The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law is a nonpartisan law and policy institute that seeks to improve the systems of democracy and justice in the United States. We work to hold our political institutions and laws accountable to the twin American ideals of democracy and equal justice for all. The Brennan Center’s work ranges from voting rights to campaign finance reform, from ending mass incarceration to preserving Constitutional protections in the fight against terrorism. Part think tank, part advocacy group, part cutting edge communications hub, we start with rigorous research. We craft innovative policies. And we fight for them – in Congress and the states, in the courts, and in the court of public opinion.
The Brennan Center's 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.
We seek law students to work alongside staff in our New York office on the Brennan Center’s policy advocacy, research, and litigation initiatives. Activities may include legal, policy, and factual research in support of: administrative and legislative advocacy at federal, state, and local levels; public education and scholarship; complex factual research; and litigation in trial and appellate courts. The Brennan Center’s interns are integral to all aspects of our work, including programmatic and strategic planning. We strive to offer a fun and intellectually-challenging legal intern experience that supports and supplements the vital advocacy offered by the Brennan Center. The internship lasts for the semester.
Assignments will be drawn from work on voting rights (including the rights of students and people with felony convictions); reform of election administration (including voter registration modernization, responses to disinformation, 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 and the empowerment of historically disenfranchised communities; protecting the independence, impartiality, and integrity of the courts; and eliminating partisan gerrymandering and other manipulations of electoral maps.
Note: This internship will take place in person at our NY office.
Qualifications: Excellent legal research, analysis, and writing skills; initiative, imagination, and versatility; and a passion for our issues.
Interns may assist with a variety of activities, including conducting legal research and writing for amicus briefs, policy reports, and other advocacy documents; drafting communications to legislators; assisting with writing comments to federal agencies; attending coalition meetings; drafting posts for the Brennan Center blog; and more.
The following material is required to apply for our internship:
- a cover letter explaining why you are interested in Democracy (NY) policy issues;
- a current law school transcript;
- a legal writing sample;
- a current resume; and
- contact information for three references.
The Brennan Center is committed to advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the workplace. We continuously work with our staff to find new ways to increase diversity and to build and cultivate an inclusive and equitable work environment, where everyone can be their true self and feel a strong sense of belonging. As such, we seek to hire employees who have a commitment to and/or experience with diversity, equity, and inclusion. In addition, we expect employees to participate/contribute with DEI initiatives or activities with recruitment, retention, and workplace culture.
Applications should be submitted through our website.
Please visit https://brennancenter.applytojob.com/apply/0m7aJG9lV4/Spring-2023-Legal-Internship-For-Democracy-NY and upload all of the required materials. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. We encourage interested students to apply early, as the positions will be filled once qualified candidates are found. Applications will close on December 2, 2022.
If you have difficulty with the online system, you may send your application by e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org with "Democracy NY Spring Legal Internship" in the subject line, after registering in the online system. Applying through our website is strongly preferred.
Note: The Brennan Center is committed to public health and to the safety and wellbeing of our colleagues and visitors. As such, we have adopted a policy requiring all employees working in the New York and Washington, DC offices to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or to meet the legal guidelines for an exemption.
The Brennan Center for Justice is committed to a workplace based on equal opportunity and a strong belief in the increased effectiveness that comes from a diverse workforce. To this end, Brennan Center
- Welcomes and hires applicants of all races, ethnicities, gender identities, socioeconomic identities and sexual orientations, including people who have been previously incarcerated;
- Creates a workplace where true diversity is fostered and different perspectives are valued and freely exchanged;
- Ensures that all members of the Brennan Center community feel welcome and respected, and have equal opportunities to thrive and advance within the institution; and
- Is committed to supporting low-income communities and communities of color particularly affected by social inequities.