Summer Associate Information
Volunteer Opportunities for Law Students
2019 Summer Associate Program
Community Legal Aid is a private non-profit law firm which works to bridge the gap between poverty and justice for those in need. Legal Aid is the primary provider of free civil legal representation to low income and elderly residents of central northeast Ohio, concentrating its efforts on legal work that makes a difference in the lives of those it serves.
Legal Aid has Summer Associate openings for Law Students in four (4) of our Northeast Ohio offices. Job descriptions for the various positions are listed below.
We plan to conduct on-campus interviews at The University of Akron School of Law and Case Western Reserve University but law students from other law schools are strongly encouraged to apply. Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis, and will continue to be accepted until the available positions are filled.
Deadlines for submission may be earlier due to law school interviewing schedules.
Please contact your law school’s career services office for more information.
Virtual interviews are available for applicants who are unable to participate in person.
Legal Aid is looking for dedicated, hard-working, and public-interest minded students for its Summer Program. Legal Aid has opportunities available for 2L’s (with or without intern certificate) and 1L’s. Law Students who are applying to participate in the Summer Associate Program are expected to work unpaid for at least 10 weeks.
Applicants must list their top two project preferences in their cover letter (see 2019 Summer Associate position descriptions) and describe why they are interested and what they hope to experience. Cover letters which do not indicate preferences may not receive full consideration.
Law Students will work in different areas of the law and have different experiences. Generally, Law Students may expect to interview clients, draft client letters, draft court pleadings, research relevant legal issues, attend and assist with court hearings, assist with discovery, analyze evidence, and complete various other tasks as assigned.
All Law Students will receive training in substantive areas of poverty law, meet with judges involved and may observe court hearings. There may also be brown bag lunches with current Legal Aid lawyers and community members. Past participants have included judges, a civil rights attorney and leaders of local non-profit agencies.
Due to limited financial resources, Legal Aid’s Summer Associate positions are unpaid. Applicants are encouraged to apply for summer funding through the following sources.
- Summer grants / fellowships through individual law schools
- Equal Justice America - Visit www.equaljusticeamerica.org for application details.
- Work Study Funding - Some universities offer work study funding for summer positions. Please check with your law school financial aid office for particulars at your law school. Please note that work-study money may reduce the amount of loans available to you for the following two semesters. Talk with your financial aid office to determine how work-study money may affect you.
These are just a few of the many funding possibilities. For more funding opportunities, visit the “Funding Sources” page under “Resource Center” at www.psjd.org.
Course Credit / Externship Credit
Community Legal Aid often supervises students working for externship or other credit. Please indicate in your cover letter if you intend to work with your law school to receive course credit for your summer associate position. Please keep in mind that Law Students who apply through the Summer Associate Program are expected to work unpaid for at least 10 weeks. If you are not interested in interning with Community Legal Aid in a full-time capacity for the summer, but are interested in volunteering your time outside of the Summer Associate Program, please complete and submit the volunteer application that is available on the website at https://www.communitylegalaid.org/community . Please note that this is a separate application from the Summer Associate Program Application.
Applications Procedure and Student Qualifications
Summer Associate Program applicants should have completed their first year of law school by the time they commence work in the summer of 2019. We give special consideration to students with a demonstrated commitment to serving disadvantaged people and communities. Law students who speak Spanish are strongly encouraged to apply. Please submit the following:
- Cover Letter*
- Contact Information for Three References
- Writing Sample
- Completed Summer Associate Application HERE
*Remember to include your top two projects / unit preferences (see Summer Associate Positions below) and whether you are willing to volunteer, will be receiving credit, are work-study eligible or are applying for a public interest summer grant / fellowship
Community Legal Aid is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate because of age, race, sex, religion, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, or mental or physical disability.
Application deadline................................................................Open Until Filled
Offers extended (must be accepted within 72 hours) .............Rolling basis
Orientation Session 1.............................................................. May 20, 2019
Orientation Session 2...............................................................June 3, 2019
Summer Associate Session 1...................................................May 20 – July 26, 2019
Summer Associate Session 2..................................................June 3 – August 10, 2019
2019 Summer Associate Positions
Neighborhood Law Project ……1 Position (Youngstown)
The Neighborhood Law Project (NLP) is a neighborhood revitalization project that uses a community lawyering approach to improve health, education, economic opportunity, and quality of life for residents of the City of Youngstown through transformation of their neighborhoods.
Focus 1: Taft Promise Neighborhood (TPN) Working with approximately 40 community partners and residents of the neighborhood surrounding Taft Elementary, the NLP team is working to increase education outcomes, improve housing stock, remove barriers to employment and improve the health and wellness of residents.
Focus 2: Working in neighborhoods identified by Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation, the NLP team is working to improve the quality of housing stock, to reduce the number of land contracts that are predatory and to support the start-up of small businesses.
The summer associate on this project may, under attorney supervision, assist with the following casework: evictions, foreclosures, housing conditions, land contracts, consumer debt and bankruptcy cases, record sealing, reinstatement of driving privileges, custody matters relating to school enrollment, public benefit matters, and special education/IEPs for residents in the neighborhoods served. In the course of this work, the summer associate will have hands on experience in preparing cases for trial, interviewing clients, issue spotting, case work-up and drafting of pleadings, memorandums, etc.
The summer associate will also assist with the development of community education materials and case protocols, attend community meetings, work with resident organizations and TPN councils and conduct legal and policy research.
Specific Qualifications: This position is best suited for a student who is interested in poverty law, urban development, or education.
Personal characteristics: Excellent interpersonal communication skills, strong oral and written communication skills, ability to relate to and work with both professionals and residents of a community with one of the highest poverty rates in the country.
Coursework that would be helpful include: Administrative Law, Advanced Legal Research, Bankruptcy, Basic Business Associations, Civil Litigation, Contracts, Property, and Problem-Solving Workshop.
The summer associate should be proficient in Microsoft programs, Google Docs, and legal and internet research tools. Ability to speak Spanish is a plus.