The Open Society Foundations work to build vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable to their citizens. To achieve this mission, the Foundations seek to shape public policies that assure greater fairness in political, legal, and economic systems and safeguard fundamental rights. On a local level, the Open Society Foundations implement a range of initiatives to advance justice, education, public health, and independent media. At the same time, we build alliances across borders and continents on issues such as corruption and freedom of information. The Foundations place a high priority on protecting and improving the lives of people in marginalized communities.
Investor and philanthropist George Soros established the Open Society Foundations, starting in 1984, to help countries make the transition from communism. Our activities have grown to encompass the United States and more than 70 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America. Each Foundation relies on the expertise of boards composed of eminent citizens who determine individual agendas based on local priorities.
About the Open Society Justice Initiative
The Open Society Justice Initiative uses law to protect and empower people around the world. Through litigation, advocacy, research, and technical assistance, the Justice Initiative promotes human rights and builds legal capacity for open societies. We foster accountability for international crimes, combat racial discrimination and statelessness, support criminal justice reform, address abuses related to national security and counterterrorism, expand freedom of information and expression, and stem corruption linked to the exploitation of natural resources. Our staff is based in Abuja, Amsterdam, Bishkek, Brussels, Budapest, Freetown, The Hague, London, Mexico City, New York, Paris, Phnom Penh, Santo Domingo and Washington, D.C.
The objective of the internship program with the Open Society Justice Initiative is to train participants on some of the methodologies used by public interest advocacy groups to foster and encourage reform, inclusion, human rights, and the building of legal capacity for open societies.
Specific Training Objectives
Based in Washington D.C., interns will be instructed, and receive hands-on training, on many of the broad range of activities involved in effectuating reform, human rights, and the building of legal capacity for open societies, including but not limited to, the identification of an injustice to be remedied, the formulation of a comprehensive action plan, and the research and writing involved in research memoranda, reports and studies associated with a project. The interns will receive their training in the context of the Open Society Justice Initiative.
With close supervision by an assigned mentor, interns will learn about the various tools available for researching issues, for engaging in oral and written persuasive techniques, and for drafting reports and legal memoranda related to human rights related initiatives, like the Open Society Justice Initiative. They will acquire knowledge and read about issues related to anticorruption, national criminal justice reform (specifically pre-trial detention, access to justice, and safety, security and accountability), legal capacity development, freedom of expression and information, equality and citizenship, national security and/or international justice. They will receive hands-on writing experience by, among other things, assisting OSI in drafting both legal and non-legal memoranda and drafting reports. They will receive research and analysis experience by assisting OSI in researching assigned topics through the Internet, Lexis/Nexis, foreign source materials, academic studies, oral interviews of experts, Library of Congress materials, and legal and political documents, and by analyzing related topic material. Interns also will receive real time training on the dialogues and other communications that are required in human interest initiatives like the Program by, among other things, assisting in drafting of related correspondence, print material and website content, participating in conference calls, and attending relevant meetings hosted by think tanks and government and non-government agencies.
For this internship program, OSI is seeking individuals currently enrolled in a relevant law school program who are highly motivated and have demonstrated excellence in prior endeavors. The ideal candidates will have strong communication, interpersonal and computer skills, a demonstrated ability to write effectively and analyze and summarize complex information, and a desire to function in a team environment. They also must be able to multi-task while remaining attentive to detail.
Upon acceptance, interns will need to provide a letter from their university indicating that they are receiving credit and/or funding for the internship.
Hours Per Week
Fall Internship: part time, max 19 hours/week
Please send a cover letter and resume. Include the internship code and which duration (January, Spring, Summer, Fall) in subject line: LRI-OSJI/DC.
Open Society Foundations
Recruitment Specialist – LRI-OSJI/DC
400 West 59th Street
New York, New York 10019