Common Justice seeks a legal intern to work closely with our Outreach Department during the 2020-2021 academic year.
Common Justice develops and advances solutions to violence that transform the lives of those harmed and foster racial equity without relying on incarceration. Locally, we operate the first alternative to incarceration and victim service program in the United States to focus on violent felonies in the adult courts. Nationally, we leverage the lessons from our direct service to transform the justice system through partnerships, advocacy, and elevating the experience and power of those most impacted. Rigorous and hopeful, we build practical strategies to hold people accountable for harm, break cycles of violence, and secure safety, healing and justice for survivors and their communities.
In its direct service work, Common Justice operates a victim service program and restorative justice- based alternative to prison for serious and/or violent felony cases such as assault, burglary, and robbery. The project brings 16-26-year-olds responsible for crimes together with those they have harmed and their support people in a facilitated dialogue to determine appropriate sanctions to take the place of a prison sentence. The project engages and prepares all parties, convenes the dialogues, and provides supervision and support to both those harmed and those responsible for crime. It aims to meet the needs of people harmed by crime, prevent further violence, and improve satisfaction with the justice system. While we serve the full range of people harmed by crime, a full 70% of the victims Common Justice works with are men of color, many of them young adults. Common Justice recognizes that despite many popular misperceptions, the person most likely to be harmed by violent crime both nationally and in New York City is a 16 to 24-year-old black man. And yet current victim services policies and programs all too often fail to meet the needs of this group when they are harmed by crime. Common Justice believes that victims deserve more options that resonate with their sense of justice, safety, and respect, and that communities deserve programs that help halt cycles of violence, improve the public safety, and meet their needs.
The legal intern may be responsible for the following duties:
- Communicate with judges, defense attorneys, prosecutors, defendants and their families regarding pending cases
- Stand up on the record in Supreme Court
- Attend monthly drop-in hours at Brooklyn Defenders Services and Legal Aid Brooklyn to seek referrals for Common Justice
- Make phone calls to defense attorneys regarding potential clients
- Follow up with social workers, schools, and parents regarding defendants’ relevant information
- Work on additional short-term projects
Candidates should possess the following qualifications:
- Strong familiarity with the criminal justice system
- Ability to build and navigate professional networks and relationships
- Excellent oral and written communication skills
- Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail
- Experience with community engagement and working with system-involved youth and/or the criminal justice field strongly preferred
- Strong interest in social and racial justice
- Ability to work with a diverse population
- Strong written and oral communication skills
- Ability to work alone and in a team environment
- Bilingual skills (especially English/Spanish) highly desired
- College degree required
- Formerly incarcerated people strongly encouraged to apply
This is a 20 hour per week paid position. The hours are from 10AM-2PM Monday-Friday, with some flexibility.
To apply please submit a resume, dates of availability and cover letter to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: When possible, prospective interns are encouraged to seek independent funding either through an accredited institution or through fellowship grants or internship programs.
Common Justice is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without unlawful discrimination based on race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, prior record of arrest or conviction, citizenship status, or current employment status. Common Justice values diverse experiences, including regarding educational background and justice system involvement. We depend on a diverse staff to carry out our mission.