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Summer 2024 - Law Intern, Sentencing Reform

Vera Institute of Justice

Vera Institute of Justice

This job is no longer accepting applications

See open jobs at Vera Institute of Justice.
Brooklyn, NY, USA
Posted on Saturday, January 20, 2024

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:

Vera aims to transform the criminal legal and immigration systems until they are fair for all. The Sentencing Reform project seeks to change excessive sentences that emerged in the “tough on crime” era of the 1980s and 1990s and are still prevalent. The Sentencing Project will work in up to two states to advocate for sentencing changes that deliver safety and repair harm through decreasing the use and length of prison sentences, and increasing the availability of community-based sentences that focus on accountability. Vera’s assets of advocacy, research, and strategic messaging and communications make us well positioned to take on this work, in coalition with others, particularly crime survivors.

The law Intern will conduct legal research about sentencing laws in different states, including recent changes to these laws. The intern will also look at how changes to laws have been implemented and what the practical and political effect of changes have been. The intern will report to the Director of Sentencing Reform.

What you'll do:

Legal and policy research

  • State, and local legislative research
  • Reading legislative bills and testimony
  • Researching scholarly and media reports about the implementation of sentencing reforms

Drafting written assessments of existing sentencing laws and suggesting areas for reform writing

Assisting with special events and programming like workshops and training.

What qualifications are we looking for?


  • Current Law Student

Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities you'll bring:

  • Proficient with Microsoft Office Suite
  • Overall structure of government and how It works.

Technical knowledge we need you to be prepared to use:

  • Zoom, PowerPoint, Microsoft Office Suite, Google, etc.


Please note this role will report to our Brooklyn 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 35 hours per week during the summer. The dates will be between June 5th and August 11th, 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 / Law Intern, Sentencing Reform
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.

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

This job is no longer accepting applications

See open jobs at Vera Institute of Justice.