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Spring/Summer 2024 - Federal Policy Intern, Advocacy & Partnerships

Vera Institute of Justice

Vera Institute of Justice

Sales & Business Development
Washington, DC, USA
Posted on Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Who we are:

The Vera Institute of Justice, founded in 1961, is a nonprofit criminal justice organization that strives to build just government institutions and safe communities free from the scourge of racism, white supremacy, profit, and inequity that is pervasive in this country’s legal systems. We are an “inside” lane organization that drives change at scale with ambitious public sector leaders who share our commitment to building anti-racist, reparative systems that deliver justice. We leverage our access to government to transform these systems and work collaboratively with stakeholders across many movements—including advocacy, grassroots, and grasstop organizations. Our role is to pilot solutions that are transformative and achievable, harness the power of evidence to drive effective policy and practice, and use advocacy and communications to change narratives and norms.

Vera has a staff of 300 people and offices in New York City, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, and New Orleans. We are an equal opportunity employer with a commitment to diversity in the workplace. We expect our staff to embody respect, independence, collaboration, commitment, anti-racism, and equity—both in our outward-facing work and the internal culture of our workplace. We value a range of experiences in people’s educational backgrounds and encourage people who have been directly impacted by the criminal justice system to apply.

Who you are:

The federal policy team leads Vera’s advocacy strategies in Washington, D.C., and its federal work on the Hill. The team is working to build Vera’s profile on the Hill and among federal players, influence and shape criminal and immigration legal policy with the White House and congressional leaders, and work closely on specific campaigns, such as Fairness to Freedom, a campaign for universal representation for immigrants facing deportation. The federal policy team is uniquely positioned to help Vera teams and initiatives think about federal strategies and engagement with members of Congress and federal officials.

Federal Policy interns provide general project support to the team, including tracking legislative activity, helping to schedule meetings, assisting with policy research, drafting advocacy materials, and attending hearings. Interns on the federal policy team are given opportunities to learn and participate substantively in internal and external meetings and projects on criminal legal reform and immigrant justice issues, where appropriate.

What you'll do:

  • Assist with monitoring and tracking activity in Congress and throughout the federal government relevant to Vera and the organization’s policy priorities and focus areas.
  • Conduct background research and prepare succinct and comprehensive memos on key policy areas of concern to Vera, as directed by team members.
  • Help schedule meetings, look up staff contact information, review time-sensitive documents and generally assist with administrative tasks.
  • Attend internal and external meetings on behalf of the Federal Policy team as directed by team members, and share notes on discussions and takeaways.
  • Other ad hoc duties as needed

What qualifications are we looking for?

  • Sharp and concise writing skills
  • Strong verbal communication skills and comfort with public speaking
  • Ability to work with people who hold a broad variety of political viewpoints
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite (especially Word, Excel and PowerPoint), email, Slack, shared documents and Smartsheet

Technical knowledge we need you to be prepared to use:

  • Proficient with Microsoft Office Suite or similar software, and basic knowledge of Zoom, Slack and Outlook. Familiarity with Smartsheet or proficiency in Excel helpful but not required.


Please note this role will report to our Washington, DC office. Vera interns and employees adhere to a hybrid schedule and are in-office on an alternating schedule. Full-time positions generally amount to 10 days per month. Part-time positions generally amount to 5 days per month.


The intern should be available to work up to 20 hours per week during the Spring. The dates will be between January 15th and May 3rd, with some flexibility to accommodate personal and academic schedules.


The compensation range for internships is $16.00 - $25.00 per hour. Actual compensation will vary depending on factors including but not limited to experience and performance. Applicants may choose to receive academic credit. For those who need to earn academic credit, Vera will gladly assist in working with the school or program to make arrangements and meet requirements.

How to apply:

Please submit cover letter and resume. In your cover letter, please explain why you are passionate about criminal justice reform and what you hope to gain from this internship.

Applications may also be faxed to:

ATTN: People Resources / Federal Policy Intern, Advocacy & Partnerships
Vera Institute of Justice
34 35th St, Suite 4-2A, Brooklyn, NY 11232
Fax: (212) 941-9407
Please use only one method (online, mail or fax) of submission.
No phone calls, please. Only applicants selected for interviews will be contacted.

As a federal contractor, and in order to ensure a healthy and safe work environment, Vera Institute of Justice is requiring all employees to be fully vaccinated and provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccine before their start date. Employees who cannot receive the vaccine because of a disability/medical contraindication or sincerely-held religious belief may request an accommodation (e.g., an exemption) to this requirement.

Vera is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without unlawful discrimination based on race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, prior record of arrest or conviction, citizenship status, current employment status, or caregiver status.

Vera works to advance justice, particularly racial justice, in an increasingly multicultural country and globally connected world. We value diverse experiences, including with regard to educational background and justice system contact, and depend on a diverse staff to carry out our mission.

For more information about Vera, please visit www.vera.org