Internships

2014 InternsWhether undergraduate or law students, Law Center interns are given substantive work from their first day that makes a real difference in our clients’ lives.

At the Law Center, you’ll gain intimate experience with civil rights law and the inner workings of one of Philadelphia’s premier public interest firms. You’ll become part of a close-knit group of attorneys, advocates, and others committed to social justice. Law Center attorneys and staff are not only leaders in their fields, but are deeply committed to helping train the next generation of civil rights attorneys, advocates, and nonprofit leaders.

Development & Communications Internships

The Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia seeks full or part-time interns to assist with fundraising, communications, public relations and events. Internships are unpaid. We encourage those who can receive class credit for their participation to apply. Positions are available year-round.

Application Deadlines
Fall Semester Interns: Apply by August 1
Spring Semester Interns: Apply by December 1
Summer Interns: Apply by March 1

Potential Responsibilities

  • Produce engaging content for various platforms including website, e-newsletters, social media, foundation proposals, reports and donor communications
  • Research individual donors and foundations
  • Prepare and copy edit foundation proposals
  • Assist with event planning and administration
  • Administrative tasks may include processing gift acknowledgements, preparing mailings, entering data into contact databases, etc.
  • Design collateral materials such as flyers or invitations
  • Conduct outreach calls and implement marketing strategies
  • Update Law Center profiles on external websites and take part in increasing the organization’s digital visibility

Qualifications
The ideal candidate is interested in nonprofit administration, journalism, public relations or legal services; is creative; and, has excellent writing and communication skills. College or graduate students preferred.  Proficiency with social media and WordPress preferred.

Required Hours
School year:    15-20 hours/week; semester-long commitment; schedule is flexible but must be regular throughout internship
Summer:          30-40 hours/week, full summer commitment
Office Hours:  9am-5pm
Occasional after hours assistance may be requested for events, but will not be required.

How to Apply
Please submit a resume, writing sample and cover letter indicating your available days, times, and preferred start date to:
Michael Berton, Communications and Development Associate
mberton@pilcop.org

Garden Justice Legal Initiative Intern

The Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia’s Garden Justice Legal Initiative is seeking an intern. The intern will support projects and campaigns aimed at ensuring that community farmers and gardeners in Philadelphia have the resources and tools they need to preserve their individual farms and gardens, and supporting movement building, self advocacy, and informed leadership to effect equitable and meaningful reforms needed for community land and food security and sovereignty at the neighborhood, city, and state levels.

Specific Responsibilities will include:

  1. Promote, maintain, and use Grounded in Philly (www.groundedinphilly.org) to help individuals and groups in Philadelphia identify, organize around and access publicly- and privately-owned vacant land in Philadelphia, as well as provide information about pathways to protect land for Philadelphia groups that are already land stewards
  2. Work with neighborhood-based and youth partner organizations to interview gardeners and farmers on challenges and resource needs, and providing information on opportunities for advocacy and network building
  3. Help with preparation and day-of activities related to our next regional event on October 26th. Growing Healthy Communities: A Prescription for Better Health – http://growinghealthy.eventbrite.com/

Qualifications:

  1. Strong computer skills
  2. Strong interpersonal skills
  3. Reliable and able to work independently
  4. Strong interest in urban agriculture, community gardens, and/or land and food sovereignty
  5. Strong writing and communication skills
  6. Bi-lingual (English, Spanish) preferred, though not required
  7. Experience with urban farming a plus, though not required

Timeframe:

  1. Start date immediately
  2. Schedule is flexible: 1 day per week minimum, up to 5 days per week.
  3. 2 month commitment minimum, though very open to longer commitments.

How to Apply:

Please direct all questions, cover letters and resumes to Community Organizer, Kirtrina Baxter: 267-546-1303 or kbaxter@pilcop.org.

Videographer Internship

The Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia seeks one full or part-time intern to assist with filming, editing and creating a promotional video for marketing purposes. The ideal candidate will have strong film experience and routine access to high-end film and editing equipment.

This is an unpaid internship. Students who are able to receive class credit for their participation are encouraged to apply.

Responsibilities:

  • Film interviews with stakeholders and clients. Staff will work to identify the video’s messaging and schedule interviews.
  • Film other Law Center events as needed. Some of these events may take place during evening hours.
  • Building on the staff’s pre-determined messaging, edit all footage into 3-5 minute video complete with audio and soundtrack.

Qualifications:
The ideal candidate will be confident in filming and editing and be willing and able to complete the project within a short time period.

