American Oversight is looking for a committed and motivated Legal Intern to join our team for Summer 2023 and help us shine a light on government misconduct and threats to democracy. We’re a nonpartisan, nonprofit watchdog that uses targeted public records requests and litigation to advance truth, accountability, and democracy.
We leverage our open records expertise to act where misconduct and government power overlap. From the federal Freedom of Information Act to state transparency laws, we use carefully crafted records requests to extract information from the government. When the government fails to respond as required by law, our team has the expertise to take them to court and enforce the public’s right to hold our leaders accountable. American Oversight has obtained and published more than one million pages of emails, memos, calendars, text messages, and other records — ensuring accountability, exposing wrongdoing, and often driving significant corrective action, at all levels of government.
Our attorneys creatively use the law to promote governmental accountability and to uncover unethical and abusive government conduct. We use all available legal tools to identify, investigate, and reveal ethical problems and malfeasance in the government. This requires initiative, skill, and creativity in identifying and crafting legal strategies. Our legal intern will be exposed to a wide range of legal activity within this active organization, including collaborating on draft open records requests, conducting legal research, drafting complaints and other litigation documents, assisting in developing litigation strategy, observing court hearings, and participating in brown bag luncheons covering relevant legal topics. Our interns also benefit from active mentoring by our team of attorneys.
The ideal candidate will have an interest in legal investigations, government ethics, and/or government oversight; will be self-motivated and dependable; and will possess excellent research skills (of both the legal and investigations kind) and excellent writing skills.
Specific tasks will shift day by day with our work, but in a typical week, you will:
Review and research current events to spot potential legal issues and to identify opportunities to uncover state and federal government malfeasance or unethical conduct.
- Collaborate with our research team to craft, review, and revise draft Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and state open records act requests
- Draft Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and state open records act administrative appeals.
- Draft court pleadings, including complaints, motions, and briefs or brief sections.
- Conduct legal research to support our litigation strategy.
- Prepare reports and other editorial content for our website based on the findings of our investigations.
- Attend and participate in regular meetings with our Legal Team and broader staff.
This legal internship is open to law students who will have completed their first semester of law school before the internship commences. Legal interns should possess the following:
- Commitment to public-interest advocacy.
- Exceptional writing, research, and oral communications skills.
- An interest in government ethics and accountability.
- Sound judgment and ability to analyze situations and information.
- Ability to work collaboratively.
- High degree of professional ethics and integrity.
American Oversight is proudly an equal opportunity employer and is committed to building a diverse team. Studies have shown that women and people of color are less likely to apply for jobs unless they believe they have every one of the qualifications listed. We are dedicated to finding the best candidate for the job.
Our hiring process is centered on assessing candidates with diverse lived experiences. We would encourage you to apply, even if you don’t believe you meet every one of our qualifications described. If you are unsure of whether you meet the qualifications of this position, or how this would be determined, please contact us to discuss your application.
American Oversight provides a stipend of $700/week . Interns are expected to work approximately 35 hours per week. This stipend is subject to adjustment based on the needs or restrictions of other external funding received by the intern.
American Oversight is a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.
American Oversight is a remote-first organization, and our employees can work from any existing American Oversight state locations (CA, CO, CT, DC, FL, GA, IN, MA, MD, MI, MO, NJ, NY, NC, OH, OR, VA, and WI).
Our office in downtown Washington, DC is an optional workspace when pandemic-related restrictions allow.
How to Apply
Interested applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Please upload a combined PDF using the “attach resume” link with a cover letter, your resume, law school transcript (informal is fine), and a sample of your writing of no more than five pages (an excerpt from a longer writing sample is fine). We will be reviewing applications on a rolling basis, with a first-round review by January 20, 2023.