Legal Internships

Legal Internships


Law School Clinic

MLSA is proud to coordinate with the Alexander Blewett III (University of Montana) School of Law to provide a clinical educational opportunity for third year law students.  Students are placed in a MLSA office under the supervision of experienced attorneys and receive school credit for their work.  Follow this link to the law school website for more detailed information and requirements:

http://www.umt.edu/law/academics/clinics/mt-legal-services.php


Rural Summer Legal Corps

Click here to read the story of a 2016 Rural Summer Legal Intern in New Mexico

The law student will be supervised by MLSA’s Litigation Director and will provide litigation support to MLSA attorneys, as well as direct telephone advice to clients.  This project provides assistance to low-income persons who live in the rural, remote areas of Montana and who have civil legal needs impacting their quality of life. It is anticipated that 100% of the law student’s time will be spent on such client work, with approximately 50% on research and litigation support, and 50% on telephone advice.

If appropriate and the intern is qualified under student practice rules, the law student may also have the opportunity to make a court appearance.  The law student will focus on rural clients with legal needs in a variety of MLSA practice areas, including housing, consumer law, self-help legal assistance, public benefits, domestic violence family law, and Indian law. It is anticipated that direct clients for telephone advice will be in the areas of housing and family law.  All telephone advice will be provided under the supervision of a licensed attorney.

Specific Duties

The law student will spend time each week on the following activities:

  • Interviewing rural clients seeking advice or assistance.
  • Counseling and advising rural clients.
  • Drafting petitions, motions, pleadings, and other court documents.
  • Researching case-specific legal issues for rural client cases.
  • Participants will attend a 3-day training seminar in Washington D.C. in June.

Competencies include:

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Excellent legal research skills.
  • Commitment to the mission and vision of MLSA.
  • Ability to prioritize and manage projects and tasks to meet deadlines.
  • Self-motivated and able and work independently.

Requirements

All applicants must:

  • Attend an accredited law school
  • Complete their first or second year of law school by the start of their summer placement.
  • Be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national or lawful permanent resident (e.g., green card).
  • Pass a criminal background check. Applicants are not disqualified for most criminal records.
  • Possess a valid driver’s license and access to adequate transportation during summer placement.

Stipend: $5,000 for 300 hours of service to be completed by 8/31/2017. There is no limit on outside funding.

To apply: Complete the online application at:  http://files.equaljusticeworks.org/RSLC_17/RSLC_Montana_Legal_Services_Association.pdf 

Deadline:  February 17, 2017


ATJ Tech Fellowship

The Tech Fellow will work on various technology initiatives for client service delivery at MLSA.  The primary project for the Fellow will be assisting with the development of an online limited scope advice portal, the Montana Online Justice portal, modeled after a program in Tennessee, which allows attorneys to respond securely and remotely to vetted questions posted by low-income clients. MLSA will be rolling out the limited-scope advice portal in the spring/summer of 2017 and seeks the assistance of the ATJ Tech Fellow to test and implement the site, as well as develop legal resource material for use by the pro bono attorneys who will provide advice through the portal.  The Tech Fellow also will work with other technology initiatives at MLSA including MontanaLawHelp.org, and MLSA’s project to enhance its delivery of services using mobile technology.

Full Description of the Fellows Duties

Duties include:

  • Research and develop legal resources for use by pro bono attorneys in the state of Montana, with a particular emphasis on resources for the Montana Online Justice portal.
  • Assist with the implementation of Montana Online Justice, including providing limited scope advice, reviewing advice posted, and assisting with the operation of the site.
  • Develop a plan to assess the effectiveness of limited scope services provided through the Montana Online Justice portal and, as time allows, conduct the assessment and write a report on the outcome.
  • Develop a catalog of MLSA’s internal technology resources that are used to provide client education and services.
  • Research and produce client education materials for MontanaLawHelp.org and other client education initiatives.
  • Provide telephone advice to low income clients on consumer and housing issues.
  • Other duties as assigned by the Supervising Attorney.

Competencies include:

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Excellent legal research skills.
  • Commitment to the mission and vision of MLSA.
  • Ability to prioritize and manage projects and tasks to meet deadlines.
  • Self-motivated and able and work independently.
  • Creativity and willingness to take on challenging projects.
  • Experience with using technology including document assembly, websites and video conferencing, preferred.

To Apply: Click on the following link to apply online or download the application: https://www.atjtechfellows.org/apply

Deadline: February 15. 2017 at 8:00pm EST


AmeriCorps JD – Elder Justice AmeriCorps Internship

Two Elder Justice AmeriCorps members will work alongside MLSA’s Elder Justice Legal Fellow in our Victim Rights Practice Group to provide civil legal assistance to elder abuse victims across the state of Montana, as well as education to service providers, stakeholders, and community members. Under attorney supervision, the Elder Justice members will help provide holistic services to clients, offering support, advocacy, information and referral to victims of crime, instituting a consistent human component to help guide victims through the relevant systems and processes. These combined efforts will assist elder abuse victims to stabilize, recover, and rebuild their lives.

Requirements

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Ability to travel, occasionally overnight.
  • Ability to manage multiple tasks and work independently.
  • The ability to undergo and pass AmeriCorps-mandated criminal background checks (only conviction for murder and/or presence on sex offender registry are automatic bars to service; other criminal convictions are allowable at MLSA’s discretion).
  • Creativity and willingness to take on challenging projects.
  • Experience with using technology including document assembly, websites and video conferencing, preferred.
  • Experience working with low income and/or elderly clients preferred.
  • Review the AmeriCorps JD Application Guide for additional requirements and application instructions: http://files.equaljusticeworks.org/guide/AmeriCorps%20JD%20Application%20Guide%202017.pdf

Specific Duties

  • Interview, meet with, advise and represent victims of elder abuse on civil legal matters.
  • Compose correspondence, pleadings and other documents.
  • Develop law related educational programs and materials directed to the client community or agencies regarding elder abuse issues, resources and legal remedies.
  • Research the law and prepare memoranda.
  • Other duties as assigned by the Supervising Attorney or the Elder Justice Fellow.

Stipend:  $3,000 stipend paid by MLSA, plus a $1,230 Segal AmeriCorps Education Award upon successful completion of 300 hours of service. Service must be completed by August 31, 2017.

To Apply:  Send a letter of interest, resume, writing sample, and three professional and/or academic references to hiring@mtlsa.org, and create an account in the AmeriCorps JD Student Application Manager: https://info.equaljusticeworks.org/summercorps/login.asp  Answers to Frequently Asked Questions can be found here: http://www.equaljusticeworks.org/law-school/americorpsjd/faqs

Deadline: The priority deadline to submit your application materials to hiring@mtlsa.org is February 27, 2017.  The AmeriCorps JD application must be completed in the Student Application Manager by April 14, 2017.

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