The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law, a non-partisan public policy and law institute that focuses on the fundamental issues of democracy and justice, is recruiting for Spring 2014 legal internships. The Brennan Center combines scholarship, legislative and legal advocacy, and communications to win meaningful, measurable change in the public sector. Their work ranges from voting rights to campaign finance reform, from racial justice in criminal law to presidential power in the fight against terrorism. More information about the internship and how to apply can be found here.
Position: Each semester, the Brennan Center hosts 4-5 law students to work on current and cutting edge legal issues, including national security issues raised by the Patriot Act, expanding voter registration, strengthening campaign finance laws, and improving access to a fair and impartial justice system. Our research, policy development, and advocacy focus on systemic reform that combats discrimination and inequality and promotes civic participation. Interns assist attorneys with litigation, scholarship, public education, legislative counseling, and advocacy, with an emphasis on legal research and writing. The Brennan Center’s interns are integral to all aspects of our work, including programmatic and strategic planning.
Students receive one-on-one supervision of their legal work by lawyers on our staff. Legal interns are not compensated by the Brennan Center for their internships, but we can help accommodate coursework requirements upon request. We strive to offer a fun and intellectually-challenging legal intern experience that supports and supplements the vital advocacy offered by the Brennan Center.
Qualifications: Excellent legal research, analysis, and writing skills; initiative, imagination, and versatility; and a passion for our issues. This position is only open to current law school students.
How to Apply: Interested students should visit www.brennancenter.org/employment, and upload, as a single document (where it says “attach resume”) (1) a cover letter explaining which particular program or programs they are interested in joining, (2) a current law school transcript, (3) a legal writing sample of up to 10 pages, (4) a current resume, and (5) contact information for three references. You may compile your documents and upload them here, or use the separate buttons for each document. If you have difficulty uploading these items as one document, you may also e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org, with “Spring 2014 Legal Internship” in the subject line, after registering in the online system. We accept applications and will fill positions on a rolling basis through December 31, 2013, but priority is given to applications received by November 30, 2013. We encourage students with a strong interest in joining us to apply early.
The Center’s Program Areas
The Democracy Program seeks to perfect the ideal of representative self-government by advocating for public policies and institutions that reflect a diverse, engaged, and energetic democracy. The Program collaborates with grassroots groups, advocacy organizations, and reform-minded government officials to promote policies that eliminate barriers to full and equal political participation.
Project areas include work on voting rights (including the rights of students and people with felony convictions); reform of election administration (including voter registration modernization, ballot design, and defensive work against photo ID and other practices likely to suppress the vote or have a disproportionate impact on communities of color); campaign finance reform at the federal, state, and local level; and protecting the independence, impartiality, and integrity of the courts.
The Justice Program seeks to secure our nation’s promise of “equal justice for all” by ensuring that our justice system is rational, effective, and fair. Its primary project is to reduce mass incarceration by reducing the size and severity of the criminal justice system to both improve public safety and protect individual rights. The Program works to publish empirical reports and engage in federal and state legislative advocacy, media and communications outreach, and strategic litigation. It uses these multiple tools to: document the true toll of mass incarceration on communities and the country; devise and enact new, innovative legal changes to eliminate over-criminalization, over-punishment, racially biased enforcement, and the perverse financial incentives that fuel mass incarceration; and change the public “tough on crime” mindset.
The Program’s secondary project it to increase the effectiveness of the civil justice system to better serve the needs of all people. By working to close this “justice gap,” the Program aims to ensure that everyone has equal access to an effective and fair civil court system to protect their basic rights.
Liberty and National Security Program
The Brennan Center’s Liberty and National Security (LNS) Program fights to preserve constitutional values in the post-9/11 world. Our work centers on innovative policy recommendations, litigation, and public advocacy to ensure that our nation’s commitment to national security comports with the rule of law and our fundamental freedoms.
We are currently focusing on the government’s intelligence collection practices (e.g., how intelligence agents are controlled, what dangers they pose to privacy and the 1st amendment, profiling concerns) and on combating excessive government secrecy (e.g., over classification of documents).