Overview

American Oversight is looking for committed and motivated Legal Interns to join our team for Summer 2024 and help us shine a light on government misconduct and threats to democracy. We’re a nonpartisan, nonprofit watchdog that advances truth, accountability, and democracy by enforcing the public’s right to government records.

American Oversight uses its extensive experience in open records law to act where abuse of authority and government power overlap. From the federal Freedom of Information Act to state transparency laws, we file carefully crafted records requests to extract information from the government. If officials fail 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 and used those documents to ensure accountability, expose misconduct, and drive 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 interns 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.

Job Responsibilities

Specific tasks will shift day by day with our work, but in a typical week, you may:

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 FOIA and state open records act requests.
Draft 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.
Observe litigation proceedings or meetings, such as court hearings, depositions, or conferences with opposing counsel.
Contribute to 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.

Qualifications

This 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 and an interest in litigation.
Exceptional writing, research, and oral communications skills.
An interest in government ethics and accountability, legal investigations, and/or government oversight.
Self-motivation and dependability.
Sound judgment and ability to analyze situations and information.
Ability to work collaboratively.
High degree of professional ethics and integrity.

Additional Information

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.

The hourly wage for this position is $22/hour.

Interns are expected to work 32-35 hours per week. Interns will coordinate with their supervisor to determine a schedule aligned with the intern’s availability and American Oversight’’s business hours.

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.

How to Apply

Interested applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Please include a resume and cover letter with your application. We will be reviewing applications on a rolling basis, with a first-round review on Friday, February 2.

Tagged as: intern

About American Oversight

American Oversight is a nonpartisan, nonprofit watchdog that advances truth, accountability, and democracy by enforcing the public’s right to government records.

American Oversight uses its extensive experience in open records law to act where abuse of authority and government power overlap. From the federal Freedom of Information Act to state transparency laws, we file carefully crafted records requests to extract information from the government. If officials fail 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 and used those documents to ensure accountability, expose misconduct, and drive significant corrective action at all levels of government.