We receive hundreds of requests for assistance, mostly from incarcerated people and their families, whom we cannot represent. We are continuously seeking the pro bono assistance of other lawyers, either to co-counsel with FJI or to take cases on their own. These cases typically involve Section 1983 civil rights claims, but may also involve medical malpractice, personal injury, or wrongful death claims.
We welcome applications from law students interested in civil rights litigation and advocacy to serve as interns, both for the summer and during the school semester. While assignments for each intern will vary, working with FJI will involve participating in all phases of civil rights litigation. Interns will be asked to write legal research memoranda, draft discovery requests and other legal pleadings, participate in client interviews, visit clients and witnesses in prison, review and organize discovery, draft letters and public records requests, review and respond to letters from incarcerated people and their families seeking assistance, and attend hearings, trials, depositions, mediations, settlement negotiations, and oral arguments as they may occur throughout the internship. Attorney supervisors at the Florida Justice Institute take great care to see that each student receives challenging assignments, constant supervision, and regular feedback. Because our staff is so small, we rely on interns to help us with the real legal work that our cases demand.
Applicants should have excellent research and writing skills, a desire to work in a collaborative environment, and a demonstrated interest in social justice (and in particular, representing incarcerated people). Typically, law students working as interns in the spring and fall attend South Florida-area law schools, but we regularly have applicants from around the country doing externships.
FJI may be able to provide compensation, but this is always dependent on FJI’s funding, the applicant’s prior legal experience, the length of the internship, and whether the applicant can work full or part-time. Applicants are encouraged to seek fellowships from their law schools and other outside sources. FJI also regularly works with students so that they may obtain academic credit and/or outside funding for their work. FJI has qualified as an extern clinical placement for academic credit with many leading law schools.
All interested applicants should send a résumé and cover letter in one PDF file to Erica Selig at firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications are accepted year-round on a rolling basis. Please specify which time period you are applying for (i.e., summer, fall, spring), and whether you are available to work full or part-time. Due to the volume of applications we receive, we are unable to respond to each one. No phone calls please.
Fellowships. The Florida Justice Institute is willing to work with lawyers and law students to obtain funded fellowships to work at FJI on specific projects, or to contribute to FJI’s general civil rights litigation work. Examples include Equal Justice Works Fellowships, Soros Fellowships, and Skadden Fellowships. For more information, please contact Dante P. Trevisani at email@example.com.
FJI regularly accepts college student volunteers to help us with our efforts. Tasks may include reviewing and responding to requests for assistance; reviewing, coding, and organizing documents produced in discovery; reviewing and summarizing spreadsheets of information produced in our cases; and other tasks that may arise. Occasionally funding is available for students to be paid.
All interested applicants should send a résumé and cover letter in one PDF file to Laura Ferro at firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications are accepted year-round on a rolling basis. Please specify which time period you are applying for (i.e., summer, fall, spring), and whether you are available to work full or part-time. Due to the volume of applications we receive, we are unable to respond to each one. No phone calls please.
The Florida Justice Institute is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer. Women, people of color, people with disabilities, LGBTQ individuals, and formerly incarcerated persons are particularly encouraged to apply.