Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy is a champion for those in need as a non-profit agency that provides legal assistance in civil matters to low-income people in the Charlotte region. 

Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy provides an intense, practical, and worthwhile internship for students interested in providing legal services to low-income people in a public interest setting. The Advocacy Center has a long tradition of aggressive and effective advocacy, including individual cases, complex litigation and other advocacy projects.

Our interns work with staff attorneys on routine cases, handle administrative cases as the primary advocate under the supervision of an attorney, and participate in significant client advocacy projects and Advocacy Center administrative staff to work on projects directly related to the management and support of the organization . We provide an in-depth evaluation to assist in professional development and career planning.  

Qualifications: Many Advocacy Center interns are law students, but we also host pre-law, paralegal, social work and other undergraduate and masters-level student interns 

Schedule: We primarily host students during the summer but also consider students earning semester credit and during other breaks, on a part-time and full-time basis throughout the year.

*Special Note: We understand that COVID-19 has had a dramatic impact on student schedules and are happy to consider non-traditional internship schedules. At this point, all of our internship opportunities will be hosted virtually. 

Funding: Due to budgetary constraints we are not able to pay stipends for interns, but we will consider students who qualify for public interest stipends through their school or other institution, who are eligible for work-study grants, or who can work on a volunteer basis. If the Advocacy Center is able to obtain funds for interns, we will consider qualified applicants who have tried but who have been unable to secure their own funding. 

To Apply:  

  • Review Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy’s activities described on our website;
  • Inquire about financial support, internship or externship programs available through your school;
  • Send (1) a detailed letter describing your interest in and prior experience with low income people, your interest in the Advocacy Center and your qualifications for or your interest in a particular program or activity; (2) a resume or other description of your academic qualifications (a transcript is not required); (3) a writing sample; (4) the names and telephone numbers of two references; and (5) any other information you wish to include to: 

Detailed Description: Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy accepts interns to help the Advocacy Center provide legal services; provide a learning opportunity for the intern in legal process, substantive law and non-profit management. Interns will also learn the ways in which low-income people are affected by the law. Interns perform the following functions: 

  • Help Attorneys Represent Clients: Assist attorneys as directed on specific cases, including interviewing clients and witnesses; collecting, evaluating and preparing evidence for presentation; performing legal research; drafting pleadings, briefs and other legal documents; consistent with the Advocacy Center’s standards for representation. Interns are generally assigned to one attorney supervisor and work primarily with that attorney on routine cases such as eviction defense, public assistance and social insurance eligibility, protection from domestic violence and predatory lending. Interns have the opportunity for extensive client contact, participate in all stages of case development, and accompany the staff attorneys to court hearings. 
  • Handle Administrative Cases: As primary advocate under attorney supervision, handle limited number of administrative cases such as Unemployment Insurance appeals, Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Medicaid disability appeals, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), Food Stamp or other administrative cases; attend to cases on a timely basis; keep clients notified of progress on cases; maintain case files in accordance with program policy; maintain tickler system, prepare periodic case reports as required; close cases promptly upon completion of representation. Interns will be primarily responsible for at least one administrative hearing and generally will handle between two and five hearings during the summer. Although opportunities are presented to watch one or two hearings and close attorney supervision is provided, the interns will actually make the presentation of cases. 
  • Participate in Significant Client Advocacy Projects: Under the supervision of a staff attorney, participate in significant client advocacy project such as major litigation, community education, outreach, and other non-case related program activities. Interns will participate in a major advocacy project to permit them to see how broad problems affecting many individuals can be addressed through the legal process.
  • Participate in Nonprofit Management: Working with Executive, Administrative, Development and Communications staff, participate in non-profit management activities including fundraising, pro bono and communication advocacy activities. 

Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy is an equal opportunity employer. Women, minorities, veterans and people living with disabilities are encouraged to apply.