Summer Legal Internship

Job Type:
Job Short Description:

The Mental Health Project of the Urban Justice Center is a team of attorneys, social workers, and advocates dedicated to advancing and enforcing the rights of low-income New Yorkers with mental health conditions through direct legal advocacy, legislative advocacy, community education and organizing, and impact litigation. We are seeking volunteer law student interns during the Summer 2019 semester to work 35 hours/week for a minimum of 10 weeks. Students will have the opportunity to engage in substantive legal work, including interviewing clients, representing clients in court and at administrative hearings, researching and writing briefs, and working on class action lawsuits and systemic reform.

Job Summary & Qualifications:

What Legal Services Do We Provide?

• Eviction Prevention: Represent community members facing eviction from rent-stabilized, market-rate, private, public, supportive, and supported housing.

• Criminal Justice Advocacy: Engage in legislative advocacy, coalition-building, community education, and impact litigation to combat the criminalization of mental health impairments and the inhumane treatment of people with mental health issues in prison and jails.

• Social Security Disability Advocacy: Assist clients in applications for federal disability benefits. Represent clients on appeal before the Social Security Administration and in federal court for issues of wrongful benefit denials, suspensions, reductions, terminations, and overpayment claims.

• Discharge Planning: Provide advocacy for mental health consumers about requirements for discharge planning from hospitals.

• Guardianship & Life Planning Documents: Represent clients in Article 81 guardianship matters and draft health care proxies, powers of attorney, and simple wills to allow our clients to be active participants in decisions regarding their lives.

• Medicaid Advocacy: Provide information, assistance, and advocacy on Medicaid managed care issues for people with mental health conditions and substance use disorders.

Internships are unpaid. We will assist students who have located other sources of funding with any paperwork the funder needs to provide payment to the student. Several of our interns have returned following graduation as Skadden, Soros, and Equal Justice Works fellows; others have returned as staff attorneys.
How to Apply:
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. To apply, please send a resume and a cover letter indicating which practice areas you are interested in to Melissa Zeidler, Esq. at Please write “Summer 2019 Legal Internship” in the subject line of the email. The Urban Justice Center is an equal opportunity employer and encourages applications from all qualified individuals including veterans, women, people of color, persons with disabilities, persons with diverse sexual identities/gender expression, and people with lived experience of mental illness and/or incarceration.
UJC Description:

The Urban Justice Center serves New York City's most vulnerable residents through a combination of direct legal service, systemic advocacy, community education and political organizing. Our 12 Projects assist clients on numerous levels, from one-on-one legal advice in soup kitchens, to filing class action lawsuits to bring about systemic change, to pushing social justice legislation forward.