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) is seeking applications from law students who have completed two years of law school for our full-time Summer Legal Internship program. We also accept applications from students who are splitting their summers between law firms and public interest organizations. 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: 35-40 hours per week for at least 10 weeks.

To apply, please send a cover letter, resume, and writing sample to the Legal Action Center, Attention: Legal Intern Coordinator, 225 Varick St., 4th Fl, New York, NY 10014; fax: (212) 675-0286; email: [email protected], with subject line “Legal Internship.”

If a student will not be receiving summer funding or course credit for the internship, the Legal Action Center will pay the student an hourly rate.

Washington, D.C.

Position Announcement: Policy Associate 

The Legal Action Center (LAC) seeks a Policy Associate in its Washington, D.C. office to work on a variety of projects primarily related to criminal justice reform. This position will focus on eliminating discriminatory federal and state policies facing people who have been involved in the criminal justice system.

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. The Center’s National Helping Individuals with criminal records Reenter through Employment (HIRE) Network project was established in 2001 to increase the number and quality of job opportunities available to people with criminal records by improving employment policies and practices and changing public opinion. HIRE accomplishes these goals by: serving as a clearinghouse for information, providing leadership on public policy and advocacy, providing technical assistance and training on overcoming employment barriers based on a criminal record, and promoting collaboration between the workforce development, business, and criminal justice communities across the nation.

Job Responsibilities: 

The Policy Associate will focus primarily on federal policy advocacy and analysis of issues related to ending discrimination against people with criminal records and people with substance use disorder histories. Responsibilities will include:

  • Helping to develop and implement advocacy strategies with Congress and the Administration to eliminate legal and policy barriers against people with criminal histories.
  • Conducting policy research and analysis of federal and state laws and regulations.
  • Writing policy materials for Congress and advocates.
  • Participating in a number of coalitions on behalf of the Center.
  • Conducting educational presentations and trainings on various criminal justice reform issues; and
  • Serving as a liaison between state and federal criminal justice reform advocates.


  • Public policy experience (minimum 2 years), preferably in the area of criminal justice.  Graduate degrees in law or public policy preferred. A passion for advocacy to eliminate discriminatory policies facing people who have been involved in the criminal justice system 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 (5-6 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 [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.

October 19, 2016

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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