Employment Opportunity

Summer 2021 Legal Internship

We will prioritize the review of applications sent by January 15, 2021so interested students should apply as soon as possible.


The International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) seeks law students to work as summer interns in our New York City office or remotely (depending on the state of COVID-19 and the student’s comfort level with working onsite). In particular, IRAP seeks candidates who are interested in being part of both IRAP’s litigation department and direct services legal department and bridging the needs of both. Interns may have opportunities to collaborate with other departments, including Policy and Communications. 

About IRAP

IRAP is a dynamic legal, policy, and advocacy organization that works to develop and enforce a system of legal and human rights for refugees and displaced people around the world. We are the leading organization that provides free and comprehensive legal services to people we serve through registration, protection, and resettlement processes. IRAP is a nimble organization staffed by an innovative and collaborative team that is committed to high standards of quality and close partnerships with our clients, peers, and colleagues. IRAP operates offices in the U.S. (New York City), Jordan (Amman), and Lebanon (Beirut) and has over 50 full-time staff. 

Our legal services are supplemented by a corps of pro bono lawyers from leading U.S. and international law firms, multi-national corporations, and law students who have created IRAP chapters across the United States and Canada. Through this work, we aim to assist refugees and other displaced people to find safe passage and to transform the landscape of refugee rights in the U.S. and internationally. In addition, IRAP’s litigation department brings legal challenges to refugee rights violations in the courts, creating solutions to overcoming the legal and bureaucratic impediments in the resettlement process and developing an enforceable system of legal and procedural rights for refugees and displaced persons worldwide. As the only organization that guides refugees through every step of the resettlement process, IRAP is often able to identify obstacles of which other institutional players are unaware. This unique model utilizes lessons learned in individual casework to advocate for systemic changes that benefit broader refugee populations. An overview of IRAP’s litigation docket is available here: https://refugeerights.org/litigation/.


  • Supporting the direct representation of refugees or visa applicants by drafting memos, briefs, conducting fact-finding, and interviewing clients
  • Conducting factual and legal research in support of ongoing or planned litigation
  • Conducting intake interviews and identifying client needs for direct services and litigation purposes, including explaining litigation and drafting affidavits 
  • Conducting outreach to affected communities, preparing and disseminating know-your-rights materials, pro se documents, and participating in public education efforts
  • Participating in emergency response process for outreach and intakes when government policy changes result in urgent requests for assistance from IRAP
  • Participating in litigation efforts as appropriate, including preparing litigation documents and cite-checking
  • Other duties as assigned

Experience and Qualifications

  • One year of law school must be completed before the start of the internship
  • Strong research, writing, and analytical skills
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills 
  • Sensitivity to client empowerment and to working with clients of all backgrounds, including LGBTI clients, survivors of trauma, and other vulnerable populations 
  • Initiative to see projects through and ability to multitask
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite and Westlaw or LexisNexis
  • Fluency in oral and written English is required. Ability to speak Arabic, Farsi, Somali, Pashto, Kurdish, or Spanish is a plus
  • Strong interest in complex federal litigation, refugee processing, immigration law, and human rights


This is a full-time position and requires a 10-week commitment beginning on May 31, 2021. If you are only able to work part-time, if for example, you are a part-time student, please still apply and we will review your application. 


$15 per hour

IRAP will work with students to obtain school funding or stipend as necessary.

Application Procedure

Please submit the following materials here.

  • A cover letter describing your interest in working with IRAP, including any relevant life or work experience gained before or during law school 
  • A resume
  • A brief legal writing sample (no more than 10 pages) unedited by others, e.g. research memo or excerpt of a brief
  • A list of three professional references

We will prioritize the review of applications sent by January 15, 2021, so interested students should apply as soon as possible. 

IRAP believes that diversity is critical to fostering a strong workplace and serving our clients well. We strongly encourage applications from people with lived experiences in the communities that we serve, members of other marginalized communities, and individuals whose identities are underrepresented in the legal profession.