Legal Internships

The Bazelon Center is always seeking talented law students, who are committed to social justice and interested in promoting and protecting the rights of adults and children with mental illnesses, for summer and school-year internships.

The Center’s staff work on U.S. Supreme Court and other federal and state appellate cases, bring impact litigation at the trial court level, engage in policy advocacy in Congress and at federal agencies, and provide education and training on the rights of people with mental illnesses. The Center’s attorneys are considered experts in systems reform litigation.

Legal interns will have an opportunity to obtain hands-on experience with both the investigation and litigation of disability rights matters.  Interns will have the opportunity to investigate potential claims by interviewing complainants and witnesses, reviewing documents, and preparing factual and legal memoranda. Interns will work on the Center’s active litigation docket by conducting legal research, drafting briefs, and assisting with legal proceedings.

Legal interns will also have the opportunity to contribute to the Center’s policy efforts by conducting background research for fact sheets and policy papers and preparing legal and policy analysis related to regulatory actions, legislation, and current events. Interns will also have the opportunity to attend Congressional briefings and hearings and meetings of national disability rights and civil rights coalitions.

Interns will receive extensive training in disability rights advocacy and regular supervision and feedback.


Interns should have a demonstrated commitment to public interest work and strong communication and organizational skills.  Completed course work in a civil rights subject matter, particularly disability rights, is preferred.  2Ls and 3Ls are preferred, but 1Ls with outstanding qualifications will be considered.

Salary and Hours: 

All internships are unpaid, but the Center is committed to working with students who apply for outside funding or school credit, and we encourage accepted applicants to seek out such opportunities.  Summer interns are asked to work full-time for at least ten weeks; school-year interns are asked to work at least 20 hours per week for at least ten weeks.

Hiring is conducted according to the following schedule:  

Summer Internship Positions:
To guarantee consideration for a place in our summer class, applications may be submitted as of September 1 and are due no later than October 1. Applications after the deadline may be considered as space is available.

School Year Internship Positions:
To guarantee consideration for a school year placement, applications for fall positions are due by June 1 and for spring positions are due by October 15. Applications after these deadlines may be considered as space is available.

* Please note we generally do not review applications for an internship term until after the deadline for that term. *

To submit an application, please send the following materials via PDF attachment to Anashua Dutta ([email protected]):

(1) a cover letter describing your interest in working with the Center, the time period for which you are applying, and what experiences you are hoping to have as an intern;
(2) a resume;
(3) an unofficial transcript; and
(4) a writing sample of ten pages or fewer.

Please use the subject line: “Internship Application of (your name) for Spring/Fall/Summer (year).”

The Center is an Equal Opportunity employer. People with disabilities, people who are members of minority groups, women, and veterans are encouraged to apply.