Internship and Externship Opportunities for Current Law Students
Law students play a critical role in helping us to provide access to counsel and justice for low-income residents of the District of Columbia. Our neighborhood-based, service delivery model allows us to bring law students into low-income communities across the city to learn first-hand the myriad, daily challenges faced by residents living in poverty. Our interns/externs assist our staff attorneys in the field by conducting factual investigations and doing legal research across a variety of substantive areas. They also participate in client meetings, trial preparation, and community outreach activities. We also encourage all of our interns to take advantage of the professional networking and training opportunities available in Washington D.C. and the region.
How To Apply
New internship/externship classes begin every September (fall semester), January (spring semster) and May (summer program). Candidates should have excellent writing, factual and legal analytical skills; strong organizational skills; good communication and interpersonal skills to communicate effectively with clients, the public, and co-workers; and the ability to work collaboratively with others. Bilingual language skills are also highly valued. If you are interested in an internship with the Neighborhood Legal Services Program, see the open opportunities below or fill out our inquiry form below.
You can also contact NLSP Pro Bono Counsel Heather Hodges, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 269-5115.
Current Internship Opportunities
Law students interested in volunteering should send a letter of interest, resume, and writing sample to Heather L. Hodges, Pro Bono Counsel, at email@example.com. Qualifications include excellent writing, factual and legal analytical skills; strong organizational skills; good communication and interpersonal skills to communicate effectively with clients, the public, and co-workers; and the ability to work collaboratively with others. Bilingual language skills are also highly valued.
What to Expect
Law students who have volunteered at NLSP have had the opportunity to work on a wide-range of legal projects and benefitted from substantive contact with our staff attorneys.
Maria Maldonado 2014 Women's Bar Association Founders Fellow writes about her experiences.
My fellowship at NLSP was an invaluable experience. Thanks to the generous contributions of the Women’s Bar Association Foundation, my summer internship cultivated and accelerated my professional growth. The work environment at NLSP was casual, yet productive and always offered high quality legal services. Ms. Turner Roberts and Mr. López took on mentoring roles and were, and still are, invested in my professional development. I became a much more sharp, polished, knowledgeable and empathetic legal advocate for the underserved. More importantly, I was able to help low-income communities and families get the legal services they need without charge, and little by little, empower these communities out of the harsh cycle of poverty.
Ashlee Lewis (Howard University School of Law '14):
"I served as the family law intern for Neighborhood Legal Services Program. I worked mostly under Keeshea Turner Roberts and Heather Hodges. While there I researched and analyzed family law issues including but not limited to custody and visitation, child support, domestic violence, divorce and paternity laws. I interviewed clients and participated in all phases of trial preparation. I drafted case summaries and composed research memorandums recommending arguments and positions for attorney usage in client letters and motions presentation. I made court appearances quite often assisting in any way I could including drafting points and questions to cross-examine on. I also designed a new publication/brochure of the services offered by Neighborhood Legal Services Program; it also provided the information on other like services offered in the city."
Schuaa Tajmuul (American University, Washington College of Law '12):
"The housing cases I worked on were very interesting and involved several, dfferent issues. In one case, a client had her rent subsidized by an independent group, and needed help understanding why she was behind on her rent It turned out that the group subsidizing her apartment had missed payments for several months. Another case involved a client who was threatened with eviction after someone picked a fight with her near her apartment complex, as her lease stated she would be evicted upon a physical altercation taking place on the rental property. We worked with her to determine that the conflict did not occur on the rental property and determined that due to that, the apartment complex could not hold her liable. These projects helped me develop skills in conducting legal research and writing, document review, and problem-solving. I was also involved in preparing direct and cross-examination questions for a hearing, as well as preparing the client for the court appearance. I additionally worked on several, other small matters through which I learned how to interview clients and develop working relationships with them. In fact, I was given the opportunity to present a case at a staff meeting where I discussed the merits of a case with the other attorneys and asked their advice as to whether this was a case we would be able to resolve. My experience at such meetings and with clients helped me develop confidence in speaking to others about the law."