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Current Pro Bono Opportunities for Students

All opportunities listed here meet Penn Law’s pro bono eligibility guidelines.

Opportunities that are expected to be eligible for the New York Bar pro bono requirement are marked as such. You may also use the tags to sort opportunities by type. This page is regularly updated as positions are filled and new ones become available.

Information about the New York bar pro bono requirement.

  • New York Artists Equity Association, Inc.

    Who Can Participate
    All Students

    Organization Website

    www.nyartistsequity.org

    Description

    New York Artists Equity Association, Inc. promotes opportunities for artists; advocates for issues affecting artists; and serves as a resource for artists.
    Students will research legal issues affecting artists and corporate governance issues. They will draft documents for corporate restructuring project and draft standard agreements for the gallery.

    Time Commitment: Total of 40 hours; can be spread over many weeks. The work will need to be completed by December 2016. Work can be done remotely with at least one in-person meeting.

    Skills/knowledge

    Genuine interest in art advocacy and concise writing style required. 

    To Express Interest

    To apply, please send a resume, one writing sample, and a cover letter to Melinda Wang, Executive Director, at melinda@nyartistsequity.org.

  • CEIBA

    Who Can Participate
    All Students

    Organization Website

    http://ceibaphiladelphia.org/

    Description

    This opportunity is likely to be New York Bar eligible.

    Ceiba has several direct client and research projects available for Penn Law students. Ceiba is looking for students who have a significant interest in poverty law, specifically issues of immigration and/or housing.

    Time commitment: 4-8 hours per week.

    To Express Interest

    Send your resume and brief letter of interest to Hillary Wiesel (hwiesel@law.upenn.edu)

  • Earthjustice

    Who Can Participate

    All students with a commitment to environmental protection or environmental justice and with strong research, analytic, and writing skills.

    Organization Website

    www.earthjustice.org

    This opportunity is likely to be New York Bar eligible.

    Description

    Earthjustice, the nation’s premier non profit law organization, seeks an unpaid legal intern for Fall 2016 to do research and writing in support of our litigation.  The intern will work under the direct supervision of attorneys in our Philadelphia office, which focuses on litigation involving the coal industry.  The intern will assist in case investigation, legal research and discovery.  A minimum of 8-10 hrs./week is required.

    To Express Interest

    Using the Jobvite application tool, please submit a resume, cover letter, and writing sample. Click here to apply.

  • Honoring the Future

    Who Can Participate

    All Students

    Organization Website

    http://www.honoringthefuture.org/

    Description

    This opportunity is likely to be NY Bar eligible.

    Honoring the Future, a nonprofit climate education project, seeks a pro bono legal intern for Fall 2016 to research and write about domestic and international legal developments on climate change.

    Research and writing will be used to update educational materials published on project website, so ability to explain legal concepts succinctly and in language clearly understandable to the general public is essential. The intern will report directly to the Project Director in Washington DC via email and regularly scheduled conference calls; research and writing can be done from a remote location. A minimum of 8-10 hrs./week is required.

    To Express Interest

    Apply online at info@honoringthefuture.org; no phone calls please! Include resume, writing sample, and an explanation of no more than 100 words on any pertinent legal development not already described at http://www.honoringthefuture.org/climate-smarts/climate-resources/law/.

  • Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts

    Who Can Participate

    PMC is seeking self-motivated interns with excellent research and writing abilities and a strong commitment to social justice. Students with a background in public policy, education and/or public interest law are encouraged to apply.

    Organization Website

    www.pmconline.org

    Description

    This opportunity is likely to be NY Bar eligible.

    Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to promoting equal access to justice, civic education, and judicial modernization and reform. As a longtime leader in the fair courts movement, we seek to improve the lives of individual citizens while affecting systemic change.

    The diversity of our programming allows interns to fulfill specialized roles according to their interests. We encourage autonomy and creativity in the assumption of these roles.