Hours:
Internship hours will be determined by the selected student and communications staff. A weekly number of hours is not required so long as appropriate filming and editing is completed.

Special Note:
The Law Center does not have access to any video equipment or editing software. Interested candidates should have a reliable way to use film and editing equipment.

How to Apply:
Send in resume, cover letter and link to previous work to Barb Macholz at bmacholz@pilcop.org. Applications are currently being accepted.

Legal Internships (College & Law Students)

The Law Center offers rewarding, meaningful work through its program of unpaid internships for college and law school students, both during the school year and over the summer.

Law students (We prefer 2Ls but will consider 1Ls):

  • Research and summarize cases
  • Read and summarize transcripts from depositions or hearings
  • Legal research on a variety of civil rights issues and legal procedures
  • Draft appellate court briefs
  • Assist in responding to discovery in racial discrimination cases
  • Prepare attorney fee petitions
  • Interview prospective witnesses

College students:

  • Research policies and practices of various public entities
  • Attend legislative meetings to obtain information
  • Assist with computerized information research
  • Prepare charts and graphs on a variety of topics
  • Summarize transcripts

How to Apply

We seek individuals who have a demonstrated interest in social justice and who can commit to a regular schedule of work — at least 10-20 hours a week during the school year and full-time in the summer.

Deadlines
For Fall Interns: Apply by June 1st
For Spring Interns: Apply by September 1st
For Summer Interns: No longer accepting applications for summer of 2014

Summer 2014 legal intern slots (both undergraduate and law students) are now completely filled. We are no longer accepting applications for these internships.

Please note: We will have no more than four interns per semester, and no more than six in the summer. This is a competitive process.

To apply, submit a letter and resume to:
Benjamin Geffen
Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia
United Way Building,
1709 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Second Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19103
bgeffen@pilcop.org

Disabilities Law Legal Internship (College & Law Students)

Throughout our history, the Law Center has placed a special focus on the rights of people with disabilities, and especially children.  There is an internship opportunity that is specifically designed for students who have a demonstrated interest in social justice for individuals with disabilities.

In our early years, we litigated the seminal cases of Halderman v. Pennhurst, which led to the closure of the notorious Pennhurst State School and Hospital and the movement of its residents into community living arrangements, and PARC v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, which established the Constitutional right of children with disabilities to receive a public education and led to the adoption of the IDEA.

Today, the Law Center’s goal is to secure a free appropriate public education for all children with disabilities by using due process complaints, federal court lawsuits and appeals, class action lawsuits, and other strategies to compel meaningful structural changes in school districts.

The Law Center offers rewarding, meaningful work through its program of unpaid internships for college and law school students, both during the school year and over the summer.

Law students (We prefer 2Ls but will consider 1Ls):

  • Review and summarize case documents of individual clients
  • Research and summarize cases
  • Preparation of documents and related materials for hearings, depositions and court proceedings
  • Read and summarize transcripts from depositions or hearings
  • Legal research on a variety of civil rights issues and legal procedures
  • Drafting of motions and briefs in administrative hearing cases, federal court cases and appellate courts
  • Assist in responding to discovery in discrimination cases
  • Prepare attorney fee petitions
  • Interview prospective witnesses

College students:

  • Research policies and practices of various public entities
  • Attend legislative meetings to obtain information
  • Assist with computerized information research
  • Prepare charts and graphs on a variety of topics
  • Summarize transcripts

How to Apply

We seek individuals who have a demonstrated interest in social justice for individuals with disabilities and who can commit to a regular schedule of work —15-20 hours a week during the school year and full time in the summer.

Deadlines
For Fall Interns: Apply by June 1st
For Spring Interns: Apply by September 1st
For Summer Interns: Apply by February 28th

Please note: We will have no more than one intern for disability issues per semester, and no more than two in the summer. This is a competitive process.

To apply, submit a letter, resume, and writing sample (including time to prepare the writing sample) to:

Benjamin Geffen
Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia
United Way Building,
1709 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Second Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19103
bgeffen@pilcop.org

Hear from our past interns!

Tiffany Ferrette, Villanova University, Class of 2015

I had a wonderful experience as an intern at the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia. The dedicated staff was so welcoming and supportive, and I had the opportunity to learn about the amazing work that is going on here from specific cases, to development and communications. This experience was invaluable and will definitely help me later on in life. I was challenged to work on things in which I had no prior experience and was encouraged throughout my time here. I greatly appreciate the opportunities that were given to me, and I highly recommend getting involved with the Law Center!

