Student Research Assistance Opportunities

Summer Legal Internship

Open to law students and recent grads 

Building upon the Law’s School deep commitment to human rights, the Bernstein Institute promotes cutting-edge research, advocacy and education on human rights issues, with a focus on advancing legal empowerment and defending dissent. The Institute embraces a holistic approach to the advancement of human rights, deepening engagement and action by key stakeholders in the pursuit of human rights and social justice: law students, young lawyers, human rights defenders, judges, scholars, interdisciplinary allies and affected communities.

Through the Bernstein Institute’s Summer Legal Internship Program, law students will have the opportunity to work with the Institute’s network of directors and staff, including Faculty Director Meg Satterthwaite and Executive Director, Sukti Dhital. The Institute’s interns tackle a wide range of human rights issues, including the shrinking of civil society space, business and human rights, and the growing field of legal empowerment.

Interns’ work includes legal research, writing, and advocacy support. Interns will work independently and as a team, and are encouraged to engage with the Bernstein Institute staff and visiting scholars as active colleagues. This is an excellent opportunity for anyone seeking to enhance their knowledge of human rights law and practice and/or to pursue a career in public interest and social justice. The internship is unpaid.

To apply: Applicants will need to send (1) cover letter, (2) current CV, (3) three references, (4) current academic transcript (unofficial is fine), and (5) a writing sample (10 pages maximum) 



  • Current or recent enrollment in a law degree program
  • Excellent analytical, research and writing skills as demonstrated by academic record and/or writing sample(s)
  • Demonstrated commitment to human rights and social justice
  • Knowledge of the international legal system
  • Strong capacity to work independently and with people from diverse backgrounds, including partner organizations


  • Work experience prior to law school

Not required but will be considered assets for some positions:

  • Experience with litigation and advocacy in national, regional or international bodies
  • Quantitative research skills
  • Interest in legal empowerment, technology and human rights, or corporate accountability


Bernstein Institute Legal Empowerment Scholar

The Legal Empowerment Scholar contributes to the Institute’s groundbreaking legal empowerment research as a research assistant under the guidance of Institute faculty and staff.  The Scholar will support the Institute’s emerging project at the intersection of criminal justice and legal empowerment.

Applications are not being accepted at this time.

Application Information

The Legal Empowerment Scholar will work with the Institute faculty and staff to further the Institute’s research agenda. The Scholar will support the Institute’s emerging project at the intersection of criminal justice and legal empowerment.

Research undertaken for the Institute will be compensated at $15.00/hour, for an average of 5-8 hours a week for approximately 10 weeks.


  • NYU law student in any degree program (JD, LLM, JSD) enrolled through May 2020
  • Demonstrated commitment to human rights and grassroots justice
  • Excellent research and writing skills
  • Ability to work independently in a professional environment
  • Demonstrated potential for engaged and rigorous scholarship or applied research

Application Instructions

The following materials should be combined into a single PDF in the following order:

  • Statement addressing qualifications and specific research interests (500 words)
  • CV
  • Unofficial transcript from NYU Law
  • English-language writing sample (10 pages max, excerpts acceptable).

We encourage applications from persons of color, LGBTQI persons, women, veterans, and persons with disabilities. NYU is an equal opportunity employer. EOE/AA/Minorities/Females/Vet/Disabled/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity.