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Internships & Law School Clinics

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  • Law School Clinic & Externships

Internships

Our vibrant internship program helps us to expand our services and train the next generation of public interest lawyers. Interns handle substantive work across the breadth of our civil legal service practice areas and participate in comprehensive training. Ideal candidates will have excellent research, writing, and analytical skills, and a strong commitment to public interest law. All internships are unpaid.

Fall & Spring

Schedule: At least two days per week; 12 - 14 hours

Summer

Schedule: Full-time; ten weeks (Late May - Early August)

Recruitment Schedule

Fall: June 1 - August 31
Spring: September 1 - January 1
Summer: December 1 - March 31

Available Internships

The volunteer may be assigned a variety of tasks which support the overall mission of the organization.  Typical assignments include special events and fundraising assistance, data entry, and data management projects, processing closed files, research, and may also include client consultations and observance of legal proceedings.  This is an ideal role for a college student with an interest in attending law school and/or pursuing a career in a nonprofit setting.

Domestic Violence Law Unit (DVLU) Intern.

Interns have extensive client contact, draft petitions and motions, attend court proceedings and trainings throughout the summer.  Interns will assist petitioners with orders of protection through the Courtroom Advocates Project (CAP) in Family Court, and will work on a variety of matters on their supervising attorney(s) docket including contested and uncontested divorces, custody and visitation, spousal and child support and immigration matters under the Violence Against Women Act. Strong preference for fluent Arabic, Mandarin, and Spanish speakers.

Mediation Project Intern

Mediation Project interns will interview potential clients about issues to be resolved, screen out domestic violence cases through clients’ interviews, observe, take notes and write a summary of mediation sessions and conduct outreach to community-based organizations about the project. In addition, students assist clients prepare statements of net worth and gather financial information, draft agreements mediated by the parties at NYLAG, work on an uncontested divorce for a party who mediated their agreement at NYLAG, as well as research and write a guide on issues such as equitable distribution, support, custody/visitation and domestic violence to be used by consulting attorneys.

Consumer Protection Unit Interns

The Consumer Protection Unit supports unrepresented litigants in consumer debt cases in New York City’s Civil Courts.  Interns will have the opportunity to represent clients in court, negotiate with opposing counsel, and argue before a judge. The legal intern will appear in court in defense of debt collection actions (under attorney supervision), perform legal research, draft motion papers, create legal self-help and reference materials, work directly with clients, conduct client intakes, and more. Some light administrative work is expected, such as entering client data into our client database.

Foreclosure Prevention Project Intern

The Foreclosure Prevention Project provides legal representation for homeowners facing foreclosure. The project also includes community education and financial counseling.  Intern responsibilities include: client intakes and interviews at the Foreclosure Clinics in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Nassau or Suffolk, attending settlement conferences and court appearances, conducting legal research, submitting mortgage modification and short sale applications to lenders, assisting clients with residential real estate contracts and closings and all other aspects of foreclosure defense. Strong preference for fluent Spanish speakers.

The Employment Law Project provides representation in cases involving wage and hour issues (including overtime, unpaid wages, and minimum wage claims), as well as a broad range of other employment law issues.  Intern responsibilities will include: client interviewing, legal research and writing, and drafting demand letters and complaints. Strong preference for fluent Spanish speakers.

Immigrant Protection Unit interns provide direct client services, including application assistance for naturalization, self-petitions for domestic violence victims, T visas for victims of human trafficking, U visas for victims of crimes, other affirmative and humanitarian-based applications, and in some instances, applications for asylum. The internship provides the opportunity for extensive legal research as well as drafting comprehensive legal memoranda. Finally, students also have the opportunity to be involved in community outreach and other project-based initiatives. Strong preference for fluent Spanish speakers.

