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's work in New Orleans began in 2006, when the City Council invited us to assess the criminal justice system and propose reforms as part of post-Katrina recovery efforts. Since then, we have become a nexus for advancing evidence-based reform and have demonstrated that change is not only possible but within reach. In partnership with people leading and working in the local justice system, city leaders, and community organizations, we are working to end unnecessary detention and develop innovative, collaborative projects that improve the delivery of justice in New Orleans and throughout Louisiana.
Vera Louisiana is seeking two Legal Interns, (1) Spring, Part Time (1) Summer, Full Time, to provide a wide range of support for our ongoing projects, including advancing prosecution reform, jail population reduction, increasing investment in thriving communities, advocating for investments in mental health supports, and addressing Louisiana’s carceral impact in multiple parishes and at the state legislature. The Legal Intern will be supervised primarily by the Associate Director and will complete a variety of projects with other staff. This externship will provide an opportunity for the extern to gain knowledge and experience in research, writing, advocacy, local and state government relations, and criminal legal systems in New Orleans and other parts of Louisiana.
Research and analysis
- Conduct legal research and writing
- Review, organize, and analyze public records
- Observe criminal and magistrate court proceedings and City Council meetings and budget hearings
- Build legal research, written communication, and systemic analysis skills
- Attend coalition and partner organization meetings
- Build verbal and interpersonal communication skills
- Gain awareness about network of criminal legal system advocacy organizations
- Prepare for and engage in public policy advocacy
- Build persuasive advocacy and communications skills
- Gain knowledge about successful advocacy arguments and responses at a quick pace
- Provide support for planned events and other related responsibilities that may arise
- Build knowledge about ways that advocates build public awareness
- Gain experience in routine, professional responsibilities
Education and Experience:
- Currently enrolled in law school or post-graduate policy program
- Interest in a nonprofit career, particularly in policy reform and advocacy
- Ability to show initiative, ask questions, and adapt to changing priorities
- Attention to detail and strong organizational skills
- Excellent written and interpersonal communication skills
- A demonstrated ability to work with people from diverse backgrounds
- Demonstrated connection to Louisiana, New Orleans, or the Deep South
Required Knowledge, Skills & Abilities:
- Proficient with Microsoft Office Suite or similar software
The intern should be available to work up to 35 hours per week throughout the summer. Start and end dates are flexible.
Please note that this internship is located in New Orleans, LA.
Compensation and Benefits:
The compensation range for this position is $16-$25 hourly. Compensation is commensurate with educational background and work or other experience. Applicants may choose to receive academic credit for an internship/externship. 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.
Applications may also be faxed to:
ATTN: People Resources / Legal Intern, Vera Louisiana
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