Law Clerks – Spring/Summer 2019 - WASHINGTON, DC

Law Clerks – Spring/Summer 2019 - WASHINGTON, DC

Washington, DC

National Center for Youth Law

Since 1970, the National Center for Youth Law (NCYL) has transformed how public systems support our country’s most vulnerable children, including foster youth, students with disabilities, child sex trafficking victims, youth in the juvenile justice system, immigrant children, and children from marginalized backgrounds. We lead multiyear campaigns to change laws and regulations, redesign government services, and hold public agencies accountable for the wellbeing of children in their care.

NCYL’s mission includes advancing social, economic, and racial justice for all children, and we are committed to fostering, cultivating, and preserving a culture of equity, diversity, and inclusion. We embrace and encourage the collective sum of individual differences, life experiences, knowledge, innovation, self-expression, unique capabilities, and talent our employees invest in their work that represents a significant part of not only our culture, but our reputation and organization's success. 

Staff at NCYL use a variety of system reform strategies to accomplish this work, such as policy advocacy, research, technical assistance, public awareness, and impact litigation because NCYL has a broad mandate to engage in work across the following areas:

• Child Welfare (including Medicaid)

• Education for System-Involved Students

• Education for Students with Disabilities

• Child Trafficking

• Juvenile Justice

• School-to-Prison Pipeline

• Immigrant Rights

Washington, DC

NCYL opened a new office in Washington, D.C. in October 2017. The DC office is staffed by a highly experienced group of litigators with strong civil rights backgrounds, strengthening NCYL’s already formidable litigation team. Working seamlessly together with our litigators and subject-matter experts across the country, the DC office works on litigation projects intended to improve the lives of low-income children and youth.

NCYL is interested in applicants with a strong commitment to social justice. In particular, applicants should demonstrate interest in protecting the rights of low-income children and youth. Under the mentorship of their supervising attorneys, clerks will research novel issues within youth law, write legal and policy memoranda, and assist in ongoing litigation, policy, and legislative efforts.

The minimum required time commitment for Spring 2019 is 10-15 hours per week; applicants for full-time externships will also be considered.

The required time commitment for Summer 2019 is 37.5 hours per week for ten weeks. 


The National Center for Youth Law (NCYL) seeks law students to work in its Oakland and Washington DC offices during Spring and Summer 2019. Law clerks will work closely with NCYL attorneys on projects impacting low-income children and youth. 


To Apply 

Please submit the following application materials to the applicable links below: 

  • Cover letter (including any specific interests in NCYL’s ongoing projects)
  • Resume
  • Short writing sample

Clerkship application review will occur on a rolling basis. 

Please note that NCYL does not offer paid clerkships. However, NCYL is committed, subject to available resources, to assist those who require financial assistance in order to accept this position. NCYL encourages students to seek a clinical placement through their school or apply for outside funding to support their work. NCYL routinely works with law schools to secure academic credit for the student.

NCYL anticipates hiring 2-4 spring law clerks and 2-4 summer law clerks for the DC office.

The National Center for Youth Law is committed to hiring a group of students that reflects the racial and cultural diversity of our clients. Students of color, those who will increase the diversity of NCYL, and those with personal experience in our practice areas are strongly encouraged to apply as a summer clerk.

NCYL is an affirmative action / equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, age, ethnic background, sex, disability, size, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, disability, religion, age, personal appearance, size, marital status, family responsibilities, matriculation, or genetic information.

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