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Summer 2021 Legal Internship in NY - Democracy Program

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 and policy analysis; legislative drafting at federal, state, and local levels; administrative and legislative advocacy; public education and scholarship; 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 10 weeks. 

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, 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 levels; protecting the independence, impartiality, and integrity of the courts; eliminating partisan gerrymandering and other manipulations of electoral maps; and combating efforts to undermine the fairness and integrity of the census.

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:

  1. a cover letter explaining why you are interested in Democracy Program policy issues;
  2. a current law school transcript;
  3. a legal writing sample;
  4. a current resume; and
  5. contact information for three references.

Please visit https://brennancenter.applytojob.com/apply/vttumH83Mi/Summer-2021-Legal-Internship-In-NY-Democracy-Program and upload all of these required materials.  We accept applications and will fill positions on a rolling basis through January 15, 2021, but we encourage students with a strong interest in joining us to apply early.

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

  • Hires staff that reflects this country's full range of racial, ethnic, cultural, socioeconomic identities, gender identities, and sexual orientations;
  • 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.
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