Maryland Office of the Public Defender (OPD), Montgomery County
" This past summer, EJF funded my internship as a law clerk for the Maryland Office of the Public Defender (OPD) in Montgomery County. Attorneys at OPD represent indigent clients charged with felonies and misdemeanors matter. I had the opportunity to work closely with attorneys in providing zealous and comprehensive defense for OPD clients both in English and Spanish. I engaged in legal research, drafted motions, reviewed discovery, researched, and investigated for bond and trial hearings. I also participated in OPD's Summer Trial Institute where I got to prepare and present an opening statement, direct examination, impeachment, cross-examination, object to evidence, and a closing statement. I am thankful to EJF for giving me the honor to serve at a time when our country is experiencing a health and racial justice crisis at an organization where attorneys are passionate about securing justice, protecting civil rights, and preserving liberty."
Class of 2022
Quality Trust for Individuals with Disabilities
"For summer 2020, I interned for the Quality Trust for Individuals with Disabilities, made possible with a stipend from the Equal Justice Foundation. Quality Trust provides legal services for people with developmental disabilities. During the internship, my primary responsibility involved intake, listening to people tell their stories and preparing a memorandum about the next steps Quality Trust could take. I wanted an experience that mixed human interaction with legal analysis, and at Quality Trust I could experience a summer both of relationship-building and skills-building. I am grateful to EJF for its support in taking this important step in my legal education."
Class of 2021
Catholic Charities Immigration Legal Services
"I received funding from EJF to participate in a Summer 2020 internship with Catholic Charities, Immigration Legal Services. Despite the challenges presented by the pandemic, I gained valuable hands-on experience and learned new skills for remote working. This internship strengthened my desire to pursue a career in immigration and refugee law providing direct legal services to low-income clients. I am grateful to EJF for supporting my legal education and professional development!"
Class of 2022
Office of the Public Defender, Arlington County and the City of Falls Church
"This summer, I served as a Legal Intern at the Office of the Public Defender for Arlington County and the City of Falls Church. EJF's stipend allowed me to assist in the criminal defense of low-income Virginia residents. Through my internship, I saw firsthand the impact of race and socioeconomics on people's experience in the criminal system and got to do my part to combat these inequities. I participated in both institutional advocacy and direct representation efforts through research, motion and memo drafting, bond preparation, probation review hearing preparation, and discovery summation. Institutional advocacy issues in which I assisted included defunding the police, caps on the imposition of backup time for probation violations, jury sentencing, and judicial due process violations."
Class of 2020
Virginia Poverty Law Center
"In the summer of 2019, EJF funded my internship at the Virginia Poverty Law Center. The Virginia Poverty Law Center breaks down systemic barriers that keep low-income Virginians in the cycle of poverty through advocacy, education, and litigation. During my internship, I gained hands-on experience advocating for the rights of older adults, and survivors of domestic violence. EJF made it possible for me to return to my hometown and to work with both clients and attorneys from my own community. I am thankful each day to all that support EJF and my life-changing experience."
Class of 2021
Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division
"In summer 2019, EJF funded my internship at the Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division at the Special Litigation Section. The Special Litigation Section investigates systematic patterns or practices that violate the rights of people at the state and local level within correctional facilities, juvenile detention centers, law enforcement departments, and healthcare facilities. I had the opportunity to travel with trial attorneys for an out of state site visit as part of an investigation, where we met with different stakeholders in the community. During this visit, I gained hands on experience interviewing inmates cell side in a county jail and interviewing patients in a psychiatric hospital. Also, I conducted preliminary investigations that focused on law enforcement departments use of excessive force and researched legal issues for internal memorandums. As a part-time law student, it was difficult taking the leap to participate in an unpaid full-time internship, but EJF’s funding made it all possible. Thank you EJF for supporting me in this internship that developed my legal skills and expanded my network."
Class of 2020
DeKalb County Public Defender in Decatur, GA
“I received an EJF stipend to fund my summer as a Gideon's Promise law clerk at the Law Office of the DeKalb County Public Defender in Decatur, GA. I gained hands-on experience working with Gideon's Promise-trained Public Defenders to prepare for felony trials. Most importantly, I was able to develop new skills while I visited incarcerated clients and represented clients in preliminary hearings and plea entries under the Georgia Student Practice Rule. EJF made it possible for me to leave the DC area and learn from skilled attorneys working on the front lines of Public Defense."
Class of 2021
Capital Area Immigrants Rights' Coalition
“This summer I received EJF funding to pursue an internship with the Capital Area Immigrants' Rights (CAIR) Coalition in Washington, D.C. CAIR Coalition works with detained immigrants in the DMV area, visiting the detention centers, conducting intakes, and providing pro se legal assistance when direct representation cannot be provided. CAIR Coalition also takes part in the National Qualified Representative program and provides direct representation to detained adult men and women with mental health conditions and/or intellectual disabilities in immigration removal proceedings. As an intern, I conducted intakes at monthly jail visits and also had the opportunity to work on my own trial, representing an individual directly in his deportation proceedings. I appeared in immigration court to argue my client's case and seek the relief he deserves. I am thankful to EJF for supporting me in my internship with CAIR Coalition and for the experiences I gained in immigration law and litigation."
Class of 2021
Legal Aid Justice Center
“ I received EJF funding to pursue an internship with Legal Aid Justice Center (LAJC). LAJC provides a variety of legal services to low income individuals in Virginia. Over the summer, I supported LAJC's work with undocumented/underdocumented Virginians in many different areas of the law--from immigration matters to civil rights violations to consumer protection suits. Among other assignments, I had the opportunity to work on a federal class action lawsuit challenging the detention of immigrant children. I also assisted LAJC in bringing suit against a private detention center for constitutional violations committed against civil detainees. Thanks to LAJC and EJF, I gained invaluable experience in impact litigation and social justice lawyering."
Sarah Chaney Reichenbach
Class of 2021
Tahirih Justice Center
"For the summer of 2019, I received EJF funding to intern with the Tahirih Justice Center in Baltimore. Tahirih provides legal and social services to immigrant women and girls fleeing gender based violence. During my internship, I helped provide direct legal services to survivors of domestic violence, human trafficking, and other gender-based violence to support them through the immigration process. This included conducting client interviews, drafting briefs and helping with immigration filings, and learning about the intersection of gender and immigration issues. The experience shaped how I envision my future as a public interest-driven attorney and I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the amazing support of EJF."
Class of 2019
Refugee Law Project in Uganda
“In Summer of 2017 I received EJF funding to pursue an internship with Refugee Law Project in Uganda. The Refugee Law Project is based at Makerere Univeristy School of Law in Kampala, Uganda. They provide legal and social services to refugees and internally displaced people across Uganda, as well as promoting peace and conflict resolution through their transitional justice program. I was placed in the Hoima field office, where I provided direct services to refugees in refugee settlements and prisons across Western Uganda, including consultations and know your rights presentations regarding criminal defense, conflict resolution, government benefits, resettlement and other issues. I also provided legal advise in community based dispute resolutions and conducted research and writing for policy advocacy and reporting purposes.”