Summer 2020 Legal Internship Opportunities with Protect Democracy

Protect Democracy is seeking two highly motivated current law students for paid internships in summer 2020. Beginning in mid-September, we will conduct interviews on a rolling basis and, therefore, encourage you to submit your application as soon as possible. 

This position is open to current 2L law students. The internship is full-time (40 hours/week). We offer a stipend commensurate with other paid nonprofit legal internships; we are committed to making our internships accessible to law students from all socioeconomic backgrounds. We prefer candidates who will commit to spending 10 weeks with us. In limited circumstances, Protect Democracy is open to accepting candidates who wish to split their summer with another employer; in such cases, Protect Democracy will require a 6-week commitment. If this applies to you, please indicate that in your cover letter and explain why you are seeking to split your summer. Interns may work from our offices in Boston; Washington, D.C.; New York City; Los Angeles; and the Bay Area, CA. Please indicate in your cover letter the city in which you are interested. 

We are a young, rapidly-growing organization. Successful interns may be considered for a permanent position at Protect Democracy following their law school graduations.

Interns will be responsible for:

  • Researching and drafting memoranda on a wide array of federal and state legal and policy issues related to Protect Democracy’s core issue areas; 
  • Drafting and editing pleadings, policy documents, and reports;
  • Assisting in reviewing discovery; and 
  • Fully participating in the life of the organization.


  • A passionate commitment to the preservation of democratic norms and institutions and ensuring those structures serve all people.
  • Rigorous attention to detail and the highest standards for excellence in execution.
  • Excellent writing and legal research skills, including a very high level of attention to details of grammar, style, and Bluebook citation format;
  • Excellent interpersonal and diplomatic skills, including ability to correspond naturally with high-level individuals, co-counsel, and colleagues;
  • Excellent critical thinking skills and an entrepreneurial approach, including good instincts about how to get to optimal solutions.
  • Ability to work in a very collaborative and collegial environment, including through virtual meetings;
  • Comfort with an open and transparent culture with constant feedback (written and verbal) up, down, and sideways; 
  • Ability to quickly master the mechanics of new concepts and processes; and 
  • A healthy mix of idealism, sophistication, and practicality, coupled with personal kindness and generosity of spirit.

How to Apply: 

Interested law students should send a resume, cover letter, transcript, legal writing sample (no longer than 10 pages), and list of three references to with the position you are applying for in the subject line followed by your last name. Documents should be sent as a single PDF. 

Protect Democracy is an equal opportunity employer. Our culture principles emphasize that there is strength in diversity as we believe diverse teams are more innovative, creative, and productive. Protect Democracy encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, or veteran status.

About Us:

Protect Democracy is a nonpartisan nonprofit with an urgent mission: to prevent our democracy from declining into a more authoritarian form of government. We do this by holding the President and the Executive Branch accountable to the laws and longstanding practices that have protected our democracy through both Democratic and Republican administrations. Based on input from experts who have studied how other democracies have declined in the 21st century, we have focused on six broad issue-areas in order to succeed in our mission. Those six things are listed below in bold, each followed by some examples of the strategies and projects that we have deployed to accomplish them:

  • Preventing the corruption of elections – We succeeded in helping shut down the Pence-Kobach “Voter Integrity” Commission, which was roundly seen as a thinly-veiled effort at voter suppression. Following that victory, we sued one of the Pence-Kobach Commission members for intimidating lawful voters in his work outside the Commission and established pathbreaking voter protection caselaw while successfully deterring him from continuing such actions.
  • Preventing the delegitimization of vulnerable communities – Our lawsuit forced the Justice Department to admit that a government report linking immigrants to terrorism which was released in conjunction with the Travel Ban was based on erroneous statistics. We are now in court seeking its retraction in full and this suit has prompted oversight from Congress. As part of the coalition working to ensure a fair and accurate census, our Freedom of Information Act work helped expose and then thwart the appointment of an unqualified partisan to a top operational role at the Census Bureau.
  • Preventing the executive from aggrandizing power at the expense of competing institutions – We forced the release of the “Watergate Roadmap”, a document that had been secret for 44 years which laid out the evidence of criminal activity by Richard Nixon to the House Judiciary Committee. That document served as a blueprint for the House Judiciary Committee’s recent petition to unseal grand jury evidence from Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation. We are also challenging the President’s abuse of the pardon power and have persuaded the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to appoint a special prosecutor in ongoing litigation over the pardon issued to former Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

This is just a sampling of our work. Beyond these projects, Protect Democracy has filed more than fifty legal actions to protect democratic institutions and generated a forward-looking policy agenda for restoring democratic guardrails.

For more information on our organization, please visit


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