Spring & Summer 2015 Law Student Internships with the Community Activism Law Alliance

Community Activism Law Alliance (“CALA”) is a new legal services organization in Chicago that uses a “community activism lawyering” philosophy. Our unique model brings free legal services directly into underserved communities by establishing clinics with activist community organizations. Each clinic is developed and operated collaboratively with a partner organization, and supports the organization’s efforts to make systemic changes to unjust conditions and empower those directly affected by those conditions. Our current clinic partners are Enlace Chicago, Immigrant Youth Justice League/Organized Communities Against Deportations, and Sex Worker Outreach Project (SWOP) – Chicago. In addition, we offer community legal education and limited legal support to other activist organizations.

CALA is looking for highly motivated and independent law students (2 for the spring, and 3 for the summer) interested in community lawyering to be our interns in the  spring and summer of 2015. Students will participate in all aspects of the community activism legal clinics, including client intake and screening, advising clients, assisting clients to complete legal forms, and legal research. Interns with 711 licenses may appear in court and/or draft pleadings on behalf of clients. Students will be exposed to all areas of civil poverty law, including immigration, housing, criminal records, employment, education, and family law.

Interns will also design and present community legal education workshops, working closely with community partners to assess their needs and provide accessible legal expertise. Interns will also have the unique opportunity to work closely with a large coalition of immigrants’ rights groups to both educate communities on the new administrative relief options available to them and to directly assist clients applying for relief in the Chicagoland area.

Our law students will work directly in the communities most in need of legal assistance in Chicago and must be willing to travel around the city (though a car is not required) and to work non-traditional hours such as evenings and weekends. Multilingual students are especially invited to apply. All client interactions take place in the offices of our community partners. Volunteers should commit to a minimum of 10 hours for spring, 35 hours per week for summer, with flexible scheduling available.

CALA is an equal opportunity workplace and is committed to working closely and effectively with the communities that we serve. Individuals self-identifying as people of color, LGBTQI, working-class or poor, persons with a disability, or as otherwise having backgrounds and experiences underrepresented in the legal profession are highly encouraged to apply.

To apply, interested students should send a resume, writing sample, and letter of interest to: Sharlyn@CALAChicago.org.

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