Ashoka Integrity - Social Entrepreneurship and Legal Transformation Internship

Legal Arlington, Virginia


Position at Ashoka Fellows

2021 Internship Application Guidelines



About SELT


Lawyers can entrepreneurially approach systemic change because of their unique ability to intervene in issues related to the ownership of resources and ideas and to do so by working across disciplines. All lawyers […] have the ability to imagine and ensure more equitable systems across society.


Ashoka Interview Partner,

Innovations at the Intersection of Law and Social Entrepreneurship (2017)


Lawyers hold a unique position in how they can affect system change. The interpretation and application of law reinforces and creates policy, processes, government, organizational structures, simultaneously informing and being shaped by society and culture. There is a growing emphasis on socially conscious legal practice, but there is a wide array of ways in which legal practice can transform society beyond pro bono work.


In some ways that starts with how legal practice and education traditionally occurs, applying the current framework of education to public service. But what if a new structure of the legal field can be imagined? Where there is greater emphasis on innovation and cross-disciplinary approaches?


In social entrepreneurship, lawyers are positioned to greatly accelerate the pace of innovation by seeing new approaches to legal solutions, business models, the ownership of resources and ideas. Today at Ashoka, lawyers are growing among our Social Entrepreneur Fellows and Changemakers and we provide legal assistance to our Fellows.

The SELT internship gives the unique opportunity for law students to work with one of our Fellow organizations to address some of their most pressing legal needs, working both with lawyers working within the field of social innovation and Ashoka’s pro bono partner firms.




Ashoka Fellows and Changemakers work across the world addressing systems change on numerous issues across disciplines and existing frameworks. Whether a Fellow’s organization’s mission involves legal practice, or an organization requires legal assistance, Fellows often are confronted with issues that require legal expertise. Several our Fellows, who are also attorneys, and/or organizations that have identified a specific need, have created an internship position specifically for law students.


Students can apply to one, but no more than three, opportunities that interest them from the Fellow job descriptions. At the organization, students will be supervised and mentored by an attorney/Fellow and have additional mentorship and learning opportunities through the Ashoka network.




Thank you for your interest in Ashoka’s SELT Program! We are excited to welcome applications for the inaugural summer internship, as part of our larger program seeking system change in the legal field. Find more information on the Integrity Team and our engagement on our *new* webpage.




All applicants must be enrolled in a JD program and be of 18 years of age by of the internship’s orientation date and must have completed at least one year of JD studies. Student applicants should have in interest in social entrepreneurship, public interest and service, or non-profit work. Prior experience in these fields is valued, but not compulsory.


Required Materials - Please See Additional Materials Required by Each Fellow in their descriptions
1. Resume in PDF format

2. Ashoka Personal Statement

Convey your interest in public service and social entrepreneurship. Draw on past experiences and accomplishments; what has led you here? What will you bring to the field of social entrepreneurship, Ashoka, and foster systems change? How do you intend to be a Changemaker? Please limit yourself to 500 words.

3. Fellow Organization Materials - You can apply to up to three (3) Fellow positions, ranking your choices in order of preference. Please note any additional materials requested by the Fellow's organization and Send all of the required materials when applying to be reviewed in a timely manner.

4. Proof of Enrollment in a JD program
Document confirmation must be provided on the institution’s letterhead


Application Materials should be compiled and uploaded as a single document and attached under the "Additional Files (Optional)" section of the application


SELT Internship Positions



Job Title


S.T.O.P. The Surveillance Technology Oversight Project

Civil Rights Intern

Remote (NYC)

Innovation Law Lab

Legal Clerk


One Fair Wage

Service Workers’ Rights Intern


Farm Commons

Legal Intern for Community and Special Projects

Remote (CST)


Environmental Justice Summer Fellow

Remote (D.C.)


Organization: S.T.O.P. The Surveillance Technology Oversight Project

Job Title: Civil Rights Intern

Supervisor: Albert Fox Cahn, Executive Director

Location: Remote (New York, NY)


The Surveillance Technology Oversight Project (S.T.O.P.) is a 501(C)(3), non-profit advocacy organization and legal services provider. S.T.O.P. litigates and advocates for privacy, working to abolish local governments’ systems of mass surveillance. Our work highlights the discriminatory impact of surveillance on Muslim Americans, immigrants, the LGBTQ+ community, indigenous peoples, and communities of color, particularly the unique trauma of anti-Black policing.  


Job Description

Legal Services Interns carry out a broad mix of direct legal services, impact litigation, research, and government affairs engagement. Our work includes a unique mix of criminal, civil, and administrative matters, ranging from challenges to discriminatory NYPD policies, to civil follow-on litigation for victims of hate crimes, and representation in national security investigations.


