Below, please find information about the Sustainable Economies Law Center intern opportunities.
Internship Opportunities & Information
We are always looking for passionate individuals who want to take their volunteer participation at Sustainable Economies Law Center to the next level by becoming an intern. If you are looking for a cohort-based internship program, please read about our Summer Internship Institute above!
How do we define intern?
Typically, our interns are unpaid persons who work approximately 15-25 hours per week under the supervision of one or more staff members and are one of the following:
- Interning in connection with an academic or vocational program that is directly related to our work, or,
- Those who are not currently enrolled in an academic or vocational program but are interning with us for educational and training purposes in order to gain the skills and experience necessary to pursue a career related to our work.
What does interning with us look like?
Our 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 our 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 with us?
Sustainable Economies Law Center 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 with us!
- Each intern 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 Sustainable Economies Law Center, 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 our Mission
Interested in becoming an intern?
If you are interested in becoming an intern, please email Janelle Orsi at firstname.lastname@example.org and do the following:
1. write in the email subject line, "Intern Application [WRITE YOUR NAME],"
2. provide a cover letter: the cover letter should
a. specify that you are applying for an internship position,
b. include a short description about yourself,
c. a short description about why you are passionate about economic, environmental, or social justice,
d. a description of the program area(s) you would like to work in and in what capacity,
e. a description of the time frame you are seeking to intern with the Law Center;
3. provide a resume or CV, and
4. provide a writing sample.
Thank you for your interest in interning at the Law Center!
Below is a sampling of specific projects identified that will need support from legal interns during the summer internship.
- Legal Resource Libraries: We manage and curate 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: Our 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, we are 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 us 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.