Fall 2024 U.S. Advocacy and Litigation Legal Intern

Department: U.S. Advocacy & Litigation

Part-time, Non-Exempt

Location: Remote/Hybrid (Students have the option to work out of our New York City, or Washington D.C. offices)

Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights is seeking candidates for legal internships within the U.S. Advocacy and Litigation team to advance our work in combating human rights abuses in the U.S. criminal and immigration systems. Applications are considered, and positions are offered on a rolling basis, but preference will be given to applications received by 11:59 pm EST on Sunday, July 7, 2024.

About the U.S Advocacy & Litigation Team:

The U.S. Advocacy and Litigation team partners with grassroots human rights defenders to reduce the size, scope, and power of mass incarceration in American society. Litigating before state and federal  courts and international human rights mechanisms,  we expose and fight racial discrimination, torture, and extrajudicial killings in the U.S. criminal and immigration legal systems.  

Examples of our current work include documenting human rights abuses in visits to isolated immigration detention centers across the country; federal litigation challenging immigration detention center abuses, including prolonged civil detention, medical neglect, and retaliation for engaging in peaceful protest; federal civil rights litigation challenging racial discrimination by U.S. police departments litigation before regional human rights mechanisms seeking accountability for extrajudicial killings by U.S. police; and legislative advocacy in grassroots campaigns to abolish solitary confinement. 

The U.S. Advocacy and Litigation Legal Intern will assist the team in planning, researching, and drafting advocacy and litigation materials, primarily related to abusive police and prison practices. Ongoing projects that the Intern might contribute to include traveling to immigration detention centers to  investigate and prepare human rights reports and federal civil rights complaints, federal litigation seeking accountability for human rights abuses, and submissions and hearings before multilateral human rights committees and mechanisms concerning abuses in the criminal and immigration systems.

Legal Intern Responsibilities: 
  • Assisting in legal research, including litigation strategies related to accountability for police and prison abuses under the Federal Torts Claim Act, habeas corpus, and other laws
  • Analyzing documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act for use in grassroots policy and legislative advocacy campaigns
  • Researching and drafting submissions to international human rights mechanisms
  • Providing on-site legal information presentations at isolated immigration detention centers around the U.S. 
  • Providing additional support to Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights staff on an as-needed basis.
A successful candidate must have the following skills and experiences:
  • Current law student;
  • Excellent legal writing and research skills;
  • Interest in and commitment to racial justice, social movements, and the transformation of the criminal and immigration legal systems;
  • A demonstrated passion for RFKHR’s mission and demonstrated commitment to community-centered advocacy;
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills;
  • Strong attention to detail and able to scope out errors, including a willingness to own and fix mistakes;
  • Exceptional time management, including the ability to manage multiple tasks and projects at once;
  • Flexible, patient, and able to stay gracious under pressure;
  • High level of integrity and discretion in handling confidential information;
  • Innovative thinking, willingness to voice your opinions, and a strong work ethic are essential;
  • Strong sense of teamwork that builds positive relationships with colleagues and stakeholders, and a willingness to help others;
  • Believes in inclusivity when working with colleagues with different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives.
Preferred but not required qualifications:
  • Second language skills, particularly Spanish and Haitian Kreyol are a plus;
Availability and Compensation:
  • This part-time internship will commence as early as September 3, 2024 and end by November 12, 2024 with a commitment of 15-20 hours per week. 
  • Interns will receive a $750 monthly stipend.
How to Apply:
  • Submit your resume and cover letter to with “Your Name + Fall 2024 US Legal Internship” in the subject line heading. (Ex: Jane Doe + Fall 2024 US Legal Internship) in the subject heading. 
  • In your cover letter please include how you heard about this role and why you’re interested in this position.
Application Deadline: 
  • Applications are due by 11:59 pm EST on July 7, 2024

Please note that due to the high volume of applications received, RFK Human Rights will follow up with qualified candidates directly regarding the interview process. No phone calls, please.

You are welcome here…

Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights is an equal opportunity employer and believes we are stronger and more effective by working internally and externally with people of all abilities, diverse backgrounds, and a range of perspectives, particularly those historically marginalized or underrepresented. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status. We do not discriminate in our hiring practices, and in order to build the strongest possible workforce, actively seek a diverse applicant pool. If you’re in need of an accommodation at any time during the application and hiring process please contact us by emailing your request to with the subj. line “Accommodation Request”. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Having documents in alternate formats or read aloud
  • Having interviews in a more accessible location/format