LAC is a non-profit law and policy organization that specializes in fighting discrimination against and protecting the rights of people with substance use disorders, HIV/AIDS, or criminal records.

New York

Legal Internships

The Legal Action Center (LAC) is seeking applications from second and third year law students for our part-time Semester Legal Internship program. LAC seeking interns for Fall, Winter, and Spring internships. LAC’s Legal Interns work with our attorneys and policy staff to assist with impact litigation, direct client services, and policy advocacy on behalf of individuals with substance use disorders, criminal records, and/or HIV/AIDS. Much of LAC’s work is undertaken in the areas of employment discrimination, health care access, health privacy, disability and other civil rights law, and the administration of the criminal justice system. Excellent research and writing skills are required.

ABOUT THE LEGAL ACTION CENTER: The Legal Action Center is the only non-profit law and policy organization in the United States whose sole mission is to fight discrimination against people with histories of addiction, HIV/AIDS, and/or criminal records, and to advocate for sound public policies in these areas. For four decades, LAC has worked to combat the stigma and prejudice that keep these individuals out of the mainstream of society. The Legal Action Center is committed to helping people reclaim their lives, maintain their dignity, and participate fully in society as productive, responsible citizens.

LAC works to reduce alcohol and drug use disorders by conducting policy advocacy to expand and improve treatment and prevention, providing legal assistance to people in recovery or still suffering from addiction, and working with programs that serve them to fight discrimination and violations of privacy. LAC works to prevent HIV/AIDS and protect those living with HIV/AIDS by providing legal assistance to people with HIV/AIDS and programs that serve them, and advocating for expanded prevention, care and other services. LAC helps improve the criminal justice system by helping qualified people with criminal records to obtain employment and services needed to re-enter society successfully, assisting programs that work with them, and conducting public policy advocacy and research to reform sentencing laws, expand community corrections, and promote other sound policies.

JOB DESCRIPTION AND DUTIES: Working with staff at LAC’s New York City office, Legal Interns assist attorneys and policy staff with the broad array of work LAC performs, including:

  • legal research and writing for impact litigation and client advocacy;
  • research and writing for public policy advocacy;
  • working directly with clients and prospective clients by conducting intakes, providing information to individuals seeking to overcome barriers based on their criminal histories, and drafting client advocacy documents; and
  • drafting position papers, legislation, and other policy documents.

QUALIFICATIONS: Excellent communication, advocacy, analytic and writing skills required. The Legal Action Center is an equal opportunity employer.

TIME COMMITMENT: At least 10-15 hours per week for at least 10 weeks. Full-time positions are also available. If an intern is available to work more hours each week or for more than 10 weeks, there may be more opportunities to increase the level of responsibility and range of work.

COMPENSATION: If the Legal Intern is not receiving course credit or other funding, LAC will pay an hourly wage.

To apply, please send a cover letter, resume, and writing sample to the Legal Action Center, Attention: Legal Intern Coordinator, 225 Varick St., Suite 402, New York, NY 10014; fax: (212) 675-0286; email: [email protected], with subject line “Legal Internship.”


Washington, D.C.

The Legal Action Center (LAC) seeks a Policy Associate in its Washington, D.C. office to work on a variety of projects related to health care policy and improving access to addiction and mental health care.

About the Organization 

LAC is a private, not-for-profit law and policy organization with offices in New York City and Washington, D.C. LAC is the only organization in the country whose sole mission is to fight discrimination against and protect the privacy of people living with criminal records, drug or alcohol histories, and/or HIV/AIDS. LAC’s multi-faceted approach involves direct legal services and impact litigation, technical assistance and training to agencies that serve our constituencies, and national, federal and state policy advocacy to create systemic changes.

Since its 1972 founding, LAC has been a state and national leader in policy and legal advocacy to: promote substance use prevention, addiction treatment, and recovery; protect the privacy of addiction treatment information; fight discrimination related to an addiction history or a criminal record; and reform drug sentencing laws. LAC is a national leader on ensuring the federal health care reform law, the Affordable Care Act, helps to expand health insurance coverage and access to care for people with addiction and mental health service needs and for those involved in the criminal justice system. LAC is also a leading expert on the laws governing the confidentiality of substance use treatment records and has worked with treatment providers and policy makers on these confidentiality issues for decades.

Job Responsibilities 

The Policy Associate will be responsible for coordinating a number of policy projects aimed at improving access to health care. This position will report to LAC’s Director of Policy.

The Policy Associate will:

  • Coordinate and help to staff the Coalition for Whole Health, a coalition of organizations working to ensure that health reform laws are well implemented for people with mental health and addiction care needs. Maintain regular communications with Coalition members.
  • Conduct policy research and analysis of federal and state laws, regulations and guidances  toward better access to health care for people with addiction and mental health needs.
  • Develop written policy materials for the administration and Congress, state policy-makers and advocates.
  • Coordinate a project aimed at ensuring that there is good access to substance use screenings and early intervention services through Medicaid and private insurance.
  • Conduct educational presentations and trainings on various health policy issues and help to develop and implement policy advocacy strategies.


  • Public policy experience (minimum 2 years), preferably in the area of health. Graduate degrees in law or public policy preferred.  A passion for advocacy to expand access to health care and to eliminate discriminatory policies is essential.
  • Excellent written and oral communication, advocacy, and analytic skills, including the ability to explain complex issues in clear, persuasive terms.
  • High level of organizational skills and ability to multi-task.
  • Strong networking skills and the ability to develop and maintain relationships with individuals, organizations and government agencies and well as to work with diverse groups of people.
  • Desire and ability to work both independently and collaboratively in a small (4-5 people), busy office.
  • Willingness to travel.


Salary is commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits, including medical insurance, 403(b) plan with employer contribution, and pre-tax flexible benefits. 


Please e-mail a resume and brief cover letter (no calls) to Sherie V. Boyd, Office Manager at [email protected] and write Policy Associate in the subject line. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled, but please apply as soon as possible. Only candidates selected for interviews will be contacted. The Legal Action Center is an equal opportunity employer.  Members of LAC’s stakeholder populations are strongly urged to apply.

Legal Internships

If you are interested in Interning in our Washington, D.C. office, we periodically have positions available. Through our Washington office, LAC advocates with Congress and agencies within the administration to improve our federal laws and policies to end discrimination against people in recovery or still suffering from addiction; to expand funding and coverage for life-saving alcohol and drug treatment, prevention, and research; and to eliminate barriers that people with criminal records face when reentering the community from incarceration.

JOB DESCRIPTION AND DUTIES: LAC interns research, track, and analyze federal legislation and policy, attend Congressional hearings and briefings, and assist in other ongoing projects related to the federal advocacy work. Excellent research and writing skills are required. Past interns have included law school and other graduate students interested in policy advocacy; some LAC interns have elected to continue their internship beyond the summer semester. While this has traditionally been a paid internship, individuals could instead elect to receive credit for their work. The Legal Action Center is an equal opportunity employer. Members of LAC’s stakeholder populations are strongly urged to apply.

More information about LAC and our National HIRE Network, which focuses on expanding employment opportunities for people with criminal records, can be found on our websites, and, or by contacting Sherie V. Boyd, Office Manager, at [email protected].

To apply for this internship, please send a cover letter and resume to Ms. Boyd at [email protected].


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