The Abolitionist Law Center accepts summer legal internship applications from October 1st thru January 31st for summer positions.

The Abolitionist Law Center offers legal internships and externships to law students who successfully complete their first year of law school and want to work with us in defending the human rights of incarcerated people and their communities in Pennsylvania. Our casework includes litigation challenging police terror against protestors and Black community members, solitary confinement and prison censorship, direct representation of those seeking medical transfer under the state “compassionate release” law, post-conviction criminal representation, prison conditions litigation, and class action litigation against Philadelphia and Allegheny County Jails over their treatment of the incarcerated population. 

The Abolitionist Law Center has offices in both Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. There is one position available for a legal intern to support the legal team based in Pittsburgh, and two to three positions for legal interns available to support the legal team based in Philadelphia. All Pittsburgh and Philadelphia legal interns are asked to spend at least 3 days a week in the office. One fully remote legal intern position is available as well.

Applicants are required to submit the following:

Cover letter: No more than 2 pages double-spaced. Include name and contact information; current law school or legal education; your interest in prison abolition; why you want to work with the Abolitionist Law Center; any preference as to the office where you want to work; and what experiences, skills, or attributes of yours make you suitable to work with the Abolitionist Law Center.

Resume: no longer than one page in length to reflect most recent work history. Previous internships and volunteer and organizing experience may also be included.

Professional References: Please provide three professional references. These can be prior employers, volunteer coordinators, or other people with whom you have worked. These should be from people who can attest to your ability to handle challenging intellectual work, learn new material, work well in a collaborative setting, and communicate effectively.

Legal writing sample: no longer than 5 single-spaced pages or 10 double-spaced. This can be an excerpt from a longer writing.

Decisions: Decisions will be made on a rolling basis. 

Funding: There is no guaranteed funding available from the ALC for these positions; students will be required to finance their internship via grants or fellowships.

Statistics show that people from structurally marginalized communities are less likely to apply if they feel they do not meet 100% of the requirements. If you have a strong feeling in your gut about this position, no matter who you are, we strongly encourage your application.

Apply: Applications should be sent in a single email with one PDF attachment including all materials with the subject line “Legal Internship Application” to Rupalee Rashatwar, Staff Attorney, at