Internships

Internship and Externship Opportunities

HAC accepts law student interns and externs during the summer, as well as fall and spring semesters.  Interns handle their own caseload under direct attorney supervision.  Interns gain valuable lawyering skills while providing direct representation to clients.  Many HAC interns go on to become HAC attorneys after they complete their studies.

The Experience

HAC Interns and Externs gain valuable experience directly representing clients in claims for public benefits. HAC interns handle their own caseload under the direct supervision of attorneys on staff.  Interns will help to represent clients in claims for Federal (e.g. Social Security Disability Insurance, Supplemental Security Income, Medicaid and Medicare) and State or County (e.g. General Assistance, Food Stamps, CalWorks, California Assistance Program for Immigrants, etc.) public benefits.

HAC Interns are asked to work on every aspect of a public benefits case, including conducting prospective client outreach, interviewing new clients, filing applications and appeals, procuring evidence, developing case theories, communicating with administrative agency staff to ensure positive outcomes, conducting legal research, drafting legal briefs and advocacy letters and representing clients in administrative hearings.  HAC interns will also participate in the goal of providing barrier-free, holistic services by assisting clients with various needs such as accessing housing, food, utilities and healthcare.  Interns have numerous opportunities for client contact

HAC Interns receive hands-on and supportive, daily supervision.  Attorney supervisors do not just view themselves as supervisors, but as mentors as well.  Attorney supervision incorporates law school clinical teaching methodologies, including case rounds.

Time Commitment – Summer interns are expected to work 35 hours per week for 10 weeks.  Fall and Spring semester externs are asked to commit to a minimum of 12 hours per week in the office during the course of the semester.  The Homeless Action Center cares deeply about the health and welfare of it staff, including its student volunteers.  To that end, interns and externs will not be asked to work additional hours.

We Have Fun Too – HAC staff enjoy each other’s company.  We have our own soccer and basketball team (The HACStars) in local recreational leagues, as well as a staff band.  The Intern Program is full of opportunities to spend time with staff outside of the work setting.  Every summer, we have a cook-off with another local legal services organization and take interns to an Oakland A’s baseball game.  During the summer and fall or spring semesters, interns are invited to staff lunches and happy hours.

Qualifications

No previous training, coursework or experience is necessary.  Interested students should be committed to serving historically marginalized and underrepresented communities.  Proficiency in Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Khmer or Tigrinya is highly desirable.

How to Apply

HAC accepts applications for internships and externships year-round and on an ongoing basis.  Students interested in summer internships should aim to submit their applications on or before March 1.

To apply, please e-mail a cover letter, resume and brief writing sample to Student Intern Coordinator, Alan Dunnigan at adunnigan@homelessactioncenter.org.

Undergraduate Internship Opportunities

On occasion, HAC has opportunities for undergraduate students to intern.  Undergraduate interns are asked to perform many of the tasks that are assigned to law student interns, including conducting prospect client outreach, interviewing new clients, filing applications, procuring evidence and drafting advocacy letters.  Undergraduate internships are a valuable experience for students considering a career in public interest law.  To inquire about internship opportunities for undergraduate students, please e-mail Student Intern Coordinator, Alan Dunnigan at adunnigan@homelessactioncenter.org.