Pro Bono Honors Pledge Program - Suggested Placements

Civil Rights


Advancement Project

The Advancement Project (AP), a policy, communications and legal action group committed to racial justice, was founded by a team of veteran civil rights lawyers in 1998. Our mission is to develop, encourage, and widely disseminate innovative ideas, and pioneer models that inspire and mobilize a broad national racial justice movement to achieve universal opportunity and a just democracy. Advancement Project partners with community organizations, bringing them the tools of legal advocacy and strategic communications to dismantle structural exclusion. To implement our theory of change, Advancement Project continues to operate on two planes: locally, we provide direct, hands-on support for on-the-ground efforts; nationally, we actively broaden and extend the practice of community-centered racial justice lawyering through training, networking, creation of tools and resources, media outreach and public education. We also operate a communications department that, in partnership with allies, uses sophisticated strategies to raise awareness of racial and social inequities and generate public will for progressive and systemic change.

Contact: Alexi Nunn, Intern Coordinator, 202-728-9557 or

Alliance for Justice

The Alliance for Justice is a national association of environmental, civil rights, mental health, women's, children's and consumer advocacy organizations. Since its inception in 1979, the Alliance has worked to advance the cause of justice for all Americans, strengthen the public interest community's ability to influence public policy, and foster the next generation of advocates.

Contact: Kelleye McIntosh, Intern Coordinator, 202-822-6070 or

American-Arab Antidiscrimination Committee

Students will have the opportunity to work on broad-based issues related to domestic civil rights and international human rights. Currently, much of our work is focused on the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, the prevention of anti-Arab hate crimes and harassment, and the defense of civil liberties. While the program is mainly directed towards Arab Americans, students of all ethnic backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Arabic language skills are desirable but not mandatory. The summer program is full-time and includes an educational component. Positions during the school year can be part-time. If students do not receive course credit for the program, a small stipend is provided.

Contact: Ms. Leila Laoudji, 202-244-2990 or

American Bar Association Commission on Immigration

The Commission directs Association efforts to ensure fair and unbiased treatment, and full due process rights, for immigrants and refugees within the United States. Acting in coordination with other Association entities, as well as governmental and non-governmental bodies, the Commission: advocates for appropriate statutory and regulatory modifications in law and governmental practice consistent with Association policy; provides continuing education and timely information about trends, court decisions and pertinent developments for members of the legal community, judges, affected individuals and the public; and develops and assists the on-going operation of pro bono programs that encourage volunteer lawyers to provide high quality, effective legal representation for individuals in immigration courts, with special emphasis on the needs of the most vulnerable immigrant and refugee populations.

Contact: Irena Lieberman, Staff Director, 202-662-1008 or

Americans for Democratic Action (ADA)

ADA is the nation’s oldest, liberal, independent political organization. It focuses on economic, military, foreign, social, and environmental issues, and maintains a political action committee (ADA/PAC). It publishes a weekly legislative newsletter for liberal activists and a quarterly newsletter.

Contact: Valerie Dulk-Jacobs, 202-785-5980 or

American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland

The ACLU of Maryland works to ensure that all people in MD are free to think and speak as they choose and can lead their lives free from discrimination and unwarranted government intrusion.

Contact: Amy Cruice, 410-889-8555, or

American Civil Liberties Union - National Prison Project

The National Prison Project of the ACLU Foundation focuses on issues relating to prisoners’ rights and conditions of confinement. All clients are prisoners and the project handles a caseload of approximately 25 cases per year, primarily class actions.

Contact: E.M. Bigelow, 202-393-4930 or gbigelow@npp-aclu.rg

American Civil Liberties Union - Washington Legislative Office

The WLO is responsible for the federal lobbying program of the ACLU. It advocates before Congress and the executive branch on the full range of civil liberties issues including national security, free speech, privacy, racial justice, immigrants’ rights, reproductive freedom, religious liberty, LGBT rights, and criminal justice.

Contact: Assistant to the Chief Legislative and Policy Counsel, 202-544-1681

American Humanist Association

The American Humanist Association's Humanist Legal Center provides law students with an opportunity to support the organization's work advancing secular Humanist values and progressive issue advocacy, focusing on church-state separation, civil liberties, reproductive freedom, human rights, and equality. Pro bono tasks may include supporting legal center staff, conducting legal research, drafting pleadings and briefs, and researching potential cases. We look for law students who are enthusiastic, organized, self-motivated, and reliable, with an interest in Humanism and progressive issues.


American Jewish Congress - National Capital Region

The American Jewish Congress periodically provides direct representation to plaintiffs in religious, racial, and gender discrimination cases, with a special focus on cases involving religious liberty and/or separation of church and state. AJ Congress also files amicus briefs in appellate cases pertaining to religious freedom, separation of church and state, reproductive freedom, civil rights, and a variety of other issues. Finally, AJ Congress has in the past provided pro bono legal assistance to disadvantaged members of the local Jewish community, who are in need of legal representation, especially recent immigrants from the former Soviet Union. The cases cover a wide range of areas, including landlord/tenant and immigration.

