Law students are routinely told that knowledge equals power. This may be true, however it is the practice of knowledge that brings about powerful social change. If you are an enthusiastic law student with an interest in human rights, the rule of law and good governance, and you are looking for a hands on experience this summer – you will want to know more about the Canadian Lawyers Abroad (CLA) Summer Internship Program.
CLA and our excellent partner organizations ensure that interns are exposed to substantial material and are given challenging and meaningful tasks throughout the summer. Our internships are intense, educational and also very rewarding. Trust me, I know from experience.
My name is Brittany Twiss and I am the Director of the CLA Student Internship Program. During the summer of 2009, I participated in an internship with ECPAT International, an organization dedicated to combating the commercial sexual exploitation of children, located in Bangkok, Thailand.
I had an exceptional experience with ECPAT. Not only was I immediately immersed in the organization’s ongoing initiatives; I was also trusted with a large amount of responsibility. For example, in week one of my internship I was asked to draft a report for the United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights about how to improve global protection of children from online predators. This internship experience provided me with unique knowledge of children’s rights and undoubtedly jump-started my career in family law and Charter litigation.
We consistently receive positive feedback from both our partner organizations and our students demonstrating the mutually beneficial nature of our program. For example, Jane Serwanga, the Senior Legal Counsel at the Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) in Kenya, commended the work of one of our interns stating that she was “instrumental in compiling a project Concept Note with situational analysis, evidence based research and a road map that will be used for strategic litigation to address human rights violations visited upon women in Kenya in the 2007/8 post-election.”
On the flip side, this is what Sandrina Antohi, a 2010 summer intern, had to say about her experience with the Center for Public Interest Law (CEPIL) in Ghana, “an internship is worth a thousand academic papers: it gives so much weight and depth to abstract concepts often heard before and never truly internalized.” For more feedback from our 2010 interns about their experiences please see our Reflections from the Field document.
The CLA Summer Internship Program provides law students with practical knowledge and experience that extends beyond the classroom. We don’t just talk about promoting positive social change – we do it. This year we have internships with some of our great partner organizations from last year, such as Women in Law and Development in Africa (WiLDAF) and the Yukon River-Intertribal Watershed Council (YRITWC), and have added some amazing new internships with the Law Society of Nunavut and the Legal Services Board, as well as with the Asia Foundation in Sri Lanka. We also have a great internship with the United Nations Development Programme in Timor-Leste where you'll be working for Andrew Harrington, a UNDP Access to Justice Policy Specialist and, six years ago, a CLA intern in Timor-Leste (he's just one of our success stories)! For more information on all of the internships available for the coming summer please see: CLA Summer Internships 2011.
If you’re interested in applying for an internship please fill out an application form found here: CLA Summer Internship Application Form 2011.
A word to the wise – don’t waste any time and get started on your application early. The deadline for submitting your application to the 2010 Summer Internship Program is January 30, 2011 at midnight EST.