Legal Services for Prisoners with Children seeks law students and non-law students with a strong commitment to social justice and prison reform/ abolition for its three internship terms throughout the year. We also accept applications from individuals who are not currently students. Please read this entire page before contacting us with questions.
LSPC seeks interns to assist with its community organizing, law and policy, and administrative support work. Applicants with experience and/ or interest in any or all of the following areas are encouraged to apply. We also strongly encourage applications from individuals personally impacted by systems of mass incarceration.
Interns may be assigned to one or more of the following types of projects, depending on current organizational needs and the applicant’s skills, experience, and interests:
- Family Unity Project support: This project focuses on the impact of incarceration on children and family members, as well as helping incarcerated parents stay connected with their children. We believe all children have the right to lifelong relationships with their parents, so we help parents in prison enforce their rights to be visited by their children. Within this project, we conduct investigations, engage in impact litigation, write reports, and make educational presentations to a variety of forums.
- Law and policy support: LSPC fights to reform the legal structures that perpetuate the oppression of people of color and low income people through policing, criminal records, and incarceration. While we do not take individual cases, we do litigate a small number of impact cases. We also engage in legislative and administrative policy advocacy by sponsoring bills and lobbying at a state and local level. Our legal staff and interns also provide occasional support at Prop 47 and clean slate pop-up clinics.
- All of Us or None organizing: AOUON is a project dedicated to uniting and strengthening the voices of people most affected by U.S. prison politics. Community outreach efforts are constantly being organized to inform and educate public officials and community members about the discriminatory practices formerly incarcerated people face as we re-enter society.
- Answering prisoner letters: We receive a significant number of letters from prisoners regarding a variety of issues. LSPC responds to all prisoner requests for legal and other informational materials. Interns are able to gain experience researching case law, communicating with clients, and conducting real-life problem solving for this work, as well as gain familiarity with California criminal, family, and civil rights law.
- Updating manuals: We publish several manuals and informational packets regarding prison issues. These materials are designed to help prisoners legally represent themselves and are updated regularly
- Communications and media support: LSPC maintains ongoing communication with legal services providers, communities directly impacted by incarceration, allies, and the public through our social media pages, website and blog, monthly e-news, op-eds and press releases, and annual Justice Journal, among other means.
- Tech support: LSPC has a small staff with no in-house tech support. As such, individuals with experience with troubleshooting, installing and updating software, and/ or managing digital files are encouraged to apply.
- Fundraising support: Interns may assist our development team by providing support in drafting on- and offline donor communications, tracking staff progress on grant deliverables, managing grant application and reporting deadlines, and managing peer-to-peer fundraising.
During summer sessions, our interns are expected to work a minimum of 35 hours per week. For fall and spring sessions, we ask for a 16-hour per week minimum commitment for law students and a 10-hour minimum commitment from non-law students.
Our internships are unpaid, but we may be able to provide limited stipends to directly-impacted interns on a case-by-case basis. All internships take place at our Oakland office.
LSPC offers 3 intern sessions each year:
- Fall Semester
- Internship typically from Sept – Dec
- Application window: May 15 – Aug 5
- Spring Semester
- Internship typically from Jan – April/May
- Application window: Sept 1 – Nov 30
- Internship typically from June – Aug
- Application window: Dec 1 – March 15
If you are interested in applying, please email a resume, cover letter, and a short (5 pages or fewer) writing sample to Tina Nunn at tina(at)prisonerswithchildren.org. Applicants will be reviewed on a rolling basis, with priority given to applicants who submit materials within the application windows indicated above.
Please indicate in your cover letter which of the above project areas you are interested in working in. Ideal candidates have a demonstrated commitment to racial, gender, and/ or economic justice and strong research and writing skills. Writing samples of any kind, including excerpts, are accepted; please choose a piece that you feel highlights your writing and analytical skills and/ or dedication to social justice.