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Summer Law Student Internships
Community Legal Services of Philadelphia offers a summer internship program for approximately 20 students that have completed their first or second year of law school.
CLS offers a rich and exciting summer internship experience. Our law students receive exceptional training and the opportunity to work with some of the most talented legal minds in civil legal services. Students are placed in a specific CLS unit, and also have the opportunity to learn through special programming throughout the summer about the other areas of CLS’s work. All CLS interns will have the opportunity to work directly with clients, engage with the communities we serve, and contribute to systemic advocacy efforts to advance economic and racial equity.
At CLS we are actively engaged in dialogue regarding how legal services organizations can contribute to and further racial justice for low income communities. CLS has a Diversity and Inclusion Committee that structures this conversation as CLS continues to find ways to enhance its legal practice model.
CLS is also committed to ensuring our staff, including our law student interns, reflect the clients and communities we serve. We strongly encourage law students from diverse backgrounds to apply for our internship. In your cover letter we invite you to tell us how your unique background and/or experiences can contribute to the diversity, vitality, and cultural perspective of our legal practice, staff, and clients.
CLS is invested in achieving a diverse staff that is reflective of the clients and communities we serve. The law student internship experience is a critical career stepping stone at CLS, as many of our law student interns eventually are selected as attorney fellows. CLS has established a scholarship fund called the Senator Roxanne Jones Summer Law Student Fellowship for law students of color with financial need to enable future leaders in public interest law to spend their summer interning at CLS. Scholarships are available on a competitive basis to eligible law students who accept an offer to intern with CLS.
Internships at CLS are otherwise unpaid. Students whose socio-economic circumstances are such that an unpaid internship would be an exceptional hardship are encouraged to disclose this in their cover letter or reach out to one of the co-chairs of the law student hiring committee. CLS will work with our students to find sources of funding and obtain housing for the summer in Philadelphia if needed.
Students who are interested in later applying for post-graduate legal fellowships with CLS should apply to our summer program. In recent years, CLS has been host to attorney fellows sponsored by Skadden, Independence, Equal Justice Works, and other fellowship funders. The experience gained during the summer and contacts made during an internship at CLS can be invaluable in the fellowship application process.
To apply for a summer internship, please submit the following:
- Cover letter addressing interest and experience in public interest and poverty law/racial justice advocacy
- Law school transcript
- List of three (3) references
Second-year law students are welcome to apply for a 2020 summer insternship now. CLS will not review any 2020 summer internship applications submitted by first-year law students until after December 1, 2019. We ask that first-year students refrain from submitting applications through our website until after December 1, 2019.