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Legal Internship Program

American Bar Association - Rule of Law Initiative
Employment Type
1050 Conneticut Avenue NW, Suite 450
United States

The American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) is pleased to consider applications for its Fall 2017 Internship Program. ABA ROLI serves as the international development wing of the American Bar Association and seeks to promote justice, economic opportunity, and human dignity through the rule of law. ABA ROLI seeks interns to assist headquarters staff with a wide variety of the day-to-day support functions that are pertinent to the operations of an international NGO. Legal internships are available to graduate students, law students, and recent graduates of post-grad degree programs depending on current staffing needs. Dates and daily schedules may be flexible in response to departmental needs, and correspond roughly to academic terms for spring, summer, and fall semesters. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and only candidates selected for interviews will be contacted.

Terms of the Program:

Interns for ABA ROLI will work with staff of their assigned division to gain an understanding of international development programs and international rule of law issues. In general, ABA ROLI offers International Development and Legal Internships, which differ somewhat in their expected responsibilities and desired applicant profiles. International Development openings will support various aspects of program implementation for DC-based regional and support teams, while Legal openings will be more heavily research-based and tailored toward graduate and law students.  For more information on the ABA ROLI International Development Internship Program, which is separate from the Legal Internship, please visit:

Although these are unpaid positions, interns at ABA ROLI are eligible for a wide variety of perks and learning opportunities including:

  • Transportation reimbursement up to $15.00/day
  • Field trips to D.C. legal destinations such as the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Supreme Court and Library of Congress
  • Brown-bag lunches with ABA ROLI staff and guest speakers


  • While the hiring needs of each individual opening may differ, ABA ROLI generally requires the following qualifications for all legal internships:
  • JD/LL.M students or recent graduates or internationals with a LL.B or foreign equivalent seeking relevant postgraduate international affairs degree;
  • Strong commitment to public interest law and/or international development, as evidenced by relevant experience and coursework;
  • Excellent research, writing, and analytical skills;
  • Proficiency with MS Office;
  • International development experience highly desirable but not required; knowledge of foreign languages is a plus;

Available Internships:

Please indicate your internship preference in your cover letter. ABA ROLI also welcomes “Generalist” internship applications.

Legal Internships:

Research, Evaluation, and Learning

  • Key Responsibilities: In coordination with the Research, Evaluation, and Learning Division, conduct research and preliminary analysis related to a wide variety of rule of law and development issues, including gender based violence, women’s empowerment, trafficking in persons, access to justice, and justice sector reform.  
  • Preferred qualifications include: JD/LLM student, graduate student, or recently-graduated undergraduate student with a degree in international affairs, international development, law, or a related field; Strong experience in legal research, writing, and analysis; Knowledge of international development issues and comparative legal systems preferred; knowledge of foreign languages is a plus.

Global Programs Intern

  • Key Responsibilities: Assist in program implementation and organization of past and current substantive program resources; Conduct legal analysis, research, and writing.
  • Preferred qualifications include: 2L or LLM legal background (studies completed or under completion); Familiarity and interest in labor law or environmental law, as well as general interest in rule of law international program work; Fluency in French or Spanish at a legal professional level.


How To Apply

How to apply: If you are interested in an ABA ROLI internship, please submit a resume and cover letter indicating your preference from the list of positions below, as well as your availability for the fall semester. If you are interested in being considered for all openings, please indicate that you are interested as a “Generalist.” ABA ROLI will try to match candidates to their top choice whenever possible, but highly value candidate flexibility throughout the selection process.

To apply, please visit the following link: