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Law Clerks - Bay Area Regional Office

Law Internships

Disability Rights California is a nonprofit public interest law firm, established in 1978 under federal mandates to protect the legal, civil and service rights of persons with disabilities.

Our offices in Oakland, Sacramento, Fresno, Los Angeles and San Diego serve Californians with developmental disabilities (such as mental retardation, autism and other severe disabilities) as well as persons with psychiatric disabilities, regarding their rights within the mental health system, and persons with mobility and communication disabilities.
Over the years, we have been involved in important class actions and individual litigation regarding access to community-based healthcare, deinstitutionalization, voluntary mental health treatment, fair housing and discrimination issues under the Rehabilitation Act, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) as well as California law. In addition, we have also achieved positive systemic reform through our public policy and legislative work in the area of abuse and neglect against persons with disabilities.

Disability Rights California is actively involved with education and outreach to under-represented communities with disabilities. Students will find working with us a challenging and rewarding experience.
Law interns gain experience with:

  • Interviewing clients and consumers.
  • Providing information on self-advocacy.
  • Legal research and writing.
  • Legislative analysis and writing.
  • Representation at mediation and administrative hearings at school districts, universities, regional centers, Social Security and others.
  • Providing assistance to people with psychiatric disabilities who are incarcerated in psychiatric institutions to ensure the enforcement of their federal, state, constitutional and statutory rights.
  • Assisting clients file charges of discrimination with U.S. Office of Civil Rights for the Department of Education, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
  • Assisting in the investigation of serious, systemic and potentially life-threatening abuse and neglect in state and private facilities serving people with psychiatric and developmental disabilities.
  • Conducting trainings on the law and multicultural outreach.

Although a limited number of paid positions are available, preference is given to work-study and clinical students. In addition, our attorneys are willing to assist students in developing grant proposals. This position is open to students who have completed their 1st, 2nd or 3rd year of law school.
Before applying, please visit out website to review our Current Advocacy Work (http://www.disabilityrightsca.org/advocacy/current.htm) and our 2008-2012 Advocacy Services Plan (http://www.disabilityrightsca.org/serving/what.htm).
Note: Summer law student 10-week internships generally begin the first business day in June for a 37.5 hour week.

Interested applicants should send resume, brief writing sample (10 pages) and references (with telephone numbers) to:

Jung Pham
Law Intern Supervising Attorney
Disability Rights California
1330 Broadway, Suite 500
Oakland, CA 94612-2509

Inquiries may be made by phone 510.267.1200
or e-mail jung.pham@disabilityrightsca.org