The Federal Legal Clinic (SDNY) provides assistance at all stages of federal litigation to persons representing themselves in an incredibly diverse range of cases including, civil rights, labor and employment, intellectual property, and securities law. This diversity of cases and litigants provides volunteers with a unique opportunity to gain practical experience “thinking like a lawyer” and solving a variety of legal and non-legal issues while working directly with litigants. Interns have extensive contact with litigants by conducting initial intake interviews, providing legal consultations to clients under the supervision of an attorney, and interviewing clients to gather facts for written submissions to the federal court. Interns also write for a range of audiences including briefs for court, other litigation documents, and guides, templates, and fact sheets for litigants,  This is a great opportunity for students who are interested in federal litigation, direct legal services, or policy work.

The volunteer will gain exposure to the intricacies of financial counseling and economics.  Specific assignments may include pulling a credit report, maintaining the credit pull database, editing the counseling toolkit, as needed, data entry and management, and other relevant clerical duties. 

The Tenants’ Rights Unit interns will get hands-on experience conducting every aspect of eviction defense litigation, including client intake interviews, engaging in deadline-sensitive research to support Housing Court motion practice, and drafting Housing Court motions (and if the intern is ready, arguing motions in court). Interns will accompany attorneys to Housing Court appearances on a regular basis and participate in negotiations with opposing counsel to settle cases. Interns will also engage in affirmative litigation to assert tenants’ rights under rent stabilization laws and to ensure tenants’ apartments are safe and habitable. Finally, interns will work on administrative law matters to help clients resolve issues with public housing, help seniors and/or disabled tenants freeze their rent, and resolve problems with housing subsidies. Strong preference for fluent Russian or Spanish speakers.  

Special Litigation Unit (SLU) works to ensure that vulnerable New Yorkers receive the government benefits and services to which they are entitled. SLU also works to protect clients’ statutory and constitutional rights. Interns will work on a broad range of substantive issues, including public benefits, consumer protection, and special education. SLU interns will conduct legal research and factual investigation, interview and advocate for clients, draft legal memoranda and court documents, and assist with motion practice and discovery in pending lawsuits. Interns will also have the opportunity to attend court proceedings and/or case-related meetings and conferences. Strong preference for fluent Spanish speakers.

 

Writing sample required. 

The LGBTQ Law Project serves New York City’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer communities by providing free representation and advice on a wide array of civil legal matters and offering group trainings on legal issues affecting the LGBTQ communities.  The LGBTQ Law Project provides free representation in the following areas: housing and family law matters, including orders of protection, second parent adoptions, custody and visitation, divorces, legal name changes, immigration issues, orders of protection, public benefits, estate matters, advance directives, housing, and employment discrimination and more.  Intern responsibilities will include: working directly with clients, intake, client interviews, maintaining and updating client files, legal research, drafting and filing court and client documents. Strong preference for fluent Spanish speakers.

LegalHealth interns will help patients secure benefits, address housing issues, handle immigration matters, access special education services, solve insurance disputes, resolve family law matters and negotiate workplace accommodations.  Intern responsibilities will include client interviewing, maintaining client files, legal writing, and research. Strong preference for fluent Spanish speakers.

Evelyn Frank Legal Resources Project (EFLRP) interns will help clients who are elderly or have disabilities secure Medicaid and Medicare and services, with emphasis on long-term care services that allow them to remain in their homes or transition appropriately from hospitals or long-term care facilities to the community.  Responsibilities will include conducting intakes, case management and investigation, researching and writing legal memoranda, preparing materials for community or professional trainings, and editing articles for publication on NYHealthAccess.org. Interns may also have the opportunity to represent clients in Medicaid Fair Hearings in front of an Administrative Law Judge. Strong preference for fluent Russian or Spanish speakers.

MLHC Interns help staff the van and provide assistance to clients facing a wide array of civil legal issues, including housing, public benefits, health care, consumer protection, immigration, family law, employment, and advanced planning. Interns conduct interviews, maintain files, shadow attorneys in court, assist with drafting documents, and conduct research.

