Student Press Law Center Paid Internships

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have suspended summer 2020 internships and are still deciding on whether to go forward with fall journalism internships. You are welcome to send materials to Diana Mitsu Klos at dmk@splc.org. We will keep these applications on file to consider should we decide to move forward. Our decisions are rooted in wanting to ensure a top-notch work experience, and the health and safety of our interns. Thank you for your interest and please accept our best wishes.

The SPLC is accepting applications on a rolling basis for a full-time, year-long, post-graduate fellow to work with us. The fellowship will begin in fall 2020 and end in fall 2021 (start and end dates are flexible). The fellow will be based out of the SPLC office in Washington, DC or will work remotely until public health guidelines permit a safe return to the office.

The legal fellow must secure outside funding to sponsor their work (e.g., law school public interest grant, external organization sponsorship). SPLC would collaborate with the applicant in this process.

The legal fellowship is designed to be both a learning and work experience for an early-career lawyer who is passionate about defending student press rights. The fellow will have the same vacation time and holidays as the SPLC staff. SPLC will provide medical, dental, and vision insurance.

Responsibilities

  • Conduct legal research to answer legal hotline queries
  • Write demand letters on behalf of student journalists
  • Help student journalists file public records requests
  • Lecture on various media law topics in videoconference classroom visits (Virtual Speakers Bureau)
  • Present sessions at fall and spring student journalism conventions
  • Draft and edit amicus briefs
  • Update legal resources on the SPLC website
  • Participate in special events (e.g., Student Press Freedom Day, Summer Media Law & Policy Institute)

Qualifications

  • Juris Doctor degree or equivalent (or an expectation of receiving one by the start of the fellowship)
  • 0-3 years of experience (We welcome 2020 law school graduates.)
  • Demonstrated interest in issues relating to the First Amendment freedoms of speech and press and a commitment to advocating for the rights of student journalists
  • Strong academic record
  • Superior research, analytical, and writing skills
  • Excellent communication skills for both legal and non-legal audiences
  • Flexible and reliable team player with strong interpersonal skills
  • Creative problem-solver, self-starting, and willing to learn

Housing

The SPLC doesn’t provide housing, but will assist interns and legal fellows  in finding housing for the semester or academic year. Our small, windowless but cheerful office is centrally located near major Metro subway and bus lines.

In recent years, interns have done well with Airbnb or similar services. Facebook has a couple of groups focused on D.C. intern housing. There are furnished properties owned by Washington Intern Student Housing (WISH), which gives SPLC interns a 10% discount on general rates for spring and fall semesters. During the summer, some interns have found housing at George Washington University dorms (walking distance to our office); here are other dorm options. The International Student House, within walking distance to our office, offers month-to-month shared rooms and meals for those age 21 and over.

About the SPLC

The SPLC is an advocate for student First Amendment rights, freedom of online speech, and open government on campus. The SPLC provides information, training and legal assistance at no charge to high school and college student journalists and the educators who work with them. We work at the intersection of journalism, law and education. Founded in 1974, the SPLC is a nonpartisan, 501 c-3 nonprofit organization that serves as nation’s only organization dedicated solely to the legal challenges facing student media.

How to apply

Legal Fellow candidates should submit their applications as soon as possible, as we will review applications and make offers on a rolling basis. Please email the following materials in a single PDF to SPLC Director of Engagement Diana Mitsu Klos at dmk@splc.org with “2020-2021 Legal Fellow” and your full name in the subject line of the email:

Candidates should submit their applications as soon as possible, as we will review applications and make offers on a rolling basis.

Applications should be sent to SPLC Director of Engagement Diana Mitsu Klos at dmk@splc.org with “2020-2021 Legal Fellow” and your full name in the subject line of the email. Please email the following materials in a single PDF:

  • Cover letter explaining your interest in the fellowship, including a description of any relevant experience (please also include details about your outside funding source)
  • Résumé
  • Contact information for three references 
  • Official or unofficial law school transcript
  • One or two writing samples, at least one of which should include legal analysis

Additional information may be requested during the application process.