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Civil Rights Law Internship Opportunities Open to Law Students

12/06/2021

Civil Rights Law Internship Opportunities Open to Law Students

The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission is seeking applicants for its Civil Rights Law internship program. Law students currently enrolled in an accredited law school are eligible to apply.

The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission enforces state laws that prohibit discrimination. These state laws include:

·         Pennsylvania Fair Educational Opportunities Act (PFEOA), which is specific to postsecondary education and secondary vocational and trade schools.

The Compliance Division investigates complaints of discrimination filed against private employers, landlords, public entities and individuals. The Legal Division litigates cases against these entities in a public hearing.

Internships are unpaid volunteer positions, but we will assist students with their applications for academic credit, externships, or external stipends.

Internships may be virtual and in-person at any of the Regional Offices in Philadelphia, Harrisburg or Pittsburgh.

Enforcement/Compliance Division Internships

The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission offers Law Student internships in its Enforcement/Compliance Division.

Internship duties and assignments may include: assisting in the investigation and settlement of employment, housing, education and public accommodation discrimination cases, reviewing correspondence to see if it alleges a claim under our laws; inputting data into our information management system; assisting in screening and interviewing individuals who seek to file a complaint of discrimination; drafting complaints of discrimination and complaint files after interviewing parties and reviewing correspondence; responding to inquiries regarding potential complaints; corresponding with complainants or employers regarding complaints of discrimination; reviewing and analyzing documents, records and evidence; contacting witnesses; and drafting interview questions.

Compliance interns will work in the Enforcement/Compliance Division and will have the opportunity to observe settlement conferences, mediation conferences, and fact-finding conferences.

The complexity of the work assigned may depend on workload demands and/or the student's demonstrated abilities during the internship. While there may be some clerical work relating to the complaint investigations, we are committed to giving interns assignments to develop research, analytical or writing skills during their internships.

Applicants should have strong analytical, communication, research and writing skills.

During a semester, we prefer interns who can commit a minimum of 8 hours per week. During the summer, we prefer interns who can commit up to 30 hours per week.

 

Legal Division Internships

PHRC's Litigation Division litigates cases on behalf of complainants in which the Compliance Division has found evidence of probable cause of discrimination. Interns working with PHRC attorneys will have the opportunity to work with the Chief Counsel, Legal Division attorney and the Director of Enforcement in developing cases for litigation during the investigative process. The interns may be involved in drafting briefs and motions during the public hearings process.

Interns will be exposed to civil rights litigation. They will perform legal research, prepare legal memoranda, draft motions, respond to motions including motions for summary judgment.

As a result, interns will have an opportunity improve their legal writing skills in real life situations. This office is committed to ensuring that interns receive opportunities to develop their legal skills.

Specific cases that present legal issues will be assigned to interns for review and work. Cases include disability law, retaliation, sexual harassment and other areas of employment, housing, public accommodation and education discrimination. The intern will be assigned progressively more complex casework throughout the summer or semester and work with increasing independence but will be supervised by an Attorney. The intern will meet regularly with the assigned Attorney(s) and there will be interim review of the intern work product. In addition, the intern will have opportunities to discuss general legal matters with the Chief Counsel and the Director of Enforcement attend oral case presentations and other office discussions or presentations.

Our office has multiple vacancies available throughout the year. During a semester, we prefer interns who can commit a minimum of 8 hours per week. For the summer term, we prefer students who can commit up to 30 hours per week.

To apply for a Civil Rights Law Internship: Interested students should email a letter of interest (stating why they want to intern with the PHRC stating why they should be selected), with a resume, preferably in a single .pdf. to kjung@pa.gov. Please indicate which Regional Office(s) you prefer. The letter should be addressed to:

 

Kurt Jung, Esq.

Director of Enforcement

Civil Rights Law Internship Program Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission 801 Arch Street, Suite 501

Philadelphia, PA 19107 kjung@pa.gov

Applications for the spring 2022 semester should be received by December 30, 2021. Applications for the summer 2022 internship should be received by March 31, 2022. Applications for the fall 2022 internship should be received by May 29, 2022.

However, positions may be filled as needed so students are encouraged to apply earlier.

The PHRC is an equal opportunity employer.


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