Legal Research Internship, Open Society Foundation, USA

Publish Date: Mar 01, 2016

Deadline: Mar 17, 2016

Legal Research Internship, Open Society Foundation

The Open Society Justice Initiative uses the law to protect and empower people around the world. Through litigation, advocacy, research, and technical assistance, we strive to secure legal remedies for human rights abuses, and promote effective enforcement of the rule of law. Our efforts focus on accountability for international crimes, racial discrimination and statelessness, criminal justice reform, abuses related to national security and counterterrorism, the promotion of freedom of information and expression, and combating natural resource–related corruption.

Job Profile

The Open Society Justice Initiative encourages law school and other advanced degree graduate students to join our team as Legal Research Interns in our New York, Washington, D.C. and Budapest offices.   With close supervision by an assigned mentor, interns will learn about the various tools available for researching issues, engaging in oral and written persuasive techniques, and drafting reports and legal memoranda related to human rights related advocacy in the areas of focus of the Justice Initiative.

Legal research interns will receive hands-on training on the various methodologies used by public interest advocacy groups to foster and encourage reform, inclusion, human rights, and the building of legal capacity for open societies. Interns will be instructed, and receive hands-on training, on many of the broad range of activities involved in effectuating reform, human rights, and the building of legal capacity for open societies, including but not limited to, the identification of an injustice to be remedied, the formulation of a comprehensive action plan, and the research and writing involved in research memoranda, reports and studies associated with a project. The internship term extends from June through August, and requires a full-time (40 hours/week) commitment.

Upon acceptance, interns will need to provide a letter from their university indicating that they are receiving academic credit and/or funding for the internship.

Typical Duties and Responsibilities

  • Draft legal and non-legal reports and memoranda for relevant to projects in our four core thematic areas: accountability, liberty and transparency; criminal justice; equality and inclusion; and rule of law.
  • Conduct all-source research via websites, Lexis/Nexis, foreign source materials, academic studies, oral interviews of experts, legal and political documents and Library of Congress materials.
  • Attend scheduled staff conference calls and relevant meetings hosted by think tanks, nongovernmental organizations and government briefings.
  • Assist with the development of web-site and advocacy materials as needed.
  • Attend relevant meetings hosted by think tanks and government and non-government agencies.

Candidate Profile

  • Currently enrolled in a relevant law school or graduate program.
  • Highly motivated and have demonstrated excellence in prior endeavors. 
  • Strong communication, interpersonal and computer skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to write effectively and analyze and summarize complex information.
  • Desire to function in a team environment.
  • Ability to multi-task while remaining attentive to detail.
  • Ability to effectively manage working efficiently in a fast-paced environment, troubleshoot and follow projects through to completion, with strict deadlines and without loss of attention to detail, budget, and reporting.

Apply now

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Eligible Countries


Host Countries

United States