Job Description
Job Title Law Student Internships (NY)
Job ID 751400
Begin Date 9/20/13
Location New York,  NY 10001
Other Location United States
Description Human Rights First is a dynamic, U.S.-based advocacy organization that has worked for over thirty years to leverage U.S. law, policy, and influence to promote human rights around the world.
Human Rights First has a reputation for pragmatic, results-oriented advocacy that is politically astute, grounded in facts, and driven by sophisticated legal and policy analysis. We focus our efforts not on making a point, but on making a difference. We know from experience that human rights progress is more durable when diverse partners work together to bring about change, so we build strategic, non-partisan alliances to support our objectives. We pride ourselves on this practical, inclusive approach. It works.   

Human Rights First welcomes law students to apply for internships with our Refugee Protection Program.  We seek part-time interns during each of the fall and spring semesters each academic year, and we seek full-time interns during each summer while students are on break from classes.  We would also consider having interns remain with our program for the academic year.
For all internships, we are looking for students who are currently enrolled in law school, have a strong interest in and commitment to human rights, are fluent in a relevant second language, and want to work on behalf of indigent asylum-seekers.  Interns will be based in our New York office.  During the fall and spring semesters, interns will be expected to work at least 10 hours per week.  The internships will run for a 10-12 week period in each of the fall and spring semesters.  During the summer, interns will be expected to work at least 35 hours per week.  All internships are unpaid. Interns will be responsible for securing their own funding or arranging to receive course credit at their law schools.

The Refugee Protection Program works to provide indigent asylum seekers with quality legal representation in their asylum cases.  The program also advocates for legal reform and policy change on issues affecting asylum seekers in the United States.
  • Assist staff members in conducting screening and intake interviews with potential asylum clients by taking notes, providing interpretation services (depending on foreign language ability), and writing and editing detailed interview-based reports with extensive country research;
  • Travel to the immigration detention centers in New Jersey to assist with intake interviews of potential asylum clients, as needed;
  • Assist staff with legal research, preparation for trainings, meetings, special projects, and other events;
  • Represent Human Rights First at various NGO-government liaison meetings and take detailed notes for Human Rights First staff, as needed;
  • Help with the process of identifying, analyzing, and responding to legal or procedural changes that affect asylum seekers, including statutory changes, proposed regulations, and decisions from federal courts or the Board of Immigration Appeals;
  • Assist staff with written and oral correspondence with existing clients, potential clients, interpreters, and others involved in the process of case screening, acceptance, and placement with law firms;
  • Administrative and other tasks as needed.
EDUCATION:  Applicants MUST be law students who are currently enrolled in U.S.-based institutions and will be attending classes in the semester following their internship. 

  • Applicants must send a cover letter, resume, references, and a writing sample to
  • The subject line of the email must be: “RPP Law Student Internship.”  Please indicate whether you are interested in the single-semester internship or the year-long internship, and for what period of time.
APPLICATION DEADLINE: Open until filled.  Applications will be considered on a rolling basis.  Only those selected for an interview will be contacted.  No phone calls.

Human Rights First is a non-profit, nonpartisan international human rights organization based in New York and Washington DC. We build respect for human rights and the rule of law to help ensure the dignity to which everyone is entitled and to stem intolerance, tyranny, and violence.

Human Rights First is committed to recruiting, retaining, developing, and promoting staff across all programs and departments from a diversity of backgrounds, including members of racial and ethnic minorities, LGBTI people, people with disabilities, people of all socioeconomic backgrounds, people of all nationalities, and veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. We believe that a diverse staff and an inclusive work environment that welcomes a range of perspectives help make our advocacy work stronger and more effective.
Required Skills •Demonstrated interest in human rights, asylum, and immigration issues (experience in asylum and immigration issues preferred but not required);

•Excellent communication skills;

•Excellent writing and editing skills;

•Excellent research abilities;

•Fluency in a second language (preference will be given to Spanish, French, Mandarin, Haitian Creole, and Russian speakers);

•Ability to handle several tasks at once while working independently or as a member of a team;

•Compassion, empathy, and a sense of humor.
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