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

The Legal Action Center (LAC) – a non-profit law and policy organization that fights discrimination against people with criminal records, alcohol or drug addiction, and HIV/AIDS– seeks a paralegal to conduct case intake and analysis, client advocacy, training and related duties in our New York City office. Expected start date is October 1, 2015.

ABOUT THE LEGAL ACTION CENTER:   LAC’s staff of lawyers, paralegals and policy experts provides free legal assistance and conducts litigation, legislative advocacy and public policy research to fight discrimination against and protect the privacy of people with criminal records, substance use disorders, and  HIV/AIDS.  LAC seeks to reduce mass incarceration through a public health approach to addiction, sentencing reform, and elimination of discrimination.


  • Conduct client intakes (telephone and in-person)
  • Investigate and analyze cases.
  • Provide information to clients about their rights.
  • Conduct client advocacy with government agencies, employers and others.

Make referrals.

  • Help develop educational materials for clients and providers.
  • Conduct trainings for service providers and their clients.
  • Time permitting, there may be opportunities to participate in public policy advocacy.


  • College graduate with related work experience OR candidates without a college degree who have very significant work experience in a similar position for at least two years.
  • Excellent communication, advocacy, analytic and writing skills required.
  • Experience in a legal services office or social service agency is a plus.
  • Personal experience with the issues LAC addresses (criminal record, substance use disorder or HIV/ AIDS) is highly valued.
  • Paralegal training or certificate not necessary.

Salary commensurate with experience.  Excellent benefits.  Please send resume and cover letter (no calls) by email to Please put 

“Legal Assistant position” and your name in the subject line. Applications without cover letters will not be considered.  If you are unable to email your application, you may mail it to our address in New York, Attn:  Human Resources.

The Legal Action Center is an equal opportunity employer.

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’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 addiction and abuse 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.

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:, with subject line “Legal Internship.”

Washington, D.C.

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

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


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