Below, please find current, ongoing, and future opportunities to intern at the Sustainable Economies Law Center.
Internship Opportunities & Information
SELC is always looking for passionate individuals who want to take their volunteer participation at SELC to the next level by becoming a SELC intern. If you are looking for a cohort-based internship program, please read about SELC's Summer Internship Institute above!
How does SELC define intern?
Typically, SELC interns are unpaid persons who work approximately 15-25 hours per week under the supervision of one or more SELC staff members and are one of the following:
- Interning with SELC in connection with an academic or vocational program that is directly related to SELC’s work, or,
- Those who are not currently enrolled in an academic or vocational program but are interning with SELC for educational and training purposes in order to gain the skills and experience necessary to pursue a career related to SELC’s work.
What does interning at SELC look like?
SELC interns have done in-depth legal research, provided participatory educational trainings, supported client relationships and advice sessions, produced how-to guides for legal professionals and the general public, and much more! Interns are usually required to work at SELC's office for a portion of their hours and then are allowed to work remotely for their remaining hours. Some interns have worked their entire internship remotely, with meetings and check-ins done virtually. Each internship experience is different and is crafted to meet the aspirations of both the intern and our organization.
What are the benefits of interning at SELC?
SELC is a dynamic, evolving, and forward thinking organization! We are a democratically run organization that practices participatory management. We are on the cutting edge of transactional law issues and provide essential legal and organizational support to radical organizations moving our communities to deep democratic ownership and practices. Here are even more benefits to interning at SELC!
- Each intern at SELC who is part of a structured internship program or is interning with us in connection with an educational institution is given a personal and professional development budget which they may choose to spend on outside trainings, travel to conferences, purchasing books and materials, or other expenses related to their education.
- Each intern is provided two support staff to develop their professional skills and legal expertise.
- Each intern is provided with networking opportunities and connections to community based organizations,
- Each intern participates in a structured, learner-centered curriculum that deepens their knowledge of the intersection of economic justice, transactional law, and generative responses to systems of marginalization and oppression.
What are the qualities we look for in interns?
At SELC, we are a lean, effective, and collectively-run organization and desire that our interns possess some of the following qualities:
- Interested and willing to learn
- Realistic about availability and skill level
- Can work independently
- Possesses good communication skills
- Flexible schedule (i.e. can occasionally meet with staff during normal business hours when needed)
- Has prior research experience, ideally in the legal field
- Willingness to do non-sexy tasks
- Committed to SELC’s Mission
Interested in becoming an intern outside of SELC's Summer Internship Institute?
If you are interested in becoming an intern at SELC, but can't participate in SELC's Summer Internship Institute, please email SELC's Intern Steward, Cameron Rhudy, at firstname.lastname@example.org and include the following documents:
1. please write in the email subject line, "Intern Application [WRITE YOUR NAME],"
2. a cover letter: the cover letter should
a. specify that you are applying for an internship position at SELC,
b. include a short description about yourself,
c. a short description about why you are passionate about economic, environmental, or social justice,
d. and a description of SELC's program area(s) you would like to work in and in what capacity;
3. a resume or CV;
4. and a writing sample.
SELC's 2016 Summer Internship Institute (APPLICATION PERIOD CLOSED)
Location: Oakland, CA
Program Area Opportunities: Cooperatives, Food, Farmland, Water, Housing, Grassroots Finance, Work in the New Economy (a.k.a. Employment Law), Worker Self Directed Nonprofits
Position Type: Extern, Intern
Duration: Summer 2016 (Tentatively May 23rd - August 5th)
Application Deadline: March 25th, 2016 (CLOSED)
Description: Sustainable Economies Law Center is seeking a cohort of summer legal interns who are passionate about the cultivation of community resilience and grassroots economic empowerment. SELC moves our vision of the world forward through four overlapping and interconnected strategies:
RESEARCH: Performing innovative legal research in emerging legal gray areas that build space for distributed ownership, democratic participation, and sustainable practices.
EDUCATION: Providing accessible and engaging education for communities and legal professionals so that communities everywhere have the legal knowledge they need to create their own resilient economies. These can take the form of interactive workshops, webinars, and teach-ins in multiple languages.