Contact: Jonathan Kurz, 202-466-9661 or

Americans United for the Separation of Church and State

Since 1947, Americans United has led the way in defending the separation of church and state, the cornerstone of religious liberty in America. As a non-sectarian, non-partisan organization, AU's membership includes Christians, Jews, Buddhists, people with no religious affiliation and others. Democrats, Republicans and independents have joined our ranks. Americans United is an independent organization with no ties to any larger group or political movement.

Contact: Rena Levin, 202-466-3234 or

Anti-Defamation League

The ADL handles cases involving religious discrimination.

Contact: Michael Lieberman, Washington Counsel, 202-452-8310 or


A non-profit network of 16 public interest justice centers in the U.S. and Mexico, Appleseed is dedicated to building a society in which opportunities are genuine, access to the law is universal and equal, and government advances the public interest. Appleseed uncovers and corrects injustices and barriers to opportunity through legal, legislative and market-based structural reform. Working with our huge pro bono network, we identify and examine social injustices, make specific recommendations, and advocate for effective solutions to deep-seated structural problems. Together, Appleseed and Appleseed Centers form a network for positive change, building a society that provides each individual access to justice and a genuine opportunity to lead a full and productive life.

Contact: Meredith Barnes Driscoll, Operations and Field Director, 202-347-7960 or

Archdiocesan Legal Network (ALN)

ALN provides referrals to attorneys and will occasionally directly handle matters in the following areas: domestic relations, labor/employment disputes, public entitlements, bankruptcy or insolvency resulting from medical debt or job loss, wills and probate, guardianship and landlord/tenant relations.

Contact: James Bishop, 202-772-4325,

Asian American Justice Center

The Asian American Justice Center (formerly the National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium) works to advance the human and civil rights of Asian Americans through advocacy, public policy, public education and litigation. AAJC is one of the nation’s leading experts on issues of importance to the Asian American community including: affirmative action, anti-Asian violence prevention/race relations, census, immigrant rights, immigration, language access, television diversity and voting rights.

Contact: Vincent A. Eng, Deputy Director, 202-296-2300 or

Black Leadership Forum

The Mission of BLF is to promote creative and coordinated Black Leadership, diverse in membership but clear on its priority, to empower African Americans to improve their own lives and to expand their opportunities to fully participate in American social, economic and political life.

Contact: Ramonica Moore, 202-689-1965 or

Capital Area Immigrants' Rights Coalition (CAIR)

The Capital Area Immigrants' Rights Coalition (CAIR Coalition) provides services to the immigrant advocacy community in the greater Washington, DC area. Asylum project work includes: conducting intakes (by phone and in-person) for asylum applicants; researching country conditions; writing summaries and other documents as requested; attending some immigration-related meetings; and some general office work. Detention project work includes jail visits, casework for detained immigrants, and legal research.

Contact: Brittany Nystrom, Asylum Project Director, 202-331-3320 x 20 or

CASA of Maryland

CASA de Maryland is a community organization that was founded in 1985 by Central American refugees and North Americans. CASA was created in response to the human needs of the thousands of Central Americans arriving in the D.C. area after fleeing wars and civil strife in their countries of origin. Today, CASA serves immigrants from virtually every country in Latin America, as well as Africans, Asians and U.S. citizens. CASA de Maryland has offices in Silver Spring, Langley Park, Wheaton, Shady Grove, and Baltimore. The CASA legal program works with and represents refugees, low-wage workers, day laborers, and low-income residential tenants on issues such as affirmative civil rights litigation, federal and state wage claims, housing law, transit-oriented development, and issues surrounding domestic workers. WCL students are needed for a variety of projects such as: giving “Know Your Rights” trainings to day laborers and tenants, conducting client intakes, research and litigation support. The program’s current caseload includes: MPIA/FOIA litigation, civil rights litigation relating to violations under existing 287(g) programs, housing code enforcement, and rent stabilization,

Contact: Enid Gonzalez Aleman, Legal Program Senior Manager, (301)431-4185 or

Center on Conscience & War (CCW)

The Center on Conscience & War (CCW) works to defend and extend the rights of conscientious objectors. The Center is committed to supporting all those who question participation in war, whether they are U.S. citizens, permanent residents, documented or undocumented immigrants—or citizens in other countries. CCW participates in the G.I. Rights Hotline, a national referral and counseling service for military personnel.

Contact: J.E. McNeil, 202-483-2220 or

DC Prisoners Legal Services Project

The DC Prisoners Legal Services Project is a non-profit public interest law firm dedicated to providing civil legal services to people incarcerated in the District of Columbia. Intern activities may include screening and responding to prisoner letters and phone calls as part of the intake process; interviewing clients; performing legal research on prisoners' rights issues including constitutional claims, medical malpractice, negligence, etc.; performing research relating to DC criminal justice policy and legislation; other special projects as needed.