Sarah Morrissey, Penn Law, Class of 2015

This summer has been an incredibly rewarding experience. During my time at the Law Center, I researched legal issues including Medicaid compliance and enforcement of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). I also reviewed and analyzed student records to assess a school district’s compliance with IDEA regulations on progress reporting. This summer the Law Center was working on the case for the permanent injunction against the Voter ID law, and I got to watch a day of the trial in Harrisburg, which was really interesting. I really enjoyed working with the attorneys at the Law Center. They are incredibly accomplished and highly regarded in their fields, and I appreciated that they valued our input on cases and made sure that we learned as much as possible during our time here.

Margaret Huang, New York University, Class of 2015

I had a fantastic time working at the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia. The staff is passionate, engaging and knowledgeable. I felt the work that I was doing was substantive and followed the voter ID trial from the initial search for witnesses to the trial where those witnesses were put on the stand.  The lawyers I worked with were great mentors. They gave constructive feedback on the work that was done for them and always made sure to keep us engaged. I immensely enjoyed my experience at the Law Center.

Nora Mahlberg, Harvard Law, Class of 2015

I had a wonderful summer working at the Law Center. I got the chance to delve into new legal areas and hone many valuable legal skills. I was able to draft a brief, a variety of legal memoranda, write blog articles to assist community gardening groups in reclaiming vacant lots in their neighborhood, and write a literature review on existing legal scholarship on urban agriculture raising areas for further research and study.  My summer experience was enriched by the opportunities to sit in on a trial preparation meeting for the Pennsylvania voter ID trial, and observe a day of that trial later in the summer. The people at the Law Center are dedicated and passionate about their work, and their doors are always open. The interns really felt like a part of the organization and its work.

Kristen Valosky, Georgetown Law, Class of 2015

I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to intern with the Law Center this summer and could not have asked for a better experience. Not only did I improve my legal research and writing skills by working on memos, due process complaints, and briefs that had direct implications for students with disabilities threatened with deprivation of quality services, but I also witnessed the power of passionate advocates using the law as an agent of social justice. Attending the trial where Law Center attorneys challenged Pennsylvania’s Voter ID Law, witnessing the launch of a community gardening initiative, and sitting in on strategy meetings with clients and other attorneys revealed the countless ways that lawyers impact policies, provide support to individuals, and unite communities. I would heartily recommend this internship to anyone considering a career in public interest law. They would be hard pressed to find a more dedicated group of people working to empower Philadelphia citizens.

Margaret Hadley, Middlebury College, Class of 2015

My experience this summer has been so much more than envelope-stuffing. Every day I felt that I was given meaningful assignments that helped to foster valuable skills. The office environment is warm and energetic; both the people and the work have made my time here an exciting learning experience that I am sad to see end.

Elias Kohn, University of Southern California, Class of 2012

An internship with the Law Center provides a stimulating experience where interns may contribute to the Law Center by doing work they are interested in. As a prospective law student interested in environmental work, I was excited that I could help with the Law Center’s efforts to facilitate vacant lot transitions into community gardens and familiarize myself with Grounded in Philly, the garden-mapping device the Law Center created this summer. The Law Center also facilitates a range of learning opportunities for interns. For example, we traveled to Harrisburg to attend the very publicized voter ID trial, observed oral arguments before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, attended panel discussions during lunch once a week, and participated in weekly meetings.  Working in a setting alongside current law students and communications interns provided a great opportunity to meet new people with similar interests. The permanent staff at the Law Center are all wonderful people accomplishing great things who were very kind and allowed a flexible schedule for me, due to some unexpected changes in my availability. A productive office environment that is also friendly and educational, I highly recommend volunteering, interning, donating and/or becoming involved with the Law Center in some manner for the great work they are doing and all they have to offer.

Steven Sparber, Brandeis University, Class of 2012

The Law Center is one of the most fruitful environments I’ve had the privilege of experiencing. There are always events and projects to get involved in—court hearings, panel discussions, trial reporting. Moreover, there is an opportunity to gain exposure to the most important issues affecting Pennsylvania’s citizens. In this respect, interns are really immersed in the Law Center’s work.

The attorneys at PILCOP are conscious of their role as teachers. Their dedication to the public interest translates into a culture that fosters hard work, openness, and consideration. I will always remember my internship at the Law Center for these qualities.

