Work for Democracy

Summer 2024 US Legal Internship/Externship

International Refugee Assistance Project

International Refugee Assistance Project

Posted on Wednesday, November 22, 2023
The International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) seeks law students to work as summer interns with our U.S. Legal Services Department. In particular, IRAP seeks candidates who are interested in working mainly with IRAP’s direct legal services team, although interns/externs will also have the opportunity to work on assignments with other departments as well. Candidates can apply to work remotely or from IRAP’s office in either Washington D.C. or New York City.

Possible Responsibilities

  • Supporting the direct representation of forcibly displaced people and their family members seeking safe passage to the United States by drafting memos, briefs, conducting fact-finding, and interviewing clients;
  • Conducting intake interviews and identifying client needs for direct services;
  • Participating in discrete special projects, including remote legal clinics;
  • Conducting outreach to affected communities, preparing legal information materials, and participating in public education efforts;
  • Contributing as needed to the work of other programmatic departments, such as by:
  • Participating in litigation efforts as appropriate, including conducting factual and legal research, preparing litigation documents, and cite-checking;
  • Conducting legal research in support of a multi-organizational working group on climate change;
  • Drafting and updating legal practitioner guides, analyzing changes in law and newly released government documents, and creating other materials to assist IRAP staff and legal aid practitioners.

Experience and Qualifications

  • Only candidates in J.D. programs will be considered. One year of law school must be completed prior to the start of the internship;
  • Candidates must have work authorization in the United States in order to apply for an internship;
  • Strong research, writing, and analytical skills;
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills;
  • Sensitivity to client empowerment and to working with clients of all backgrounds, including LGBTI clients, survivors of trauma, and other vulnerable populations;
  • Initiative to see projects through and ability to multitask;
  • Proficiency in Google Workspace and Westlaw or LexisNexis;
  • Excellent English communication skills required. Ability to speak Arabic, Dari, Farsi, Somali, Pashto, Kurdish, or Spanish is a plus;
  • Strong interest in refugee processing, immigration law, and human rights.
This is a full-time position and requires a 10-week commitment beginning on May 28, 2023. If you are only able to work part-time (for example, if you are a part-time student), or unable to begin on May 28, 2023, please still apply and we will review your application.
Compensation/School Credit
IRAP can host interns/externs in two ways:
Paid internship where students are compensated $15 per hour for 40 hours per week
Non-compensated positions for academic credit(s) (must be coordinated in collaboration with an applicant’s school)
Internship and externship candidates will be considered equally.
Application Process
Please submit the following materials here. We will only review complete applications.
A 1-page cover letter describing your interest in working with IRAP, including any relevant life or work experience. Please address your cover letter to: “Intern/Extern Hiring Committee”;
A 1-2 page resume;
A brief legal writing sample (no more than 10 pages) not heavily edited by others, e.g. research memo or excerpt of a brief;
A list of 2-3 professional references.
We will prioritize review of applications sent by January 15, 2024, so interested students should apply as soon as possible.
Applicants interested in multiple internship/externship opportunities should submit separate applications for each position for which they are interested and qualified.
IRAP is an equal-opportunity employer; people of color and individuals from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply. IRAP does not discriminate based on race, color, national origin, citizenship status, ethnic background, religion, political orientation, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, or any other protected class. We consider all qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the requirements of all local, state, and federal laws related to the Fair Chance Act.