Legal Research Intern - Summer 2019

Open Society Foundations
  • Location
    New York, New York
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
  • Posted
    Jan 08

Position description

Legal Research Intern - Summer 2019, Open Society Justice Initiative, New York, Deadline: 02/03/2019

The Open Society Foundations promotes vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable to all rights holders.

The Justice Initiative, part of the Open Society Foundations, uses strategic litigation and other kinds of legal advocacy to defend and promote the rule of law, and to advance human rights. We employ litigation, advocacy, research, and technical assistance across a range of issues. We pursue accountability for international crimes, support criminal justice reforms, strengthen human rights institutions, combat discrimination and statelessness, challenge abuses related to national security and counterterrorism, defend civic space, foster freedom of information and expression, confront corruption and promote economic justice. In this work, we collaborate with a community of dedicated and skillful human rights advocates across the globe, and form part of a dynamic and progressive justice movement that reflects the diversity of the world. More information on the Justice Initiative and its activities is available at

In the sphere of equality and inclusion, the Justice Initiative works to implement legal norms and transform public discourse on equality. The Justice challenges discrimination on grounds of race, ethnicity, class, gender, legal status, national origin and religion. Thematic areas of work include policing, education, employment, housing, migration, citizenship, and documentation of identity. We use community legal empowerment, research and data collection, advocacy, litigation, and strengthening civil society to obtain remedies for discrimination.

Job Profile

The Open Society Justice Initiative current law school and other advanced degree graduate students to join our team as Legal Research Interns in our New York, Washington, D.C. and Berlin 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, Library of Congress materials, etc;
  • Attend scheduled staff conference calls and relevant meetings hosted by think tanks, nongovernmental organizations, government briefings, etc;
  • 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


Competitive rates of pay apply.

We are strengthened by the diversity of our colleagues across the Open Society Foundations. We welcome applications from people of all cultures, backgrounds, and experiences, and are committed to providing reasonable adjustments so that colleagues with disabilities are able to fulfill the essential functions of the job.



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