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Jul 2 / BARD CEP

Legal Intern – Washington, DC

Organization: Indian Law Resource Center

Job Title: Legal Intern

Location: Washington, DC

Hours and Compensation: Unpaid, time commitment in flexible

Position Dates: August 27th, 2012 – December 21st, 2012

Application Deadline: August 10th, 2012

Posted On: July 2nd, 2012


The Washington DC Office is seeking a legal intern for the Fall 2012 semester. Knowledge on Federal Indian Law in the US and International Law is desirable; as well as Spanish/English skills. Internships are available for all levels of experience, from law students to practicing professionals. Please note that all internships are unpaid. We are flexible in terms of interns’ time commitment


Interns will mainly contribute to our work by assisting our staff with the following international legal programs:

1) Multilateral Development Banks: Working to encourage responsible lending by holding multilateral development banks responsible for the impacts of their projects on indigenous peoples and the environment. This project will involve research on affected communities, projects, and claims submitted to internal bank inspection mechanisms; preparation of documents concerning the bank’s operational policies on indigenous peoples, and participation in meetings with Bank officials and Civil Society Organizations in Washington DC.

2) Protecting Indigenous Rights in Climate Policies: Advocating for indigenous rights protections within climate policies, especially forest conservation programs. This project involves assisting staff with analysis and commentary on proposed climate policies. Interns will conduct research on the impacts of forest conservation projects and help prepare materials and provide logistical support for trainings with indigenous communities in Mexico, Central, and South America.

3) Draft American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: Continuing to press for higher standards in indigenous rights by pushing for a strong and clear American Declaration at the Organization of American States (OAS). Interns will participate in negotiation sessions on the Draft American Declaration and meetings between OAS Member States and indigenous delegations, provide legal counsel for indigenous representatives from throughout the Americas, and prepare documents.

4) Strengthening Indigenous Rights in the Inter-American Human Rights System: Providing legal expertise and working with OAS agencies in the promotion of indigenous rights. Interns will assist the Center with work at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, especially with regards to thematic hearings, precautionary measures, contentious cases, and special reports on indigenous issues, and will follow-up other developments that are relevant to indigenous peoples.

5) Guatemala: Protecting the Maya Q’eqchi’ communities of El Estor, their resources, and the local environment. We are currently litigating a major case before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, in order to defend the land, natural resources, self-government and cultural rights of Maya Q’eqchi’ communities under threat from nickel mining and protected areas. Interns will assist with all aspects of the proceedings before the Commission, including legal research, drafting briefs, compiling and reviewing evidence, preparing for related hearings, translation, etc.

6) Rapa Nui: Protecting the Rapa Nui People from ongoing action of the Chilean State affecting the Nation’s collective rights and its clan members’ individual rights. The Rapa Nui Nation is the indigenous people of “Easter Island”, a Polynesian island in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, at the southeastern most point of the Polynesian triangle. The Center represents the Rapa Nui Nation in all international proceedings before the Inter-American Human Rights System. Interns will assist with related legal research, writing and counsel.


Internships are available for all levels of experience, from law students to practicing professionals.

How to Apply

If you are interested in a legal internship, please send your resume, cover letter, and a short writing sample Please, let us know the time you have available for the internship. The deadline for applications is August 10th, 2012.

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