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) offers semester and summer internships to law students in New York City. We will also consider applications from students who are splitting their summers between law firms and public interest organizations. LAC offers an hourly salary to interns who do not receive course credit or outside funding.

ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION: LAC 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 criminal records, and to advocate for sound public policies in these areas. For over 40 years, LAC has championed public health approaches to substance use disorder and HIV/AIDS, fought mass incarceration, and challenged the myriad collateral consequences of a criminal record. LAC uses a multi-faceted approach to effect change, including direct legal services, impact litigation, education, and policy advocacy at the local, state, and federal levels.

JOB DESCRIPTION AND DUTIES: Working in the New York City office, legal interns work directly with our attorneys and policy staff to further LAC’s work as needed, which may include:

  • Providing direct legal services to individuals facing discrimination on the basis of their criminal records or HIV/AIDS status, including conducting intakes and drafting client advocacy documents;
  • Providing direct legal services to individuals eligible to seal their criminal records under New York’s new sealing law, Criminal Procedure Law § 160.59, including screening clients for eligibility, assisting clients in filing their sealing motions, and potentially representing clients in hearings;
  • Conducting legal research for LAC’s cutting-edge impact litigation in privacy rights and discrimination (by employers, criminal justice and child welfare agencies, and health insurers, among others); and
  • Drafting position papers, model legislation, and other policy documents in support of LAC’s core mission.

Summer legal interns may have the opportunity to attend meetings, conferences, public hearings, and trainings with LAC attorneys and policy staff, depending on programming and interns’ interests.

Legal interns may also have the opportunity to develop a substantial writing sample or law review-style article about novel legal issues that arise in our work. We encourage legal interns to develop projects and apply for post-graduate fellowships at LAC.

For more information about LAC’s current litigation and policy work, see our recent Highlights.

QUALIFICATIONS: Applicants must be students who have completed their first or second year of law school. Excellent analytic and writing skills required. Demonstrated commitment to the issues facing the communities served by LAC preferred. Proficiency in a second language welcomed. The Legal Action Center is an equal opportunity employer.

TIME COMMITMENT: Summer interns are expected to work at least 35-40 hours per week, for at least 10 weeks. Semester interns are expected to work at least 10 hours per week, for at least 10 weeks.

COMPENSATION: LAC pays an hourly rate to legal interns if they do not receive external funding or course credit for the internship.

APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS: To apply, please send a cover letter, resume, and writing sample to the Legal Action Center at [email protected], with the subject line “Legal Internship.” We will review applications on a rolling basis. The application deadline is August 15 for the fall term, December 1 for the spring term, and February 15 for the summer. First year law student applications for the summer internship will not be accepted before December 1, in accordance with the NALP Principles and Standards. Interested applicants are encouraged to apply early.

The Legal Action Center (LAC) seeks interns for its New York City headquarters to work on projects related to fighting discrimination against people with histories of addiction and/or criminal justice involvement and increasing access to services.

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 people with criminal records, drug or alcohol histories, and/or HIV/AIDS. LAC is a national leader in fighting mass incarceration by expanding alternatives to incarceration, seeking to connect individuals in the criminal justice system to health care services and reducing barriers to reentry in employment, housing and higher education.

Job duties: Interns will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of public policy and client-related projects, which may include:

  • Researching and writing about policies and programs that impact people in the criminal justice system in New York City, New York State and federally;
  • Helping to build coalitions to maintain strong privacy protections for substance use disorder treatment records and to advocate for policies that reduce barriers to housing for people with criminal justice histories;
  • Helping to organize a conference about increasing access to medication-assisted treatment in jails and prisons;
  • Screening calls from clients who have faced discrimination;
  • Supporting the agency’s external communications efforts.


  • Current college student or equivalent experienced required;
  • Strong research, analytic, writing, and verbal communication skills;
  • Ability to attend meetings and take notes;
  • Experience designing websites a plus;
  • Bilingual ability in English and Spanish preferred.


Please e-mail a resume and brief cover letter (no calls) to [email protected] and write “New York State Intern” in the subject line. The Legal Action Center is an equal opportunity employer. We encourage applications from our constituencies.

Time Commitment

Minimum 10 hours per week for 8 weeks, but up to full-time for the entire summer.  The greater the time commitment, the more responsibility the intern can take on.

Washington, D.C.

State Advocacy Coordinator  

The Legal Action Center’s new State Advocacy Coordinator will be based in Washington, D.C. and will play an integral role in advancing LAC’s national strategy to promote policies to reverse mass incarceration and to advance a health first, not punitive, response to issues that too often lead to criminal justice system involvement. LAC’s policy priorities include: 1) sentencing reforms, 2) diversion from justice-system involvement and incarceration to health care and social services, 3) restoration of civil rights after conviction, and 4) improved access to substance use disorder care.

The State Advocacy Coordinator will work with state and local criminal justice reform and health care advocacy coalitions and grassroots organizations, including those led by people with direct lived experience. This position will require significant travel.


Major responsibilities will include:

  • Direct engagement with statewide coalitions focused on criminal justice and health reform
  • Monitoring and reporting on state and local policy developments and the landscape, capacity, and technical assistance needs of the advocacy community in various states Convening and facilitating communication to bring together diverse sets of stakeholders
  • Conducting policy research and analysis and developing support materials
  • Delivery of presentations to stakeholders
  • Working with the LAC Policy Team to implement different state-based health and criminal justice reform policy campaigns



  • At least four years of experience in two or more of the following areas:
  • Community or grassroots organizing
  • Public policy/government relations
  • Advocacy at the local, state, and/or federal levels
  • Volunteer recruitment
  • A Bachelor’s degree or some college plus experience is required. College coursework combined with related experience may be substituted for a degree
  • Excellent written and oral communication, advocacy, and analytic skills, including the ability to explain complex issues in clear, persuasive terms
  • Ability to develop expertise on various LAC policy priorities
  • Passion for social justice and advocacy work
  • Competency and sensitivity to working with people with direct lived experience
  • 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
  • Ability to travel up to 35% monthly, including overnight travel
  • Highly organized and technology savvy; knowledge and skill in organizing data sets for reporting and evaluating
  • Desire and ability to work both independently and collaboratively in a small (5-6 people), busy office


About the Organization 

LAC is a forty-five year old 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 change.


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 résumé and brief cover letter (no calls) to [email protected] and write State Advocacy Coordinator 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 LACs stakeholder populations are strongly urged to apply.

September 14, 2017

Legal Internship

The Legal Action Center (LAC) is hiring a law student for the spring semester in our Washington, D.C. office.  The internship would be for 10-12 weeks.  Applicants may elect to receive a salary or academic credit for their work.

LAC’s D.C. office advocates with Congress, federal administrative agencies and state policy-makers to end discrimination against people with histories of addiction; to expand funding and coverage for substance use disorder treatment, prevention, and research through all forms of health care financing; and to eliminate barriers to re-entry for people with criminal records. LAC’s DC office collaborates with organizations around the country and national coalitions to achieve its goals.

JOB DESCRIPTON AND DUTIES:  The legal intern will research, track, and analyze federal legislation and policy related to private and public health insurance and criminal justice initiatives affecting persons with addiction histories; attend Congressional hearings and briefings; conduct legal research on health care coverage and insurance discrimination; and assist in other ongoing projects related to both state and federal advocacy work.  Excellent research and writing skills are required. Past interns have included law students interested in policy development and advocacy and the substantive issues at the core of LAC’s 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, D.C. Office Manager at [email protected].

To apply, please send your resume and a cover letter explaining your interest in LAC’s work and relevant experience to Ms. Boyd at [email protected].

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