CAIR Coalition Spring and Summer Internships

November 6, 2014

Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights (CAIR) Coalition 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 and Summer 2015 positions.   Interns working with CAIR Coalition will assist our staff with representing detained child and 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 summer internship program requires a full-time commitment for 10 weeks, while the spring semester internships require a commitment of at least 10 hours per week.  All positions are unpaid, but CAIR Coalition is happy to assist with externship credit administration.

During the course of an internship, students will be tasked with complex legal analysis 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 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 and youth detention facilities in Virginia and Maryland.  During these visits, interns will conduct individual intake with detained immigrants.  Following intake, 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.


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.

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.

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.


Please submit the following materials via email 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.


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