Legal Internships

SCSJ hosts several law student interns each Summer to work on a variety of our cases and campaigns. We seek 1Ls and 2Ls who have demonstrated a commitment to public interest work and SCSJ’s racial justice and community lawyering mission. We are now accepting applications for Summer 2019. We are accepting applications for our Youth Justice Project, Criminal Justice Reform Project, Clean Slate Project, and Voting Rights Project. Position descriptions can be found here. If you have any questions about our legal internship opportunities, please contact Whitley Carpenter at

To apply, please send a cover letter, resume, and writing sample to Whitley Carpenter at Please specify in your cover letter which project(s) you are applying for.

Legal Fellowships

The Southern Coalition for Social Justice will consider hosting recent law school graduates through established and grant-funded fellowship positions, such as Equal Justice Works, Skadden Fellowships, and Soros Justice Fellowships. If you would like us to consider hosting you, please submit a resume and cover letter to Whitley Carpenter at

Your cover letter should identify which fellowship program you will apply to and detail your fellowship project proposal and how it fits within SCSJ’s mission. Traditionally, a potential fellow should contact us in the summer before or fall semester of their 3L year. We are unfortunately unable to assist potential fellows in identifying or drafting their fellowship projects prior to agreeing to be a host site.

Intern Experiences

I’ve always heard of organizations that have missions to serve the community, and to provide resources for the underprivileged, but in all honesty aren’t really having the impact that they were established to have. This is not the case here at SCSJ; joining this dynamic team has been one of the greatest privileges of my life. I’m so thankful to work with a team of attorneys who actually strive to effectuate change by going directly into the community, and finding out exactly what they need. SCSJ really upholds the motto of true service, and going the extra mile to meet the needs of those who don’t always have the tools to do it for themselves. I work directly with the Clean Slate project, and there is nothing more rewarding than hearing a client rejoice after obtaining an expunction, with a new found hope for greater opportunities and relief from the harshness of collateral consequences of a criminal record.

– Aviance Brown, North Carolina Central University School of Law, Summer 2016

My internship with the Southern Coalition for Social Justice was an exciting and challenging experience that allowed me ample opportunities to grow and hone my advocacy skills.  From day one, the attorneys made me feel as if I were a part of the team by engaging me in a variety of tasks.  Through drafting motions, creating educational materials, meeting with clients, and connecting with individuals in the community, I learned that community lawyering is a dynamic and rewarding experience.  I was privileged to work with and learn from brilliant attorneys who push the envelope every day to advocate for communities most impacted by unjust laws and policies.  If you are seeking to connect with an organization directly engaged in relevant social justice issues and that is committed to using the law as a tool to empower communities—SCSJ is the place for you!”

– Rachel Nicholas, UNC School of Law, Summer 2013

As a legal intern at Southern Coalition for Social Justice, I helped prepare briefs and pleadings to defend the Voting Rights Act from legal challenges, and to challenge redistricting and voter ID policies that would disenfranchise southern voters of color. I also produced documents for internal organizational use, such as memos on litigation strategy and summaries of expert testimony; conducted intake for a potential voting rights case; and contacted grassroots organizations to discuss crafting strategic responses to proposed voter ID policies. My primary supervisor, Allison Riggs, was wonderful. She allowed plenty of time for me to familiarize myself with new areas of law before starting assignments, gave clear instructions, and offered helpful feedback. I gained valuable research and writing experience and am grateful to have had the opportunity to work for fair elections in the South.”

– Lisa Swanson, Northeastern School of Law Extern, Winter 2012