With a strong belief in giving students the opportunity to experience and learn client-centered, holistic advocacy, ArchCity Defenders provides academic calendar as well as summer internship opportunities for law students, social work students, paralegal students, journalism, media, and communications students, undergraduates, and high school students.
While continuing to provide holistic legal advocacy to the indigent in St. Louis, ArchCity Defenders is working on broad-based change to the St. Louis region’s criminal legal system. One way we advance this agenda is through the use of impact litigation. In order to effectively file and argue civil rights, impact cases, it is necessary to have extensive knowledge of legal precedents, state and federal statutes, and county and local ordinances. Legal interns will perform research to bolster our understanding and draft memos synthesizing their findings for senior attorneys.
Although impact litigation has become one effective tool for change, ArchCity Defenders is still dedicated to representing our clients and changing the lives of our clients on an individual basis. To this end, legal interns are expected to assist in direct representation and will interview clients; draft memoranda, motions, and pleadings; and attend court proceedings with senior attorneys. Rising 3L students will be more involved in direct client advocacy opportunities.
Another effective tool for change is ArchCity’s policy and media advocacy work. Interns will research and analyze policy issues; draft legislation, issue briefs, policy statements, press releases, and op-eds; attend hearings; coordinate and assist with public education; work with organizers and activists; and track local, state, and federal legislation and regulatory actions.
Social Work Internships
Social work interns and practicum students work alongside direct services and impact litigation attorneys providing assistance and support in assessing client needs and coordinating and connecting them to social services and other resources. Special projects on issues of policy reform, legislative drafting and monitoring, program evaluation, and research on potential client populations will also be available throughout the year. MSW students may also have opportunities to work in conjunction with local organizing and advocacy groups working to promote racial and economic equity in the region.
Journalism, Communications, Graphic Design, and Media Internships
Journalism, communications, graphic design, and media interns assist with overarching goals and objectives as they relate to multimedia storytelling through advocacy, media outreach, social media, graphic design, photography, videography, and using data, investigative and writing skills for content development. Interns do not have to have skills or experience in all of those areas, but need to be a good fit with the ArchCity Defenders mission.
Interns will have opportunities to collaborate with ACD attorneys, staff, interns, and clients as well as local organizers, activists, and advocates on designated campaigns. We’re looking for folks who are creative, motivated, and feel a strong call to work for racial and economic justice.
Paralegal interns engage in the same work as our legal interns and also work alongside ACD staff paralegals to request and organize documents and records, maintain case files, and perform other office operation functions. The internship is designed to ensure hands-on experience in a variety of paralegal roles within a law-firm setting.
Undergraduate and High School Student Internships
Undergraduate and high school student interns provide invaluable support and have opportunities to work throughout the firm at ArchCity Defenders. Interns engage with clients, support attorneys and paralegals, organize and facilitate events and other development work, assist with firm communications, and assist with legislative and policy advocacy.