Intern with us! We have law school and undergraduate student opportunities year-round.
We hire legal interns to work alongside staff in our New York and DC offices 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.
We also hire undergraduate student interns to provide administrative and programmatic support to staff in our Communications, Democracy, Development, Events, Finance, Human Resources, Justice, Liberty & National Security, and Operations Departments.
The Brennan Center for Justice brings impact litigation, advises lawmakers on the constitutionality of bills, drafts legislation and regulations, and produces public education materials on a number of topics. We have three programs: Democracy, Justice, and Liberty & National Security.
- The Democracy Program focuses on issues of voting rights and elections, money in politics, redistricting and representation, government dysfunction, and fair courts. The program conducts research, publishes influential studies, convenes conferences, develops policy proposals, supports strategy development, and participates in litigation to defend campaign finance laws, ensure a fair judiciary, uphold fair representation, and oppose laws that restrict the rights of voters.
- The Justice Program works on habeas corpus, abuse of executive power, access to counsel, and the rights of prisoners and ex-prisoners, among other topics.
- The Liberty & National Security Program seeks to build institutions and define policies that result in a fair, accountable, and transparent national security system.
We hire legal interns to work in New York and Washington, D.C., alongside Brennan Center staff policy on 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.
We also offer some opportunities, such as the Public Policy Advocacy Clinic, exclusively for NYU School of Law students. Law students are sometimes able to earn credit for their work, may be able to develop law review pieces and other papers on subjects growing out of the center's activities, and are encouraged to apply for post-graduate fellowships at the Brennan Center.
Legal interns receive one-on-one supervision from attorneys on our staff. If students need to complete a particular type of writing assignment for their coursework requirements, we do our best to accommodate by allowing students to write law review-style articles about legal questions that arise in our work.
Funding: Legal interns are not compensated by the Brennan Center. Select summer interns, who would not otherwise be able to live and work in New York or Washington, D.C., may apply for the James E. Johnson Legal Intern Fund. Named for our former board chair, who served for seven years, the fund was created in 2011 to pay tribute to Johnson’s extraordinary leadership and ongoing commitment to building the Brennan Center. The program is a prestigious opportunity and helps nurture future leaders in the public interest field.
Qualifications: Excellent legal research, analysis, and writing skills; initiative, imagination, and versatility; and a passion for our issues. These positions are only open to current law school students.
To apply: Please visit our employment portal and upload your cover letter, resume, current transcript, a legal writing sample of up to 10 pages, and contact details for three references. In your cover letter, please specify the program that most interests you. No phone calls, please.
Spring 2021 Deadline: December 4th at 5:00pm. Summer 2021 Deadline: January 15th at 5:00pm.
The Brennan Center hires undergraduate student interns for fall, spring, and summer semesters to provide administrative and programmatic support to staff in our Communications, Development, Events, Finance, Human Resources, Operations, and Programs (Democracy, Justice, and Liberty & National Security) departments.
This is a great experience for undergraduate students interested in the general workings of a not-for-profit organization.
Responsibilities: All interns assist with general administrative and clerical work, including filing, photocopying, answering phones, shipping and mailing, coordinating meetings, drafting routine correspondence, and covering the reception desk.
In addition to administrative and reception duties, specific responsibilities for each department include:
- Communications – filing press clips and tracking media appearances; creating and updating press lists; tracking Brennan Center issues and initiatives on the web; creating and editing event transcripts; and assisting in outreach.
- Development – assisting in event organization; updating the fundraising database; researching funding opportunities; and assisting in donor correspondence.
- Events – setting up and breaking down events; traveling to and from events; marketing tasks; greeting guests; organizing event logistics; and assisting the Events team with various projects.
- Finance – assisting in processing payables and receivables; and backing up Accounts Payable staff, after learning software and systems.
- Human Resources – assisting staff with research; onboarding new hires; recruitment; payroll; updating data spreadsheets and benefit enrollments; and filing personnel records.
- Operations – assisting with general administrative, research, and clerical work.
- Democracy – providing support for litigation, assisting in the research for and rollout of reports, and aiding the program’s advocacy efforts.
- Justice – tracking developments in criminal justice; building lists of key stakeholders; conducting background research; assisting with report research, editing, and rollout; and administrative support.
- Liberty & National Security – conducting research on program issues, such as surveillance, religious and racial profiling, and counter-terrorism initiatives; copy-editing and cite-checking research papers, blogs, op-eds, or other materials; and assisting with scheduling, mailing publications, and maintaining contact lists.
Hours: 15–25/week during fall and spring semesters; 40/week during summer
Qualifications: Interns must have a passion for our issues and excellent written and verbal communication skills. The ideal candidates are independent, detail-oriented, and highly organized. Experience with Windows XP, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft Word are a must. Database experience is very helpful. Must be open to evolving responsibilities. These positions are only open to current undergraduate students.
To apply: Please visit our employment portal and upload your cover letter, resume, and a list of contact details for three references. In your cover letter and in the application on our website, please specify the department that most interests you. We strongly encourage applying on our employment website. No phone calls, please.
Summer 2021: The deadline for summer undergraduate internships is March 31, 2021. Only certain departments and programs will be hosting interns this year. The departments and programs hosting will be listed in the posting.