Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights (CAIR) Coalition’s Detained Adult Program is seeking law students with a passion for public interest law and immigrants’ rights to be part of our internship program.  We are currently accepting applications for Spring 2020 positions.   Interns working with CAIR Coalition will assist our staff with representing detained adult immigrants, including going on jail visits, assisting with direct representation of clients, attending hearings, and improving pro se assistance guidance.

The mission of CAIR Coalition is to serve as the primary source of legal assistance for detained immigrants in the D.C. metropolitan area.  The goal of our internship program is to grow the services and programs we provide by utilizing the skills of hard-working and creative law students.


Our spring internship programs require a commitment of at least 10 weeks, starting on January 27, 2020.  Part-time and full-time positions are available.  All positions are unpaid, but CAIR Coalition is happy to assist with internship/externship credit administration. This internship will be located in our D.C. office.

During the course of an internship, students will be tasked with complex legal analyses in support of our work on behalf of detained immigrants.  In addition to assisting with CAIR Coalition’s caseload, interns will likely also take part in the following:

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 direct representation to detainees and/or assistance to pro bono attorneys who agree to represent detainees.  In working on cases, interns will have the chance to meet with clients, conduct evidentiary assessments, prepare pleadings and legal briefs, and appear in immigration court.  CAIR Coalition makes every attempt to ensure that interns are able to work on these types of matters.

Jail Visits and Pro Se Assistance:

Interns will accompany CAIR Coalition’s staff on visits to adult detention facilities in Virginia and/or Maryland.  During these visits, interns will conduct individual intakes with detained immigrants.  Following intakes, interns will 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.  Interns will also provide pro se assistance, including providing instruction and information on guidelines, court procedure, and case law to assist a detainee represent himself/herself in immigration court or at the appeal level.


  • Spanish fluency strongly preferred
  • Experience working in the area of immigration law and/or immigrants’ rights is a plus.
  • Interns must be able to provide their own laptops for use during the internships.
  • 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.


Please submit the following materials via email to, with subject line DAP Spring 2020 Legal Internship:

  • A cover letter describing your interest in an internship with CAIR Coalition. If you are applying to more than one CAIR Coalition internship this semester, please indicate which ones in your email and on your cover letter.
  • A resume; and
  • A writing sample.
Legal Internship -Detained Adult Program (DAP), Spring 2020
Job Type