NIJC posts and begins reviewing applications for summer internships in October. Please apply using the form at the bottom of this page.
Summer 2023 Internship Opportunities:
Asylum Project: This internship is open to undergraduate and law students. Law student interns will work directly with clients seeking asylum before the Chicago Immigration Court. Law student interns will draft legal briefs and memos, conduct legal research, and prepare client affidavits. Undergraduate interns will assist with prospective client interviews, country conditions research, document translation, client database management, and other special projects as needed. This is a hybrid position, requiring both remote and in-person work in the Chicago office.
Children’s Project (detained): This internship is open to undergraduate and law students. Law student interns will work directly with unaccompanied children in ORR custody, providing legal services and direct representation services under the supervision of an attorney. Law student interns will work on a variety of direct representation cases, both detained and released, which can include asylum cases, T visa cases, and SIJS cases, among others. Law student interns will also have the opportunity to represent unaccompanied children on the Chicago Immigration Court's detained children's docket, under the supervision of a lawyer. In doing this work, law student interns will draft legal briefs and cover letters, conduct legal research and country conditions research, and prepare client affidavits. Undergraduate interns will assist with providing legal services to detained children and children who have been released from ORR custody (including KYR presentations and legal screenings), document translation, client database management, closing out and referring cases, and other special projects as needed. This is a hybrid position, requiring some in-person work at the Chicago office
Children’s Project (non-detained): This position is open to both law school and undergraduate interns. The team conducts legal screenings, provides case management, and direct legal representation for clients seeking state court parental responsibility/guardianship orders and immigration benefits before the immigration court and USCIS. Projects for interns generally include conducting legal screenings for children and their parents/custodians, conducting legal research to support asylum claims and/or protections for unaccompanied children, and interviewing clients for the purpose of drafting declarations. The intern will likely have the opportunity to assist with USCIS filings and draft legal memos for immigration court. This is a hybrid position requiring some in-person work at the Chicago office.
Counter-Trafficking Project: This internship is open to both law and undergraduate students. The intern will work directly with trafficking survivors in completing applications for T visas and adjustment of status. This may include screening clients for eligibility, drafting client affidavits, filing out USCIS forms, gathering country condition and secondary sources to support filings, communicating with clients, and other tasks as assigned. Law student interns will also have the opportunity to conduct research related to client cases and draft legal arguments demonstrating a client’s eligibility for relief. Spanish proficiency required. This is a hybrid position, requiring both remote and in-person work in the Chicago office.
Detention Project: Offering internships to law students and college students. Law student interns will support NIJC’s Detention Team in representing noncitizens detained in ICE custody in bond and removal proceedings before the Chicago Immigration Court. Law student interns may also work on practice advisories and other projects relating to detention and the immigration consequences of criminal convictions. College student interns will provide the detention team with operational support, including event planning and data management for programs and grants. Interns may either be based in Chicago or work remotely.
Development: NIJC’s Development Team supports our programs and strategic growth by managing grants, individual and corporate giving, and fundraising events. The development intern will conduct prospect research; analyze giving data and make recommendations for donor engagement; and assist with grant proposals and reports, donor communications and acknowledgement, and fundraising campaigns and events. This is an excellent opportunity for students with strong writing and analytical skills who are thinking about careers in nonprofit administration, management, or development.
Federal Litigation: NIJC's Litigation Team pursues cases in federal court presenting issues relating to immigrant rights. Many cases involve direct appeals (petitions for review) to circuit courts or individual matters in district court (habeas petitions for detained individuals, mandamus actions for cases with long delays). Other cases are systemic in nature and challenge larger agency policies like the issuance of an illegal regulation or improper reliance on a particular policy. Interns with the litigation team conduct legal research, write legal memos, and work with clients who have pending (or soon to be pending) federal-court matters. Client facing work includes writing declarations and interviewing clients primarily. Legal writing experience includes memos and potential court documents like motions. Because the litigation team also helps litigation project clients with their agency level cases, interns could also be assigned to work on a litigation client's USCIS or EOIR case. This position can be fully remote and is open only to law students. Because litigation and policy work often overlap, litigation interns can expect to work on policy matters as well.
Immigrant Legal Defense: This internship is open to undergraduate and law students to work in the Chicago loop office and possible off-site intake/outreach in and near Chicago. Law students and undergraduates will work with clients to complete immigration applications for family-based or protection-based relief, including adjustment of status, family petitions, U visa, VAWA self-petitions, TPS, DACA, naturalization, and applications for relief in removal proceedings. Law students and undergraduates also assist with pro se workshops helping individuals prepare pro se applications for relief before the immigration court. Undergraduates further support our pro bono projects and community-based work in Chicago.
Indiana: The Indiana office internships are open to law students willing to be located in the Goshen or Indianapolis offices and to undergraduate students to work in the Goshen office. Law students will conduct legal intakes, complete research projects, and work with clients to complete immigration benefit applications for cases including asylum, family based petitions, victim-based protection, adjustment of status, and DACA. This may include completing written declarations with clients, filling out USCIS forms, and collecting necessary supporting documents. Law students will also have the opportunity to gain legal writing experience through drafting court motions, briefs, and legal memos. Undergraduate students will also have the opportunity to assist with client interviews, prepare benefit applications, complete document translations, and assist with other special projects as needed.
LGBT Project: This internship is open to undergraduate and law students. Law students and undergraduates will work directly with clients on a variety of matters before USCIS and the Chicago Immigration Court and may have the opportunity to observe a hearing. Potential projects include conducting intakes, preparing client affidavits, country conditions research, document translation, and database management. Law students may also conduct legal research, draft legal briefs and memos, and may have the opportunity to appear in court.
Policy: The Internship is open to undergraduate or law students. The Policy Intern will support NIJC’s DC-based Policy Team in advancing legislative, regulatory, and executive branch advocacy projects that advance the rights of immigrant communities. Projects generally will include supporting on legal research and writing, participating in coalition meetings, and analyzing policy developments. NIJC’s Policy Team’s advocacy priorities are decarceration and decriminalization in the immigration context and access to asylum. The Intern will be working remotely.
Interns must have a passion for immigrant justice and written and oral communication skills. The ideal candidates are independent, detail-oriented, and highly organized. Experience with Windows 10, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Word is a must. Database experience is very helpful. Oral comprehension and proficiency in both English and Spanish, French, and/or other languages is preferred. Applicants must be open to evolving responsibilities. Certain projects require in-person work, while others will be fully remote. Many positions require Spanish proficiency. Please check Summer 2023 Internship Opportunities (above) for more information on language requirements based on project.
Compensation / Academic Credit:
In an effort to provide a more equitable and inclusive internship experience, NIJC requires all interns to receive compensation or academic credit for their internships. Most interns either receive outside funding or academic credit, although NIJC is able to fund a small number of internships every year and encourages applicants to apply even before they have secured funding.
Thank you for your interest in an internship at the National Immigrant Justice Center! Please complete the following application to be considered for an internship position. All fields are required. NIJC is currently accepting internship applications for summer 2023.
The National Immigrant Justice Center, an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, is strongly committed to diversity and welcomes applications of all races, ethnicities, genders, and sexual orientations, including people who have been previously incarcerated.