Desired Skills & Preferences

  • Some experience with one or more of the following: federal litigation; FOIA/FOIL litigation; First Amendment; immigration law; cyber law, Section 1983 litigation; class action litigation; and/or national security law.
  • Current or recent undergraduate / graduate student.
  • Stellar research and writing skills.
  • Comfort with Microsoft Office, Outlook, other productivity tools.
  • Clear passion for civil rights, privacy, or related technical fields.
  • Preference given to students who have taken constitutional law, administrative law, and/or federal courts.
  • All law students are welcome to apply; preference is given to 2Ls and 3Ls.


Additional Application Materials

  • Cover Letter
  • Writing Sample



Organization: Innovation Law Lab

Job Title: Legal Clerk

Supervisor: Stephen W Manning, ED & Legal Director; Jordan Cunnings, Director of Equity Corps of Oregon (legal services program)

Location: Remote


Innovation Law Lab – leveraging technology, law, and organizing to fight for immigrant and refugee justice. We are equal parts software engineers, lawyers, and organizers.


Job Description

Interns will help develop Rights Architecture, with an emphasis on defending asylum & working on nation’s only statewide fully universal representation project for immigrants.


The summer clerk’s work will contribute to the development of projects that have a significant impact in the immigrant rights field in Oregon and nationwide.  The summer clerk will work on the implementation of a community-based universal representation program and defending the right to seek asylum.


Desired Skills & Preferences

  • Requirements: Legal research and writing skills, and the ability to work collaboratively and creatively.
  • General Knowledge: Background in immigration law, constitutional law, or civil rights helpful but not required.
  • Skills: Fluency in Spanish or other non-English languages helpful but not required.


Additional Application Materials

  • Writing sample of original work (moot court brief, law review article, other legal writing.



Organization: One Fair Wage

Job Title: Service Workers’ Rights Intern

Supervisor: Saru Jayaraman, President

Location: Remote Internship


One Fair Wage is a national coalition, campaign and organization seeking to end all subminimum wages in the United States and increase the sustainability of wages and working conditions in the service sector. The One Fair Wage campaign and coalition includes all workers for whom tips are considered wage replacement – including restaurant workers, nail salon technicians, car wash workers, tech platform delivery workers and drivers, hairdressers, massage therapists, and many more – as well as other subminimum wage workers, including disabled, incarcerated and youth workers. One Fair Wage conducts policy advocacy, voter engagement, worker and employer organizing, and culture shift activities to ultimately lift millions of tipped workers out of poverty nationwide and engage them in the political process that governs their lives.


Job Description

Interns will assist with running our twice-monthly Service Workers Legal Clinics. This includes conducting worker outreach ahead of clinic, researching and developing know your rights materials, conducting worker intakes during clinic, and following up with workers afterwards. This will also include identifying, and participating in developing, cases for litigation that come from the clinic and other sources.


Interns will also assist with additional client intakes, research projects for ongoing cases, legislative research and drafting, and other policy support as needed.


Desired Skills & Preferences

  • Some familiarity with civil litigation.
  • Background or interest in workers’ rights including wage and tip theft, harassment and discrimination, and the right to organize.
  • Strong communication, teamwork, and time-management skills
  • Legal research and writing skills
  • Ability to think creatively, respond dynamically, and center workers’ experiences and goals.


Additional Application Materials

  • Cover letter
  • Writing sample (demonstrating legal research and/or persuasive writing)




Organization: Farm Commons

Job Title: Legal Intern for Community and Special Projects

Supervisor: Richard Lavigne, Staff Attorney for Community and Special Projects

Location: Remote Internship

(Flexible work hours based on time zone, with availability for meetings with supervising attorney between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. CST)


Farm Commons provides the proactive legal resources that sustainable farmers need to become the stable, resilient foundation of a community-based food system. We are a 501c3 organization that empowers sustainable farmers to resolve their legal vulnerabilities within a community of support.

We achieve our mission by 1) providing educational materials on farm law, 2) developing leadership within the farming community of legal issues, and 3) developing the ability of related professionals to resolve farm legal vulnerability.


Farm Commons hosts a wide variety of educational programming from online workshops to print guide distribution, a podcast, and webinars. We work closely with farm organizations around the country to reach farmers with practical risk reduction that honors their values and experience.


