Legal Internship: Justice Fellowship

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The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) has openings for its 2012 Justice Fellowship program. The fellowship is designed to train the next generation of social justice, civil rights, and movement lawyers. Specifically, our program is for talented and committed law students who want to become people’s lawyers.


The PCJF is a non-profit legal and educational organization that engages in complex constitutional rights litigation, including landmark First Amendment and Section 1983 cases, civil rights and anti-discrimination cases, economic justice issues, exposure of government misconduct and Freedom of Information Act cases, and defense of targeted communities and political organizations and activists. The PCJF’s work has resulted in significant victories including some of the largest settlements in U.S. history for protest cases and the elimination of the D.C. police’s controversial military-style checkpoint operations. Among other matters, we are currently litigating the class action lawsuit challenging the trap and arrest tactics used by the NYPD to jail more than 700 people on the Brooklyn Bridge on October 1, 2011 at the start of the Occupy movement.

Fellows will gain practical litigation experience and also sharpen their theoretical understanding of the relationship between social change, organizing, and lawyering. Fellows work under the direct supervision of PCJF attorneys and are given high-quality assignments and feedback.

As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, PCJF is unable to offer paid internships. Fellows may seek outside funding or work on a volunteer basis. We will assist fellows in applying for funding, but we encourage applicants to investigate available options and deadlines prior to applying.


Fellows will work closely with the attorneys of the PCJF. Responsibilities include legal research and writing, policy research, development of public and educational materials, and participation in client and activist/organization meetings. Fellows will provide core support to ongoing litigation in the areas of the First and Fourth Amendments, constitutional civil rights, protection of free speech and dissent, and challenges to police misconduct.

Fellowship projects are focused on three general areas:
1) Empowering social movements through freedom of information demands and litigation
2) Exposing and challenging emerging domestic spying and surveillance technologies
3) Mass defense and constitutional rights litigation in the context of First Amendment activities


  • Enthusiasm for the work and mission of the PCJF
  • Currently enrolled law student entering second or third year
  • Excellent legal research and oral/written communication skills
  • Experience in and/or a demonstrated commitment to activism and social justice


Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. Fellowships are available during the summer as well as the spring and fall semesters. Please submit a cover letter explaining your interest in the position, your experience, and whether you are applying for a summer position or a semester position; your resume; two references; and a writing sample by e-mail to Heather Benno at

Please put “2012 Justice Fellowship Application” in the subject line of the email. Incomplete or improperly formatted materials will not be considered. After receipt of application materials, PCJF will offer interviews to suitable applicants, which may be conducted in-person or by telephone. No phone calls or faxes please.

PCJF encourages women, people of color, persons with disabilities and LGBT persons to apply.

Partnership for Civil Justice Fund
617 Florida Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20001