Robert Liu, Stanford University, Class of 2014

Working at PILCOP was an exhilarating and intellectually stimulating experience. I had the opportunity to learn immensely about many areas of law and public policy, including voter ID, special education, and healthcare access. All the people at PILCOP were extremely accessible and enthusiastic about their work, and were willing to involve me deeply in their projects. I did work on the voter ID case, attended meetings with special education advocates and lawyers, and was fortunate enough to witness the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s hearing on the voter ID law. Overall, it was a valuable experience.

Jacob Godshall, Cornell University, Class of 2014

“I found my summer at PILCOP to be extremely valuable and rewarding. It was truly special to be a part of an organizing whose lawyers were so passionate and hardworking. As an undergraduate, I did not know much about public interest law coming in, but by the end of the summer, I felt that I had learned a lot and got a chance to do some great work. The lawyers were fearless about taking on big cases such as Voter ID and trusting to give their interns considerable responsibilities. I interviewed witnesses, attended depositions, participated in policy circles, and served as PILCOP’s representative at Voter ID coalition meetings. I came away from this internship at PILCOP with a real understanding of how litigation works and an inspired sense of how the law can be used to enact important change for the public good. A great way to spend the summer!”

Lauren Hoff, University of Pennsylvania Law School, Class of 2014

“This summer, I really enjoyed having hands on experience in legal research and writing for cases that I felt passionate about. I most enjoyed writing a brief in support of a summary judgment motion on behalf of parents who paid excessive fines for their children’s truancy. It was really interesting to be able to follow this case throughout the summer, from preparing our clients to testify and attending the class certification hearing, to filing dispositive motions and responses.”

 

Aviva Reinfeld, Stanford Law Class of 2012

Aviva“Externing at the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia gave me the benefits of learning about many areas of law in a practical setting.  Everyone at the Law Center is welcoming and inclusive.  The attorneys are skilled, passionate, and hardworking, yet they were always eager to give me new assignments and responsibilities and include me in their work.  Not only did I improve my research and writing skills, I also participated in client meetings, attended a deposition and hearing, assisted in trial preparation, and even served as a representative for the Law Center in a coalition to protect voting rights in Pennsylvania.  Being at the Law Center full-time gives you a unique perspective into what it means to be a public interest lawyer.  The attorneys valued my assistance, gave me feedback and helped me learn and grow as a budding attorney…Now that I have returned to school, I approach my courses with renewed purpose and a fresh perspective.  I can’t think of a better way to spend a semester!”

Kaitlyn Maxwell, Boston University School of Law, Class of 2012

Kaitlyn“My summer internship at PILCOP exceeded my expectations. I truly hit the ground running and was provided a variety of hands-on assignments and experiences. I attended a school IEP meeting, reviewed discovery documents, observed attorneys during a deposition, researched substantive and procedural issues to assist attorneys in drafting pleadings and motions, and attended a board meeting. I was inspired by the passion and commitment of the PILCOP staff members. The weekly staff meetings were a great way to gain insight regarding current cases and upcoming initiatives. The attorneys discussed challenges in their cases and welcomed comments and questions from other staff members and interns. PILCOP’s skilled litigators are also wonderful teachers. The attorneys provided meaningful learning experiences by outlining background information for each assignment and answering questions to ensure that I not only had the information I needed to complete the assignment, but that I also learned about the litigation process. I highly recommend a summer at PILCOP to law students seeking a dynamic and rewarding internship.”

Jeremy Garson, Michigan Law School Class of 2014

Jeremy“I could go on and on about what makes the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia so great, but what it truly comes down to can be summarized in three words; competence, passion and kindness. As a prospective law student, I have been told over and over again that the law is a grinding, cut-throat field. While I am still fairly sure that is true in 99% of cases, PILCOP proves that great things can be accomplished in the law with a smile on your face and a sense of humanity in your heart.”

Nathaniel T. Hopkins, Northwestern University School of Law, Class of 2013

“I am very lucky to have had the opportunity to spend an entire semester as a full-time law student intern at the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia. The thirteen weeks I have spent here are without a doubt the highlight of my time as a law student. The Law Center is always working on a wide variety of interesting and impactful issues, and the small size of the office means that interns have the opportunity to do significant work alongside stellar civil rights attorneys. During my time here, I have met with clients, interviewed witnesses for hearings, drafted a Third Circuit brief, composed opinion letters, written over a dozen intra-office memos and much more. I don’t think there are many other places where a law student can have such an engaging internship experience. I may have learned as much from one semester at the Law Center as I did from the rest of law school put together.”

 

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