 years, ERI has built a reputation as one of the leading legal organizations representing communities and individuals from around the world whose rights, livelihoods and homelands are harmed by corporations, financial institutions and governments. Our lawyers have worked closely with our clients, co-counsel, partner NGOs, campaigners and others to bring groundbreaking lawsuits and pursue legal advocacy to provide remedies and ensure legal accountability. Our cases have set legal precedents, brought millions of dollars of compensation to our clients, and changed the behavior of corporations and other institutions; one of our cases involving environmental harms to communities in India, Jam v. International Finance Corporation, was recently argued at the U.S. Supreme Court.
Legal interns participate in various projects associated with these cases, including legal research and writing and assistance in all phases of litigation, as well as other legal work including development of new cases, monitoring and exploring developments in international human rights and environmental law, researching and utilizing other mechanisms of corporate accountability, and helping to coordinate with and assist other groups bringing domestic or international cases. Interns are fully integrated into ERI’s U.S. legal team and may work with any of ERI’s attorneys and other staff in advocacy and communications programs.
- A demonstrated commitment to using the U.S. legal system to serve vulnerable communities and/or protect human rights and the environment
- Independent and creative thinking skills
- Excellent legal research and writing skills
- Ability to handle sensitive client relationships and protect the confidentiality of our work and our communications
Additional desired qualifications include:
- Proficiency in languages other than English; Spanish fluency is highly desired
- A background in international human rights law, international environmental law, corporate accountability, and/or indigenous peoples’ rights
- Experience in regional studies, development, environmental sciences, or other fields related to issues of human rights, environmental protection and indigenous peoples
- Knowledge and experience with regional and international legal mechanisms for the protection of human rights and the environment
- Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work in teams
- Experience or interest in working with people from diverse cultures
- A good sense of humor
Here’s what our past interns have said about their experience:
“Working at EarthRights is an exercise in radical egalitarianism. Interns were valued as members of the legal team from start to finish. I had the opportunity to do wide ranging research and writing, from civil procedure questions for ERI’s litigation to a comment on the SEC’s rulemaking process to legal analyses of Myanmar law for the State Department. My time at EarthRights has reshaped my interests and ideals for pursuing social justice while furnishing the tools, networks, and inspiration to realize them.”
Sophie Jin, Legal Intern, Summer 2014
“Interning at ERI reinforced the reasons why I am interested in pursuing a career in Human Rights. It gave me the opportunity to work with bright and dedicated human rights advocates and activists. ERI gives interns the opportunity to work on challenging and complex legal issues, something you do not get in a law school classroom. My time at ERI was priceless–I worked on cutting-edge human rights issues, gained a lot of wisdom, and most of all gained career mentors. Indeed it was a humbling and life-changing experience.”
Eunice Mavhenyengwa, Legal Intern, Summer 2010
ERI is unable to provide a salary, stipend or housing assistance, we are, however, able to work with your law school if you wish to arrange course credit or stipends through your school.
The deadline for applications for Summer 2019 is February 1, 2019. Applications may be considered on a rolling basis but students are encouraged to submit their applications as early as possible.
Students interested in the position of U.S. Summer Legal Intern should submit a cover letter, resume, a short (<10pp) legal writing sample, and contact information for two references, at least one of whom should be familiar with the applicant’s legal abilities. Applications are only accepted by email. Please send all application materials to: [email protected]. You must use the subject line “U.S. Summer Legal Internship” in your email.
Due to the volume of applications, ERI is unable to interview every applicant. We typically conduct phone interviews and may request in-person interviews where possible.
EarthRights International is an equal opportunity employer that does not discriminate in its hiring practices, and actively encourages people of color, women, people with disabilities, and LGBTQI+ people to apply.
For more information on the work of EarthRights International, visit www.earthrights.org