LSJ 401 Fieldwork Internship
Students are required to complete one hundred hours of service in an internship or volunteer position for the LSJ 401 course. In addition to these hours worked in the field, students are expected to complete an analytical paper, submit evaluations, and attend discussions as part of the course requirements.
The Law, Societies, & Justice internship program seeks to create a connection between academic coursework and ‘real world’ experience. The objectives of the internship are to
(1) Provide students with insights into the workings of law in practice;
(2) To scrutinize and ‘test’ some of the theories and concepts found in the academic literature against ‘real world’ practice;
(3) To initiate career development and goals, and
(4) To provide 100 hours of local community service.
Students work with a variety of governmental and non-governmental agencies, including law enforcement agencies, social service organizations, courts, rights groups, policy organizations, and social support groups.
Before you can be registered for 401, you must:
Find an internship or volunteer experience that will work with LSJ 401
Below is a list of some of the internship sites students have used for completion of LSJ 401 requirements in the past. These are not the only allowable internships for the class, but they can be considered some good examples. It is up to you to check with the LSJ adviser to make sure any specific internship or volunteer position will be allowable for LSJ 401, even if it is on the list below. This should be done before the position is accepted and is required before you can be registered for the class. You should definitely look for a volunteer position or internship that relates to the topics and issues inside LSJ that interest you.
Get the position
You are encouraged to treat the search for interships with a similar level of preparation to a job search. As with a job search, set up an appointment or interview with the agency and/or send in your resume and other requested materials as soon as possible. When you meet with the person who will supervise you on the internship site, you should work out the details of your internship with your supervisor. Some agencies may not have worked with interns before and they may need assistance in defining how your educational goals intersect with their needs.
Get a letter from the site supervisor for your position
After the internship has been okayed by the LSJ adviser and after you have the internship position, ask your internship site supervisor to write a letter stating the nature of your internship. This should be on agency letterhead and include: the agency name and address, name of your supervisor, his/her title, telephone number and location, projects that will be assigned to you as an intern, and hours/days/schedule to be worked.
Turn in the paperwork to the LSJ adviser
Attach the site supervisor letter to your completed internship application/contract. Once the letter and contract are completed and turned in, the adviser will register you for 401. The LSJ 401 Contract form can be found on the Useful Forms tab of the LSJ website.
Complete the course requirements - A sample LSJ 401 Syllabus, explaining the course requirements, can be found on the Useful Forms page of the LSJ website.
(1) successful completion of a minimum of 100 hours of community service/field internship
(2) a 10-12 page Analytical Paper
(3) complete the student evaluation of the internship or volunteer experience (the student evaluation can be found on the Useful Forms page)
(4) have the site supervisor fill out their evaluation of your work (the site supervisor evaluation can be found on the Useful Forms page)
(5) attend meetings with your LSJ 401 subgroup at least twice during the quarter
(6) turn in the two evaluations with your paper to the instructor of LSJ 401 by the due date
In addition to the required LSJ 401 Fieldwork Internship, LSJ students and pre-majors may complete internships in order to gain experience. While only LSJ students may register for 401, the internships listed here are not controlled by or exclusively reserved for LSJ students.
Recent LSJ 401 internships and volunteer positions
In the interest of lessening the chance of outdated information, links are not provided for most of these organizations. Students should search for the most up-to-date information based on these suggestions.
Below are a few suggested websites that have meta-lists of volunteer positions and internships that students are encouraged to take advantage of. Please remember to contact the LSJ adviser to make sure any found internships are suitable for major requirements. The meta-sites listed below include anywhere from a thousand to tens of thousands of internships, organizations, and volunteer opportunities, but there are some important suggestions to use these successfully to find an experience that will work for LSJ 401.
–Avoid using the keyword searches on these meta-sites. You are better served using the pull-down menus of topics and then browsing through all of the opportunities. Even a one word keyword search can narrow the choices more than you imagine.
–Remember to look deeper into any organization that interests you. The list of internships may be only some of the volunteer possibilities available once you look farther into the organization. For some of the social service and rights NGOs it is even suggested that you ask about making a volunteer position that is not currently listed on their site. Remember that you are a capable, educated, interested adult, and it is fine to ask for opportunities that take advantage of your skills.
–Think as broadly as possible by considering all the various topics faculty have covered in LSJ classes (it is not just ‘cops & lawyers’). If you can see yourself writing a paper that ties together things you discussed in class with any organization you are considering, then it might work for LSJ 401. Feel free to email the LSJ adviser if you are unsure about whether or not a certain possibility will work for LSJ 401. Definitely run the opportunity by the adviser before you commit to it.
United Way of King County (http://www.uwkc.org) – this site has one of the most complete listings of volunteer positions in the greater Seattle area, often including hundreds of possible positions covering a wide range of interest and skill levels. After linking to the site, click on their Volunteer tab to take you to a listing of hundreds or even thousands of local opportunities at a wide variety of sites.
VolunteerMatch (http://www.volunteermatch.org) – this is a national organization listing opportunities across the country, so you should start by picking a locality in which to volunteer and then browse opportunities in that location.
Idealist (http://www.idealist.org) – this site is international in scope. It is particularly useful for listing not just positions, but the organizations themselves (about 100,000 organizations). If you find organizations that interest you and matter to you, you can then look for local branches or opportunities.
HuskyJobs (http://careers.washington.edu/HuskyJobs) – this is a great resource for looking for jobs or internships intended for current students or recent graduates. It is run by the UW Career Center, which is one of the most important resources on campus for making the transition to the world of employment as you work on your degree.
