Student Summer 2024 Law Clerk and Externship

Student Summer 2024 Law Clerk and Externship

PILP has provided crucial litigation and advocacy support to local legal services and public interest law programs throughout California. Responding to the elimination of federal funding for state and national legal services support centers, PILP was established to ensure that local legal services programs could continue to participate in major litigation and advocacy on behalf of low-income people.

Today, PILP is one of California’s premier legal services support centers and works to advance racial and economic justice for and with low-income communities and communities of color by building the capacity of legal services organizations through impact litigation, trainings, publications, coalition building, and systemic advocacy. Our current priorities include work to: increase and preserve affordable housing; fight displacement; eliminate discriminatory zoning; support unhoused communities; prevent homelessness; and expand access to public benefits, income support, and supportive services.

Law students at PILP receive mentoring and training from our highly skilled staff attorneys and gain exposure to the mechanics of litigation and state and local systems change advocacy while developing a better understanding of the legal barriers facing low-income and other underrepresented communities in California. PILP engages our law students in many phases of complex litigation. For example, we have involved students in all aspects of preparing an affordable housing/fair housing case for trial, including drafting discovery motions, participating in strategy sessions with co-counsel, and settlement negotiations with opposing counsel. Other law students have researched the legislative history and case law related to various provisions of affordable housing and public benefits laws; drafted portions of trial court and appellate briefs; assisted taking depositions; and drafted procedural and substantive legal memoranda, motions, and stipulations. Law students have also gone into the field, interviewing clients and drafting declarations for submission to the court.

Summer law students are eligible to receive an educational reimbursement of up to $5,250.1   The deadline to apply for the summer 2024 program is Friday, April 14, 2024. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.

For all other law clerks planning to volunteer outside of summer, there is no deadline.

Since 2020, we have been able to adapt to remote work for our law students and we will continue to make this option available for those who are interested.
Candidates should email application materials as word or pdf attachments to If you prefer an alternative method of submitting these materials please contact us at the above email address. Please provide a cover letter that includes a brief statement of interest, résumé, writing sample, and at least two professional references. In your cover letter, please also indicate your law school year and any past or current public interest law experience.

The Public Interest Law Project (PILP) is an Equal Opportunity Employer and values a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. We strongly encourage people of color, women, people with disabilities, older adults, LGBTQ people, and individuals from other underrepresented groups to apply. It is PILP’s policy to prohibit discrimination and harassment of any type and to establish and maintain equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, ancestry, religion, disability, age, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, medical condition, veteran status, national origin, marital status, familial status, or any other protected status.

1 Full time summer law clerks will be required to show proof of payment on tuition or student loans within the last 12 months in order to receive the educational reimbursement.

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