Contact: Ivy Lange, Staff Attorney, 202-775-0323 or

Human Rights First

Human Rights First works in the United States and abroad to create a secure and humane world by advancing justice, human dignity and respect for the rule of law. We support human rights activists who fight for basic freedoms and peaceful change at the local level; protect refugees in flight from persecution and repression; help build a strong international system of justice and accountability; and make sure human rights laws and principles are enforced in the United States and abroad.

Contact: Natalie Marachal, 202-547-5692 or

Indian Law Resource Center

The Indian Law Resource Center handles state and federal litigation and human rights cases dealing with issues such as land rights, treaty rights, self-government and human rights of American Indians and other indigenous peoples.

Contact: Keli Lovejoy, 202-547-2800

Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law

The mission of the Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law is to protect and advance the rights of adults and children who have mental disabilities. The Center envisions an America where people who have mental illnesses or developmental disabilities exercise their own life choices and have access to the resources that enable them to participate fully in their communities.

Contact: Ira Burnim, 202-467-5730 ext.129

Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

The Committee handles the full range of civil rights litigation with special focus on fair housing, equal employment opportunities, education, voting rights, and environmental justice.

Contact: Sarah Crawford, 202-662-8600 or

Migrant Legal Action Program (MLAP)

For more than 30 years, the Migrant Legal Action Program (MLAP) has provided legal representation and a national voice for migrant and seasonal farmworkers. MLAP works to enforce rights and to improve public policies affecting farmworkers' working and housing conditions, education, health, nutrition, and general welfare. The program works with an extensive network of local service providers, including organizations in the fields of migrant education, migrant health, job training, Head Start, and migrant legal services. MLAP staff provides technical assistance and training to these service providers, as well as undertaking high level policy advocacy at the state or local level. Students would undertake research and writing in support of the program's work.

Contact: Roger Rosenthal, 202-775-7780 or

National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) is the preeminent organization in the United States advancing the mission of the nation's criminal defense lawyers to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime or other misconduct. A professional bar association founded in 1958, NACDL's more than 12,500 direct members -- and 90 state, local, and international affiliate organizations with another 35,000 members -- include private criminal defense lawyers, public defenders, active U.S. military defense counsel, law professors and judges committed to preserving fairness within America's criminal justice system.

Contact: Malia Brink, 202-872-8600 ext. 224

NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund, Inc.

The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) was founded in 1940 under the leadership of Thurgood Marshall. Although LDF's primary purpose was to provide legal assistance to poor African Americans, its work over the years has brought greater justice to all Americans.

Contact: Leslie M. Proll, 202-682-1300

National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty

The mission of the Law Center is to prevent and end homelessness by serving as the legal arm of the nationwide movement to end homelessness. To achieve its mission, the Law Center pursues three main strategies: impact litigation, policy advocacy, and public education.

Contact: Tulin Ozdeger, 202-638-2535 ext. 212 or

National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana/Center for the Study of Drug Policy

NORML's mission is to move public opinion sufficiently to achieve the repeal of marijuana prohibition so that the responsible use of cannabis by adults is no longer subject to penalty.

Contact: Allen St. Pierre, 202-483-5500 or

National Partnership for Women and Families

The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that uses public education and advocacy to promote fairness in the workplace, quality health care, and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family.

Contact: Helen McBride, 202-986-2600

National Senior Citizens Law Center

The National Senior Citizens Law Center advocates nationwide to promote the independence and well-being of low-income elderly individuals and persons with disabilities. NSCLC advocates through litigation, legislative and agency representation and assistance to attorneys and paralegals in field programs.

Contact: 202-289-6976 or

National Whistleblower Center

The Center handles cases related to employee whistleblowing, First Amendment issues, civil rights issues, environment and atomic energy matters, and government incorporated accountability.

Contact: Estelle Kohn, Deputy Director, 202-342-1903

National Women's Law Center

Since 1972, the Center has expanded the possibilities for women and girls in the U.S. The Center uses the law in all its forms: getting new laws on the books and enforced; litigating ground-breaking cases in state and federal courts all the way to the Supreme Court; and educating the public about ways to make the law and public policies work for women and their families. An experienced staff of nearly 50 takes on the issues that cut to the core of women's and girls' lives in education, employment, family economic security, and health -- with special attention given to the needs of low-income women and their families.

Contact: Amy Matsui, 202-588-5180 or

People for the American Way Foundation

People for the American Way Foundation handles cases involving First Amendment rights, civil rights, and censorship issues, and will accept selected cases involving the infringement of those rights. The organization also monitors judicial selection.

Contact: Elliot Mincberg, 202-467-4999

Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press is a nonprofit organization, designed to help any working journalist faced with issues involving the First Amendment.

Contact: Lucy Dalglish. 703-807-2100

Washington Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs

The Committee handles a full range of civil rights litigation, focusing on equal employment opportunity, fair housing, police misconduct, public accommodations, immigrant and refugee rights, and disability rights.

Contact: Sarah Crawford, 202-783-0857 or