Public Service Opportunity Bulletin (http://volunteerinternjob.wordpress.com/) – this blog is run by the University of Washington’s Carlson Leadership and Public Service Center. It lists information about specific volunteer opportunities and internships that their office has received from the community. The page also has a few links to other sites to search for volunteer positions and internships.
Internmatch (http://www.internmatch.com) – a Washington-area internship listing site. This site is a little more focused on business models than community service models, so be sure to prepare your internship applications with this in mind.
USA.gov list of agencies (http://www.usa.gov/Agencies/Federal/All_Agencies/index.shtml) – many state, federal, local, and tribal agencies list internships on their own websites (often under the employment section). This is an A-Z listing of government agencies in the US. Also see the listing of federal internships at: http://makingthedifference.org/index.shtml
Because these organizations are constantly developing and changing, in order to find the most up-to-date experiences, students are encouraged to look for information about them through the web, through advertising, in person, by contacting the organization directly, or through the meta-sites listed above. The organizations listed below are a few sites that have been popular with our students over the past four or five years, listed in some broad categories of interest. If you are searching for an internship for LSJ 401, you certainly do not have to limit yourself to one of the choices listed below.
Note about interning at law firms:
Students wishing to intern with private law firms are encouraged to do so for experience, connections, and to understand the daily practice of lawyers. But if the internship is meant to be used to complete the requirements for LSJ 401, students should also consider an additional factor. Private law firms are often seeking the sorts of interns that have finished the first year or two of law school. Therefore, as an undergraduate student applying at private law firms you should make sure that you will be able to actually participate in an experience that will not be limited to basic clerical duties like: filing, answering phones, running for coffee, and making copies. Remember that you are looking for an experience that you can actually write about at an academic level and put into conversation with the ideas explored in your LSJ classes.
Courts and Probation Services
Internships in this area are good for exploring the immense administrative and bureaucratic structures that shape the interpretation and implementation of laws at the federal, state and local level. Some of these internships are in very high demand, so interested students should plan well in advance when looking for or applying for them. Getting jobs in these areas is also very competitive, especially in probations, so experience as an intern is vital for improving chances of later employment.
City of Bellevue Probation
King County Drug Court
Seattle Community Court
Seattle Municipal Court
Unified Family Court of King County- Superior Court
United States Probation Office
Prosecutors, Legal Services, and Legal Associations
These can be very hands-on experiences and often require people willing to work with a certain amount of professional self-motivation. Some of these opportunities are among the most competitive offered in the area, and students may have to apply one or two quarters in advance of the start of their internship. This is only a list of a few of these organizations, there are similar defense attorney organizations, prosecutor’s offices, and legal services groups throughout the surrounding counties, cities, and large institutions.
The Defender Association
King County Prosecuting Attorney
United States Attorney’s Office-Seattle
United States Investigative Services
University of Washington Student Legal Services
Washington State Bar Association
Criminal Justice, Prisons, and Law Enforcement
Internships with police departments, sheriff’s offices, detention centers, and prisons will all require background checks, some of which are simple and some of which will take months to complete. Prepare accordingly. Also remember that there are many different forms of law enforcement, especially at the federal level. Don’t look only at the biggest name departments, rather use this as a chance to explore the breadth of opportunities that fall under the umbrella of criminal justice.
King County Juvenile Detention Center
King County Sheriff
Lynnwood Police Department
Naval Criminal Investigative Service- Bremerton
Seattle Police Department
Shelton Police Department
Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office
University of Washington Police Department
Immigration and New Americans
This is a very high-profile topic at present. There are internships and volunteer positions in federal organizations that police and protect the borders and also in community organizations that support the rights and livelihood of new citizens and immigrants. The federal positions will have background checks and be more competitive than the non-governmental organizations. But in the non-governmental organizations, interns are more likely to have a very participatory experience.
Chinese Information Service Center
Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs
Council of American-Islamic Relations- Washington
Horn of Africa Services
Northwest Immigrant Rights Project
Port of Seattle
Southern Sudanese Community of Washington
Volunteer Advocates for Immigrant Justice
Government and Law
We have had students volunteer for political campaigns in the past, but some of the more interesting internships or volunteer positions have been working on specific projects with already elected officials. The LSJ Program and the University of Washington do not and cannot express political preference on any issue or election. Students are welcomed and encouraged to participate in the political process and to follow their own political preference. What matters for LSJ is if the student will have a hands-on experience with their internship, something that the student can think about analytically in terms of law, crime, rights, justice, or courts in a social science perspective. See the UW Political Science Department’s Internship listings for more opportunities in this area.
Consulado de México en Seattle
Seattle Mayor’s Office
Washington State Democratic Party
Washington State Republican Party
Non-Governmental Organizations- Social Service and Rights
These positions can be some of the most rewarding and fulfilling of volunteer opportunities. For every organization listed below there are half-a-dozen similar organizations operating in the local area. Think about issues that are important to you and places where your skills and energy will be most beneficial.
American Civil Liberties Union- Washington State
Books to Prisoners
The Borgen Project
Community Alliance for Global Justice
Corporate Accountability International
Disability Rights- Washington
Equal Rights Washington
Families & Friends of Missing Persons and Violent Crime Victims
Habitat for Humanity
Naral Pro-Choice Washington
New Beginnings, Ending Domestic Violence
Pierce County Commission Against Domestic Violence
ROOTS Young Adult Shelter
Rural Development Institute
Union Gospel Mission
University Beyond Bars
Urban Rest Stop
Washington Low Income Housing Alliance