Veterans Legal Services provides excellent opportunities for both undergraduate students and law students to learn legal practice and professionalism. Our former students often tell us that VLS was the most meaningful part of their school experience and many of them return as pro bono attorneys following law school graduation. See what former VLS intern Amy Robinson said about her VLS experience here!
FOR UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS
Veterans Legal Services provides an excellent opportunity for undergraduate students who are interested in law, social justice, non-profit management, and/or veterans’ issues. Undergraduate students volunteer part-time at our main office during the school year and summer. Undergraduate volunteers are required to participate in our comprehensive training program and we welcome sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Opportunities are listed immediately below.
Administrative Assistant (Minimum 8 hours per week; full-time co-ops considered)
Administrative assistants who are volunteers (i.e., not receiving academic credit) are expected to work at least eight hours at the office per week for at least one semester. Veterans Legal Services also works with the Northeastern University work-study co-op program to host students in full-time positions. Typically, positions are filled at the start of each semester and at the start of summer. The Administrative Assistant works closely with the Office Manager to complete various tasks associated with the following: client eligibility screening, case management, office management, fundraising, and volunteer training. Watch for position postings and application instructions on your school’s Handshake page. If your school does not use Handshake, you may submit your application (resumé and cover letter) by email to Paralegal & Office Manager Hannah Taylor at Hannah@veteranslegalservices.org.
FOR LAW STUDENTS
Law students volunteer part-time at our legal clinics during the school year and summer. VLS also has a competitive full-time summer internship program. Law student volunteers are required to participate in our comprehensive training program and we welcome 1L, 2L, and 3L volunteers. Opportunities are listed immediately below.
Law Student Advocates (Approximately 5 hours per week)
Law student advocates who are volunteers (i.e., not receiving academic credit) are expected to work at least three hours at the on-site legal clinic and two hours on follow-up work each week. Students are expected to attend weekly clinics for at least one semester. Positions are filled at the start of each semester and at the start of summer. Watch for position postings and application instructions on your law school’s Symplicity page. Symplicity is the preferred application method, but if your school does not use Symplicity, you may submit your application (resumé and cover letter) by email to Staff Attorney Eve Elliott at Eve@veteranslegalservices.org.
Clinical Program Placement (Usually 8-20 hours per week)
VLS welcomes law students who are interested in working for academic credit through their law school’s clinical program. Caseload permitting, students certified to practice under SJC Rule 3:03 may be given the opportunity to present in court or at agency hearings. VLS attorneys have experience supervising and evaluating clinical program students from a variety of schools. Hours and requirements vary by school and course, so please consult with your clinical program office before contacting VLS. Interested students should email Staff Attorney Eve Elliott at Eve@veteranslegalservices.org with a resumé and one page cover letter that includes a summary of the clinical program and your school’s requirements. Please include the contact information for the clinical program director or other relevant point of contact at your law school.
Law Student Summer Internship (Approximately 35 hours per week)
VLS conducts a competitive search for motivated, diligent, and pragmatic full-time law student summer advocates, typically selecting between two and four students each summer. Selected students have the opportunity to manage their own caseload under the supervision of a VLS attorney. This unique position provides a comprehensive legal experience. After completing an orientation, students assist with client intakes, perform legal research, draft correspondence and legal pleadings, and counsel clients under the supervision of a VLS attorney. Students observe court proceedings and, if certified under SJC Rule 3:03, may have the opportunity to present in court. VLS summer advocates typically leave the position with a working knowledge of client intake and case assessment, client counseling techniques, the Boston legal aid community generally, and an introduction to practice areas including domestic relations (divorce, custody, child support, domestic violence), housing (subsidized housing benefits and landlord/tenant law), debt (consumer debt, protected income sources, debt collection practices, bankruptcy), and benefits (emergency shelter, state and federal veterans benefits, etc.).
Summer 2017 internship positions are still available. Symplicity is the preferred application method, but if your school does not use Symplicity, you may submit your application (resumé and cover letter) by email to Staff Attorney Eve Elliott at Eve@veteranslegalservices.org.