The Access to Justice Internship Program has a two-fold purpose: to provide a unique opportunity for law student interns with non-profit civil legal aid providers and to provide on-going support for law students who complete unpaid internships with non-profit civil legal aid providers across the state.
The goals are to encourage students to help address the legal problems of underserved individuals and communities and to educate future attorneys about those problems. Each law student will provide direct legal services to low- income clients under the supervision of accomplished lawyers, while learning about access to justice matters, legal decision-making, advocacy skills, attorney-client relationships, and legal institutions. Each supervising attorney will provide the law student with a variety of experiences and assignments, including significant research and writing. Course/academic credit is not permitted in conjunction with participation in the ATJIP.
During the academic year 2022-2023, the Commission will provide approximately 2 to 4 internships to law students. The academic year internship will be for one of the following periods: Fall (September – December 2022) or Spring (January – May 2023). Fall interns may apply for continued funding for the spring semester during the spring application period.
Academic year interns will receive a stipend of $2,500 per semester for 200 hours of work. Students will receive payment directly from the Texas Access to Justice Commission and will be issued a 1099 at the end of the year. The stipend is considered taxable income and students are responsible for ascertaining their own tax liability.
Each prospective intern will need to contact his/her desired legal aid provider to secure placement and must include the provider’s name and the supervising attorney on his/her application. Only internships with civil legal aid providers in Texas who work on behalf of low-income Texans qualify. Judicial clerkships, public defender offices, and criminal work with the Innocence Project are examples of internships that would not qualify for stipends under this program. LLMs who are licensed attorneys are not candidates for the program.
Internship participants will be recognized on the Commission’s website, in press releases, print publications, and in local law school media releases.
To be considered for an internship, each student must:
a. Supervisors should ensure that each student receives an orientation about the mission of the office
workplace policies and procedures, resources available, and confidentiality of information, documents and
files. Supervisors are asked to provide training materials or a list of suggested readings to students.
b. Students should be assigned to do significant legal work. Supervisors are encouraged to assign tasks based
on their needs, keeping in mind that some projects and/or opportunities for observation are more suited to
student objectives than others. Supervisors are asked to plan challenging, varied assignments, including
substantive legal research and writing.
b. Supervisors are responsible for monitoring and evaluating the student. If students receive work from
several people, supervisors should be aware of the assignments and resolve any conflicts that arise.
Students may occasionally work with non-lawyer professionals, but the student's work must be primarily
legal in nature. Students are to meet regularly with his/her supervisor to discuss cases, proceedings, clients,
professional responsibility issues, and activities the student has observed. Such interactions help the
student develop insight into the role of lawyers.
c. Supervisors will be asked to complete a brief survey at the end of the internship to evaluate the ATJIP as it
relates to the student experience.
Available Placement Offices