Summer Legal Internship

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Summer Legal Internship

Location: Washington, D.C.

ERI’s U.S. Summer Legal Interns are law students able to work full-time for at least 10 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.

ERI U.S. legal team is currently counsel on several matters, including lawsuits against Chiquita for its funding of Colombian paramilitaries and against Union Carbide for environmental damage to communities in India. We also work on legal advocacy and quasi-legal mechanisms to obtain remedies for communities affected by environmental and human rights abuses.

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 work directly under ERI’s Legal Director and may provide legal support for other ERI programs, including its campaigns, educational programs, and human rights reporting.


  • A demonstrated commitment to protecting 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
  • Proficiency in standard computer applications, especially Word and WordPerfect
  • Proficiency in languages, especially Spanish, is desirable but not required

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 ATS 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.

Application Procedures:

The deadline for applications for Summer 2018 is January 31, 2018. 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.