Job Description


The intern(s) will be involved in legal research and writing and, to a lesser extent, may participate in the outreach activities of the organization. Specific duties will focus on the development of plain language guides to employment law topics for small farm businesses. Applicants can expect to gain skills in detailed legal research, writing memos for supervising attorneys, and in drafting legal education text for non-attorney audiences.


Primary projects will include conducting legal research and drafting legal education text for non-attorneys to produce state-specific, plain language guides to discrimination and employment law for farmers and farm service professionals. Secondary projects may include assistance with community-based research projects including food safety liability insurance and innovative agricultural labor models.


Desired Skills & Preferences

  • Passionate about sustainable agriculture and local food system development
  • Academic experience in employment law
  • Proficiency in legal research, clear communication, ability to organize and present research, and strong writing skills are essential.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office software is required.
  • Familiarity with Google mail and calendar applications and/or Asana project management software is helpful but not required.
  • Ability to work remotely and attend occasional video meetings. Candidates must be self-directed and able to work without close supervision at their own location.
  • The ability to manage a project independently is essential.


Additional Application Materials

  • Cover letter - Address your skills / experience relative to the project described and how the position would advance your career objectives.




Organization: Namati

Job Title: Environmental Justice Summer Fellow Projects

Supervisor: Jay Monteverde, US EJ Program Lead

Location: Remote Internship (Reporting to Washington D.C. Office)


Namati advances justice by building a movement of people who know, use, and shape the laws that affect them.


In partnership with grassroots legal empowerment advocates, Namati’s US Environmental Justice program empowers communities to address environmental justice in Maryland, Washington, DC, and the larger Chesapeake region. Legal empowerment advocates are activists and organizers who demystify law, assist people in exercising their rights, and infuse law into community action. Our legal empowerment advocates include Rhonda Hamilton, who has led her neighborhood in Buzzard Point of DC in fights against pollution and gentrification, and Terrel Askew, a young organizer in Baltimore who works with communities to protect air quality and housing rights. 


Job Description


Position Overview:

We are searching for a summer law and policy fellow to assist our ongoing U.S. environmental justice work in two main areas: 1) supporting our casework through legal and policy research and, 2) working with case evidence and data to identify systemic deficiencies in environmental governance.


Primary Projects:

        Conduct case-level legal and policy research to support community advocates 

        Work with community advocates to understand regulations; support them in making complex legal information accessible to their communities


Additional Responsibilities:

        Work with community advocates and Namati’s program staff to collect and organize grassroots case evidence 

        Analyze grassroots case evidence and data; identify reform opportunities and regulatory gaps; develop grounded recommendations for policy change


Desired Skills & Preferences

        Passion for community-based environmental justice work: You have a passion for addressing the human rights and social justice dimensions of environmental problems. You have outstanding communication skills and experience engaging in a respectful and meaningful manner with diverse audiences.

        Aptitude for investigation and analysis: You have a demonstrated track record of skilled research and writing. You can analyze and integrate diverse information from varied sources to create evidence-based policy positions. 

        Skilled with communication: Your written and verbal communications demonstrate both clarity of thought, analysis and sensitivity to audience and context. Importantly, you can communicate complex information in a way that is accessible to non-expert audiences. 

        Familiar with environmental regulation: You have an understanding of law and regulation on environment, and you are familiar with the institutions that regulate these areas. Even better if you have a regional knowledge of the issues and regulations impacting residents in places like Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, and Washington DC.

        Collaborative and service-oriented: You greet everyone you encounter with a collaborative spirit, kindness, and empathy. You are known as a team-player who brings an “all hands on deck” mindset to all projects -- you’re happy to contribute however you can to advance Namati’s mission.

        An eye for detail: You are able to multitask using sound judgment while remaining detail-oriented. You’re extremely thorough and will follow through on complicated, multi-step processes. You work quickly and efficiently and can produce excellent, on-point work product in short timeframes. You’re known for producing high quality content on deadline.

        Growth orientation: You’re always seeking to better yourself and your work, and you will push yourself to the peak of performance to help fulfill our mission. In service of that growth, you welcome and delight in feedback from supervisors, peers, and anyone else.


Additional Application Materials

  • Cover letter Include what interests you in working with Namati



About Ashoka


Ashoka identifies and supports the world's leading social entrepreneurs, learns from the patterns in their innovations, and mobilizes a global community that embraces these new frameworks to build an "everyone a changemaker world." We have invested in 3,800+ social entrepreneurs (Ashoka Fellows) in over 90 countries and 270+ Fellows here in the U.S., as well as a growing community of young changemakers. Together with our network, we are working toward a world where everyone can creatively and imaginatively solve problems for the good of all, as changemakers.