The Open Society Foundations work to build vibrant and tolerant societies whose governments are accountable and open to the participation of all people.
We seek to strengthen the rule of law; respect for human rights, minorities, and a diversity of opinions; democratically elected governments; and a civil society that helps keep government power in check.
We help to shape public policies that assure greater fairness in political, legal, and economic systems and safeguard fundamental rights.
We implement initiatives to advance justice, education, public health, and independent media.
We build alliances across borders and continents on issues such as corruption and freedom of information.
Working in every part of the world, the Open Society Foundations place a high priority on protecting and improving the lives of people in marginalized communities.
The Open Society Justice Initiative uses law to protect and empower people around the world. Through litigation, advocacy, research, and technical assistance, the Justice Initiative promotes human rights and builds legal capacity for open societies. We foster accountability for international crimes, combat racial discrimination and statelessness, support criminal justice reform, address abuses related to national security and counterterrorism, expand freedom of information and expression, and stem corruption linked to the exploitation of natural resources. Our staff are based in Abuja, Amsterdam, Bishkek, Brussels, Budapest, The Hague, London, Mexico City, New York, Paris, Santo Domingo, and Washington, D.C.
The objective of the internship program with the Open Society Justice Initiative is to train participants on some of the methodologies used by public interest advocacy groups like Open Society to foster and encourage reform, inclusion, human rights, and the building of legal capacity for open societies.
Internships require a commitment of up to 20 hours per week.
Interns will be instructed, and receive hands-on training, on many of the broad range of activities involved in effectuating reform, human rights, and the building of legal capacity for open societies, including but not limited to, the identification of an injustice to be remedied, the formulation of a comprehensive action plan, and the research and writing involved in research memoranda, reports and studies associated with a project. The interns will receive their training in the context of the Open Society Justice Initiative.
With close supervision by an assigned mentor, interns will:
- learn about the various tools available for researching issues, for engaging in oral and written persuasive techniques, and for drafting reports and legal memoranda related to human rights–related initiatives, like the Open Society Justice Initiative;
- acquire knowledge and read about issues related to anticorruption, national criminal justice reform (specifically pretrial detention, access to justice, and safety, security, and accountability), legal capacity development, freedom of expression and information, equality and citizenship, national security, and/or international justice;
- receive hands-on writing experience by, among other things, assisting in drafting both legal and non-legal memoranda and drafting reports;
- receive research and analysis experience by assisting in researching assigned topics through the Internet, Lexis/Nexis, foreign source materials, academic studies, oral interviews of experts, Library of Congress materials, and legal and political documents, and by analyzing related topic material;
- receive real-time training on the dialogues and other communications that are required in human interest initiatives like the Justice Initiative by, among other things, assisting in drafting of related correspondence, print material and website content, participating in conference calls, and attending relevant meetings hosted by think tanks and government and non-government agencies.
For this internship program, Open Society seeks individuals currently enrolled in a relevant law school program who are highly motivated and have demonstrated excellence in prior endeavors. The ideal candidates will have strong communication, interpersonal and computer skills, a demonstrated ability to write effectively and analyze and summarize complex information, and a desire to function in a team environment. They also must be able to multi-task while remaining attentive to detail.
Upon acceptance, interns will need to provide a letter from their university indicating that they are receiving credit and/or funding for the internship.
Please send a cover letter and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org before March 15, 2014. If applying to New York: Include the internship code in subject line: LRI-OSJI. If applying to Washington, D.C.: Include the internship code in subject line: LRI-OSJI-DC.