ADVICE: Facilitating legal advice to cooperative entrepreneurs and practitioners of the new economy at SELC’s Resilient Communities Legal Cafe.
ADVOCACY: Advocating for innovative policy recommendations that enable more localized, just, and resilient economies through research, targeted legislative campaigns, strategic planning and implementation, and consulting with policy makers.
Expectations: Interns work collaboratively with SELC staff to co-create the legal foundations of the new economy. Interns and their staff counterparts work together to build a work plan that is based on the intern's skills, capacity, and interests. Interns are expected to work on multiple strategies and within multiple program areas, but will have the opportunity to concentrate their efforts in one program area and within one strategy. Each intern is supervised by at least one staff attorney or policy director, depending on the intern's concentration.
SELC has an office at Impact HUB Oakland, a shared working space, entrepreneurial incubator, and a membership-based community of socially engaged people, co-working and co-learning. Summer interns will be expected to work 15 - 30 hours per week, depending on intern and SELC programmatic requirements. Summer interns will be expected to work at SELC's office one to two days per week and complete the remaining required hours remotely. SELC staff work remotely three days per week and accommodations can be made for either more or less direct support and supervision in SELC’s office, if desired.
Typically, SELC interns are one of the following:
- Interning with SELC in connection with an academic or vocational program that is directly related to SELC’s work; or,
- Those who are not currently enrolled in an academic or vocational program but are interning with SELC for educational and training purposes in order to gain skills and experience necessary to pursue a career related to SELC’s work.
SELC’s Summer Internship Institute does not provide a stipend. We strongly encourage applicants to pursue outside funding, but the ability to secure outside funding will not be considered as part of the hiring decision.
If you are interested in becoming an intern in SELC's Summer Internship Institute, please email SELC's Intern Steward, Cameron Rhudy, at email@example.com and include the following:
- please write in the email subject line, "Summer Internship Institute Application [WRITE YOUR NAME],"
a cover letter: the cover letter should
- specify that you are applying for the SELC Summer Internship Institute,
- include a short description about yourself,
- a short description about why you are passionate about economic, environmental, or social justice,
- and a description of SELC's program area(s) you would like to work in and in what capacity;
- a resume or CV;
- and a writing sample.
APPLICATION DEADLINE FOR 2016 SUMMER INTERNSHIP INSTITUTE:
MIDNIGHT (PST), MARCH 25th, 2016
Below is a sampling of specific projects identified that will need support from legal interns during the summer internship.
- Legal Resource Libraries: SELC manages and curates five online legal resource libraries stocked with legal guidelines, FAQs, and templates to help navigate complex regulatory landscapes for urban farming, cooperatives, small and community-owned enterprise, community currencies, and food and farming enterprises. We are seeking support with legal research, building strategic partnerships with legal professionals around the country, and website maintenance.
- Tu Negocio Cooperativa: SELC’s half day popular education workshop, Think Outside the Boss, has been translated into Spanish and is provided at community centers around the Bay Area. We are seeking a Spanish speaking individual who will be able to facilitate a portion of the workshop as well as research areas of law related to cooperative businesses owned by undocumented immigrants.
- Policy Advocacy for the Promotion of Worker Cooperatives: Currently, SELC is working with cities in the Bay Area to create ordinances that would lower barriers to the creation of worker cooperatives, establish preferential city purchasing from and contracting with worker cooperatives, create a revolving loan fund for worker coops, and provide funding to organizations providing incubation and technical assistance to worker owned businesses. We are seeking those interested in supporting policy efforts through research, coalition building, and strategic planning.
- Resilient Communities Legal Cafe: We provide direct legal support to enterprises building a new economy at our Legal Cafes. We're looking for interns to facilitate intake, learn how to provide adequate and specialized legal consultations, and research legal issues that are brought to SELC by clients.
Other Ways to Get Involved
If you are interested in being involved in our work in other ways, we welcome you to visit our volunteer page and to attend any of our many events, including Legal Cafes, workshops, and happy hours, in order to meet our staff members and make a personal connection.