As a law student, some of the most valuable experiences you will have are through internships. Internships provide law students with the opportunity to apply the knowledge they have built in school to gain insight into day-to-day life as a legal professional.
Through our internship program, our interns gain valuable skills and experience by working alongside our advocacy and litigation team. Although interns are often only with our team for one semester or summer, they are an invaluable part of our team. They assist our advocacy team in researching and writing memos, analyzing potential priority states for future legislative sessions, aiding in the drafting of state-level legislation, and anticipating and researching implementation challenges of proposed legislation. For our litigation team, interns help draft legal memorandums, analyze state and federal laws relating to voting rights, and contribute to the League’s work improving elections, campaign finance, and redistricting.
Our interns are given the chance to work on a variety of issues beyond voting rights. Interns have written research memoranda on the Equal Rights Amendment, Notice and Cure procedures in states where a mitigation factor is needed, how COVID has shaped election litigation in 2020, election disinformation on social media and the need for regulation, and the intersection between access to education and criminal justice reform.
As a former legal intern with the League, I am eternally grateful for the way that the League invested in me and the opportunities I was exposed to. I was able to work on topics that I was passionate about and see how the work that I was doing was being used to help further the League’s goals. The memo that I wrote on the Equal Rights Amendment was used to help create the memo that the League sent to the Senate. It gave me the opportunity to attend the first passage of H.R. 1, where I was able to witness Representative Deb Haaland be the first Native American woman to preside over the U.S. House of Representatives and to listen to the late Representative John Lewis speak. It was such a surreal moment to see a civil rights icon and national hero go to the podium and speak with such passion and conviction that it was impossible not to feel overcome with inspiration and hope.
When other past interns were asked about their experience, they said:
“I had a great time interning here at the League! I gained experience with lobbying and researching areas of the law I have always wanted to work on and have always been passionate about. I learned a lot, especially around lobbying strategy and planning, Supreme Court amicus research, state constitution research, federal and state regulation research, [and] diversity and inclusion.”
“I truly appreciated the environment. During a time when I felt socially isolated from friends and family, it was great to have a positive work environment. I was interested in the work that I was doing, and I believed in what we were promoting. I am very happy with my experience. I liked attending hearings and panels. Specifically, my favorite assignment was to listen in and take notes on the oral arguments for Texas v. California. I really enjoy listening to the legal arguments. It is a very interesting time to try to predict what the Supreme Court will do, and I was passionate about this case in particular because of everything that was at stake. During my time at LWV, I had to help convey complex legal arguments and updates to large groups of people that were not all lawyers. As I worked to update and create documents for the team and wrote blog posts, I had to take the time to fully understand what I was talking about so that I could explain what was happening to others. Specifically, when I wrote my blog, I had to rework it so that it made sense to everyone. This was a good experience for me because I had to really focus on language.”
“I thoroughly enjoyed this internship. I felt very included and a part of the team despite only interning part time (and remotely!). I feel that I got practical experience, strengthened my skills in policy research and writing, and got to learn more about the League’s work. I also learned about all the current election law issues through observing hearings/webinars and talking with the other interns and staff members about their work. I didn’t have much experience researching policy questions and writing policy papers, so my landscape memos helped me gain skills in that area. I had never written a blog before, and it was very exciting to get to have so much ownership over that piece! I also got to work on research and writing skills (in policy — which is not an area I had much prior experience with), which was in line with what I hoped to get out of this internship.”
As much as we hope that interns learn from their experience with us, we as an organization learn so much from them. Our interns inspire us and challenge us to be the best organization that we can be. When I graduated from law school, I knew that I would take any chance to come back and work with the League. I know I am lucky that my first job is with an organization that I believe in and that believes in me. If you or someone you know is interested in an internship with the League, click here to learn more.