Nearly a thousand interns have participated in Ayuda’s highly respected internship and training program over the years. Several have applied for jobs at Ayuda thereafter and joined our talented staff. Ayuda accepts undergraduate and graduate (including law and social work) students as interns. Ayuda internships are unpaid, but Ayuda is willing to assist the student in applying for externship/field placement credit and/or fellowships. All legal and social service interns have the opportunity to work directly with clients.
Ayuda internships tend to follow the scholastic year: fall semester, spring semester, and summer. Interns during the academic school year are generally required to work at least 15 hours per week, Monday - Friday, for 10-12 weeks. Summer interns are required to work 30-40 hours per week, Monday - Friday, for a minimum of 10 weeks.
All interns must be bilingual (Spanish-English) unless applying for an communications or fundraising internship.
Ayuda offers the following internship programs:
Ayuda Legal Internships
6925B Willow St. NW, Washington, DC 20012
Closest metro: Takoma Park (red line)
2755 Hartland Rd., Ste. 100, Falls Church, VA 22043 Closest metro: Dunn-Loring (orange line)
Legal Internship Descriptions
Project END (DC Office):
Ayuda’s Project END (Eradicating Notario Deceit/Eliminando Notarios Deshonestos) is a new, and innovative direct legal services project aimed at remedying the harm caused by notario or immigration consultant fraud through advice, counsel, and representation of victims of notario fraud in civil, criminal, and immigration proceedings. The internships include a mix of legal and policy research, outreach, and direct services. Responsibilities may include conducting research on immigration remedies for victims of fraud (such as the U-visa), state notario fraud statutes, and other remedies for victims of notario fraud; communicating with clients and potential clients; filing consumer complaints for victims of notario fraud; and assisting with civil litigation against businesses or individuals engaged in notario fraud.
Immigration Legal Program (DC & VA Office):
Interns will be working directly with clients of various backgrounds, carrying active caseloads of preparing filings for US Citizenship and Immigration Services and the Immigration Court under the supervision of experienced attorneys and BIA Accredited Representatives. Cases may also involve assisting attorneys in preparing custody, guardianship, or adoption filings in state courts for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status applications. The work includes client communication, relevant research, translation, drafting personal statements, preparing immigration forms, writing memos and briefs, drafting court motions and orders, advocacy with law enforcement and other agencies, and attending USCIS interviews with clients as an interpreter.
Domestic Violence/Family Law Program (DC Office):
The Domestic Violence/Family Law intern will have significant contact with clients from a variety of cultures and will work directly with the attorneys and clients in helping to prepare cases. They will also perform tasks that include, but are not limited to: conducting client intake interviews, accompanying clients to court as an advocate, drafting legal documents (i.e. complaints and motions), conducting legal research in complex divorce and custody cases, translating documents in English and Spanish, assisting the paralegal with Pro Se family law cases, and assisting in DV/SA related immigration cases. Applicants must be law students or graduates for this program.
- Spanish proficiency required (speaking, oral comprehension, reading and writing)
- Applicants who speak other languages (such as French, Amharic, Thai, Arabic), in addition to Spanish, are encouraged to apply
- Previous experience in immigration, domestic violence, family law, or consumer protection is helpful but not required
- Previous experience working with immigrant communities, victims of domestic violence, and/or LGBTI community is highly desired
- Must work well independently and together with a team of attorneys, paralegals and social service professionals
- Must be detail-oriented, well-organized, responsible, personable, and comfortable working with diverse populations from a variety of backgrounds
Start and end dates may be flexible – please apply even if your dates fall outside these ranges
Spring: January – April (ideally at least 16 hours per week) – Apply by December 22nd
Summer: May – August (ideally full-time for 10 weeks) – Apply by January 30th
Fall: September – December (ideally at least 16 hours per week) – Apply by August 15th
How to Apply
Submit all applications via email only to the addresses below. Applications must include a cover letter and resume. Please specify your desired start and end dates, availability during the week, and your preference for program and office location if interested in multiple programs.
Project END: Anne Schaufele at email@example.com
Domestic Violence/Family Law: Cat Walker at firstname.lastname@example.org
Immigration Legal: Denise Hunter (DC) or Madeline Taylor Diaz (VA) at email@example.com. In the subject line of your email, indicate DC or VA office placement preference
No phone calls please.
Applications will be reviewed as they are submitted and positions remain open until filled. Applications received by the above dates will be given priority.
Post-Graduate Immigration Legal Fellowships- DC and Virginia Offices
Ayuda’s DC and Virginia offices frequently host bilingual (Spanish/English) post-graduate legal fellows to work with our immigration team. Ayuda encourages applicants for post-graduate fellowship funding to submit applications to Ayuda to act as their host organization. Start and end dates are flexible. Candidates must commit to working a minimum of three months. Ideal candidates will commit to working six months to a year.
Ayuda’s Immigration Legal Program
Ayuda’s immigration legal team represents low-income immigrants from all over the world in immigration matters before the Baltimore and Arlington Immigration Courts, local Juvenile and Domestic Relations Courts, the Arlington Asylum Office, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Our work includes, but is not limited to, asylum applications, Violence Against Women Act petitions, U visa petitions (for victims of crime), T visa petitions (for victims of human trafficking), Special Immigrant Juvenile petitions (for abused, abandoned, and neglected children), family petitions, adjustments of status to permanent residence, naturalization (citizenship), Temporary Protected Status, work authorization, and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
Former fellowship proposals have ranged from particular areas of practice to general projects that involve assisting our legal team with the full range of our immigration practice. Ayuda has multiple areas of expertise and need. These include, but are not limited to, representing vulnerable youth, representing LGBTQ clients, representing survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, and representing survivors of human trafficking.
Examples of Post-Graduate Funding Received by Current and Former Ayuda Fellows:
Equal Justice Works Fellowship
American University Washington College of Law JD Distinguished Fellowship
Yale Law School Arthur Liman Public Interest Fellowship
Michigan Law Bridge Fellowship
University of Miami School of Law Legal Corps Fellowship
- Applicants must be bilingual in Spanish and English (speaking, oral comprehension, reading and writing)
- Admission or pending admission to a state bar required
- Admission or pending admission to DC or Maryland bar strongly preferred (for DC office fellowship)
- Admission or pending admission to Virginia bar strongly preferred (for VA office fellowship)
- Previous experience working in immigration law is preferred but not required
DC OFFICE: 6925B Willow St. NW, Washington, DC 20012 (Closest metro: Takoma Park)
VA OFFICE: 2755 Hartland Road, Suite 100, Falls Church, Virginia 22043 (Closest metro: Dunn-Loring)
How to Apply:
Please submit applications via email to Denise Hunter at firstname.lastname@example.org (for the DC office) or Cristina dos Santos at email@example.com (for the Virginia office). Applications must include a resume, three references, and a detailed cover letter describing how you would contribute to Ayuda’s work. Please specify your desired start and end dates. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.
There are currently no internship opportunities available. Please check back soon or reach out to one of our contacts below.
Immigration Legal: for more information regarding legal internships at Ayuda, please contact Denise Hunter at denise[at]ayuda.com
Project END: for more information regarding legal internships at Ayuda, please contact Anne Schaufele at annes[at]ayuda.com
Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Legal: for more information regarding legal internships at Ayuda, please contact Cat Walker at cat[at]ayuda.com
Social Services: for more information regarding social service related internships at Ayuda, please contact info[at]ayuda.com
Communications and Fundraising: for more information regarding administrative and fundraising internships, please contact Sarah Block at sarah[at]ayuda.com