    Initiatives that are currently being advanced by PMC include:

    • Identifying and eliminating sources of bias in the justice system, including barriers to justice based on race, gender, sexual orientation and socioeconomic status
    • Engaging in community outreach to provide citizens with accurate information about their rights and responsibilities in our courts
    • Increasing appellate diversity by campaigning for a more equitable method of judicial selection
    • Acting as an unbiased resource for those seeking impartial and accurate information about court processes
    • Working to improve the treatment of people with mental illness in the criminal justice system
    • Creating and instigating policies to ensure more racially representative juries
    • Advocating for legislation designed to remove money from court-oriented political processes.

    Responsibilities may include:

    • Conducting legal research and writing on court reform issues in Pennsylvania and nationally
    • Engaging with pro se litigants and connecting helpline callers to appropriate resources
    • Observing and participating in aspects of the legislative process
    • Serving as the organization’s representative at community functions, seminars, and Bar Association events
    • Attending and reporting on court proceedings to identify potential areas of systemic improvement
    • Updating content on PMC’s website and social media platforms to reflect current court issues
    • Determining additional short-term mechanisms of furthering PMC’s goals, and devising ways to implement these mechanisms

    Time Commitment: Minimum of 10 hours per week.

    To Express Interest

    Please email info@pmconline.org with a cover letter, resume, and availability.

  • Philadelphia Bar Association

    Who Can Participate
    All Students

    Organization Website

    www.philadelphiabar.org

    Description

    This opportunity is likely to be New York Bar eligible.

    The Philadelphia Bar Association, founded in 1802, is the oldest association of lawyers in the United States. It is a keystone in the ongoing developments of the Philadelphia and Pennsylvania legal systems.

    The Public Interest/Access to Justice Law Student Intern will work during the fall 2016 semester on a variety of projects for the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Delivery of Legal Services Committee (DLSC) and the Civil Gideon and Access to Justice Task Force.

    The internship is unpaid and must qualify for pro bono or internship/externship class credit.

    To Express Interest

    To apply, please send a resume, one writing sample, and a cover letter to Merril L. Zebe, Esq., Public Interest Coordinator, at mzebe@philabar.org.

  • MENTOR

    Who Can Participate

    Students who can make a 12-18 month commitment in Philadelphia.

    Organization Website

    http://www.courts.phila.gov/mentor

    Description

    MENTOR (Mentors Empowering Now to Overcome Recidivism) is a groundbreaking and innovative initiative of the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania that seeks to reduce criminal recidivism by providing mentoring to individuals involved in the criminal justice system and returning to the Philadelphia community.

    Over the course of the 12-18 month program term, mentors provide emotional support and encouragement to their participants, as well as practical assistance to overcome some of the traditional barriers to successful reentry. Volunteers will have the opportunity to help with legal screenings, research and referrals, and possibly even help with expungements or representation in other legal matters.

    Mentors commit to speak with their participant twice per week, and meet with their participant in person twice per month. Successful completion of the program results in a significant reduction of the participant’s probation term.

    TIME COMMITMENT: 5 +/-hours a month for 12-18 months.

    To Express Interest

    Please visit http://www.courts.phila.gov/mentor

     

  • The Rendell Center for Civics and Civic Engagement

    Who Can Participate

    All Students

    Organization Website

    http://rendellcenter.org/

    Description

    The Rendell Center for Civics and Civic Engagement is a non- profit organization started by Judge Marjorie Rendell and Governor Edward Rendell to promote civics education and engagement.  The Rendell Center offers opportunities for educators and the broader community to develop the knowledge, practices and dispositions of engaged citizenship.  For educators, the Rendell Center creates curriculum content, pedagogical tools, and professional development experiences.  For students, the Rendell Center develops literacy-based programs and experiential learning exercises. 

    We are looking for dynamic, innovative and passionate individuals interested in joining our team to assist in the development of civics/literacy curriculum for students in grades k-6. The curriculum has a strong legal focus and includes the development of Literacy Based Mock trials. You will be contributing to the development of the vision and scope of new curriculum projects and ongoing development and publication of daily and weekly content materials.

    Time Commitment: 4-6 hours per week

    Skills/knowledge

    Pennsylvania law requires all volunteers in the Philadelphia School District to complete background checks. Contact TPIC for guidance in navigating this process.

    To Express Interest

    Send resume and letter of interest to Hillary Wiesel (hwiesel@law.upenn.edu) in TPIC.