Public Benefits Unit Intern

Public Benefits interns will help clients to secure entitlements, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or “food stamps”), cash assistance, and childcare benefits. Responsibilities will include: maintaining client files, conducting intakes, assisting with the preparation and processing of client documents, preparing for hearings, and advocating for clients and negotiating with the HRA (the local department of social services). Interns may also have the opportunity to argue benefits cases at a Fair Hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge. To apply, submit a cover letter and resume to  [email protected].

Disability Assistance Project Interns

The Disability Assistance Project helps persons with disabilities to secure entitlements such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Intern responsibilities will include client interviewing, attending appointments at local Social Security offices, maintaining and updating client files, reviewing medical records, and drafting documents, such as hearing memoranda. Interns may also have the opportunity to argue an SSI/SSDI appeal before an Administrative Law Judge.

Elder Law Practice Intern

Interns in the Elder Law Practice will work closely with attorneys to provide direct elder law services to seniors with low income. Elder Law’s primary focus is obtaining health care and ensuring that clients’ wishes followed through advanced life planning. Interns will gain a familiarity with public health insurance options and appeals, long term care in the home, the use of Supplemental Needs Trusts for disabled individuals, and the many planning documents, including powers of attorney, health care proxies, living wills, and last wills and testaments.      

Veterans Legal Assistance Project Intern

Interns in the Veterans Practice will work closely with NYLAG staff to provide direct legal services to the United States military veterans. The Veterans Practice is focused on helping veterans secure the compensation and benefits they earned through their dedicated service to our country. Interns will become familiar with the eligibility, procedural, and evidentiary requirements for VA disability benefits claims and DOD discharge upgrades. Interns will have the opportunity to work on applications and appeals by gathering and reviewing evidence, drafting legal briefs and memoranda, and communicating directly with veteran clients. The Veterans Practice provides an opportunity to learn about legal protections for veterans, federal and state veterans’ benefits, and the landscape of social service providers in NYC.

Health Law Intern

The Health Law Practice provides advice and representation to individuals throughout New York City related to Medicare, Medicaid, and other public health insurance programs and serves as the principal public health insurance resource for the Public Benefits Unit’s broader benefits work. An intern in the Health Law Practice will conduct phone intakes, advocate with government agencies to assist clients secure health insurance related benefits/services, conduct legal research, and support attorneys/paralegals in the Health Law practice.

 

Total Life Choices (TLC) Intern

Interns will have extensive client contact and will assist with drafting Last Wills and Testaments, preparing Powers of Attorney and Advance Directives, as well as all other facets encompassing TLC’s work.  Strong preference for fluent Cantonese/Mandarin or Spanish speakers. 

Special Education interns will address such matters as the adequacy of child’s Individual Education Plan (IEP), the appropriateness of child’s school placement, and a child’s need for related services, such as speech and language therapy.  Intern responsibilities will include client interviewing, maintaining client files, legal writing, and research.

Interns will get hands-on experience conducting every aspect of eviction defense litigation, including client intake interviews, engaging in deadline-sensitive research to support Housing Court motion practice, and drafting Housing Court motions (and if the intern is ready, arguing motions in court). Interns will accompany attorneys to Housing Court appearances on a regular basis and participate in negotiations with opposing counsel to settle cases. Interns will also engage in affirmative litigation to assert tenants’ rights under rent stabilization laws and to ensure tenants’ apartments are safe and habitable. Finally, interns will work on administrative law matters to help clients resolve issues with public housing, help seniors and/or disabled tenants freeze their rent, and resolve problems with housing subsidies. Strong preference for fluent Russian or Spanish speakers.  

Law School Clinics & Externships

A two-semester clinical program available to second and third-year law students at St. John’s University School of Law and Brooklyn Law School. Students learn the basics of economic justice and the law, including how to address the needs of people living in poverty, people with disabilities and people experiencing homelessness attempting to navigate the social safety net.

To apply, send resume, cover letter, and writing sample (if requested) with desired internship in the subject line.

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