June 21, 2024


New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI), a community-driven civil rights organization, seeks an undergraduate or law student with a demonstrated commitment to public interest work to apply for our part-time Fall and Spring policy and research internship. This position will require 8-10 hours of work per week with a flexible schedule.

NYLPI seeks to eliminate financial barriers to participation in our internship program and invites applicants to discuss the potential for financial and academic support through fellowships, course, credit, and a stipend if needed.

The policy and research intern will report to NYLPI’s Director of Policy and work with NYLPI’s policy team, community organizers, attorneys, and advocates. Depending on the intern’s interests and organizational needs, this position will provide research, organizing, and communications support for one or more of NYLPI’s ongoing campaigns across our three program areas:

  • Disability Justice: working to advance civil rights, and ensure equality of opportunity, self-determination, and independence for people with disabilities. Our advocacy spans many areas, including housing, transportation, education, community integration, and public and private programs and services. 
  • Environmental Justice: confronting environmental racism and working to eliminate the unfair burden of environmental hazards borne by low-income communities and Indigenous, Black, Brown, Asian, and other communities of color in an effort to create a more equitable and sustainable New York. NYLPI supports local, bottom-up leadership and strengthens communities’ ability to assert their right to a healthy and sustainable environment. 
  • Health Justice: bringing a racial equity and immigrant justice focus to multi-faceted advocacy to ensure health care for all.  In close partnership with frontline communities, the Health Justice team fights for healthcare coverage for all New Yorkers, seeks alternatives to police intervention for people experiencing mental health crises, works to address the social determinants of health, and combats the devastating human rights crisis wrought by the immigration detention machine. 

Typical work assignments include

  • Gathering data and conducting qualitative and quantitative research in support of NYLPI’s policy and organizing campaigns
  • Drafting memoranda in support of policy and legislative campaigns
  • Drafting testimony for legislative hearings
  • Meeting and strategizing with community organizations

Additional learning opportunities have included

  • Attending legislative and regulatory hearings and meetings with lawmakers
  • Attending coalition and community meetings and forums

The Fall/Spring internship can be in-person based in our New York City office or hybrid, depending on the intern’s location. 

NYLPI requires all staff, interns, and volunteers to be up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations, including boosters, and show proof of COVID vaccination and booster before beginning the internship.

Please send applications to [email protected] and [email protected] with the subject line “Attention: Fall 2024-Fall 2025 Policy and Research Internship ” Applications for our program are accepted and assessed on a rolling basis until all positions are filled. We strongly encourage early applications. Applications must include:

  • Detailed cover letter explaining your interest in a summer legal internship with NYLPI and indicating any program area preference, with a specific answer to the following required question: How have your background or experiences, professional or otherwise, prepared you to contribute to our commitment to cultural competency and diversity, equity, and inclusion? Feel free to think broadly about your response to this question, applying various aspects of your life and personal experiences. Please also reference in your cover letter where you saw this posting.
  • Resume
  • Writing sample (no more than five pages)

We strongly encourage candidates fluent in multiple languages and candidates from historically marginalized populations to apply. Students enrolled in an accredited Historically Black College or University or a public law school are also encouraged to apply. We are committed to advancing social justice and civil rights in our advocacy, and we value the dynamism and perspective that staff diversity, equity, and inclusion bring to the work and culture of our organization. We strive to promote behaviors, attitudes, and policies that enable us to work inclusively and effectively in cross-cultural situations with clients, co-workers, and community partners. We actively recruit and seek to grow and maintain a staff that is diverse along many axes, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, and national origin; disability; socioeconomic background; sexual orientation; and gender identity.


For more than 45 years, NYLPI has been a leading civil rights advocate for New Yorkers opposing marginalization based on race, immigration status, poverty, disability, and a range of intersectional identities. NYLPI pioneered the practice of community lawyering in the five boroughs of New York City. These communities shape our priorities, and their struggles for justice demand innovative solutions. Our interdisciplinary teams of advocates use every tool available – community organizing, impact litigation and individual representation, policy advocacy, media, pro bono partnerships, and public education – to solve seemingly intractable problems, develop leaders, and build collective power to achieve justice. We strive to create equal access to health care, achieve equality of opportunity and self-determination for people with disabilities, ensure immigrant opportunity, strengthen local nonprofits, and secure environmental justice for frontline communities. To learn more about NYLPI, visit www.nylpi.org

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