Working to ensure all immigrants are treated with fairness, dignity and respect for their human and civil rights


Summer and Term-time Legal Internships

CAIR Coalition is seeking law students with a passion for public interest law and immigrants’ rights to be part of our internship program. Summer internships consist of at least 10 weeks at 40 hours per week. We are currently accepting applications for Spring and Summer 2015 positions. Fall and spring semester term-time internships require a commitment of at least 10 hours per week. Legal interns work under the direct supervision of staff attorneys and our Legal Director.


Legal interns will work on a variety of issues such as:

Jail Visits and Follow up:

Legal interns will accompany CAIR Coalition’s legal staff on visits to adult and youth detention facilities throughout their internship and conduct individual intake with detained immigrants throughout Virginia and Maryland. Detained adult immigrants include asylum seekers, long term residents, and other individuals who have committed immigration violations. Detained youth include children fleeing gang violence, child abuse and trafficking, as well as many youths who have been in the U.S. since they were children. Legal interns will further assist with case follow up, including contacting family members, obtaining criminal and medical records, seeking and providing appropriate referrals, and conducting legal research to assist staff in determining eligibility for relief and possible pro bono placement.

Pro se Assistance:

Legal interns will assist CAIR Coalition’s legal staff to provide pro se assistance to individuals whose cases CAIR is unable to place with a pro bono attorney. Pro se assistance means CAIR Coalition is not the attorney of record and rather is providing instruction and information on guidelines, court procedure, and case law to assist a detainee represent himself/herself in immigration court.

Representation of Detained Immigrants:

Depending on the availability of cases and scheduling, legal interns may be assigned to work with CAIR Coalition’s legal team to provide both direct representation to detainees and/or assistance to pro bono attorneys who agree to represent detainees. During our jail visits, we encounter individuals in need of representation in their immigration cases. CAIR Coalition assists adult detainees in removal proceedings to apply for protection-based relief (asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture), Cancellation of Removal for Lawful and for non-Lawful Permanent Residents, U and T visas, Adjustment of Status, Refugee Waivers and claims to United States citizenship. CAIR Coalition assists youth detainees with preparing applications for humanitarian based protection such as asylum, U/T visas, or Special Immigrant Juvenile Status.


  • Applicants must have a strong academic background and commitment to public interest law.
  • Spanish fluency strongly preferred (required for work with the children’s program).
  • Experience working in the area of immigration law and/or immigrants’ rights is a plus.
  • Ability to relate to and work with low-income clients with histories of trauma and/or previous interactions with the criminal justice system is a plus.
  • For summer internship positions: Ability to commit 40 hours per week to CAIR Coalition for at least 10 weeks is required. Days that include jail visits are usually 10-12 hour days, leaving early in the morning from the CAIR Coalition office and returning the evening of the same day.
  • For term time internship positions: Ability to commit at least 10 hours per week to CAIR Coalition is required.


Please submit the following to Michael Lukens, CAIR Coalition’s Pro Bono Coordinating Attorney, at

  • A cover letter describing your interest in an internship with CAIR Coalition (please state if you possess a particular interest in the adult or children’s program);
  • A resume; and
  • A writing sample.

Application materials may only be sent by email.

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