Litigation Clerkship and Externship Program
The Stephen Hopkins Center for Civil Rights hires law clerks and externs in each of the summer, fall, and spring semesters. Clerks and externs perform hands-on legal work and heavily participate in the litigation process. They engage primarily in intensive legal research for cases on the center’s litigation docket. They are also expected to assist in drafting complaints and motions, interviewing clients, and developing litigation strategy. Every effort is made to match the interests of the student with the center’s projects. Clerks and externs work under the litigation center’s attorneys and director, on cases promoting economic liberty, property rights, and school choice.
Q. What can I expect to gain from a clerkship or externship?
A. Clerks and externs for the Center will sharpen their legal research and writing skills and learn first-hand about the litigation process. Additionally, they will learn the distinctive features of a public interest law practice, as well as the workings of a non-profit public policy and research organization. Clerks and externs also have opportunities to participate in the Center’s events, policy research, and lunch-and-learn seminars specially directed to students.
Q. Who qualifies for clerkships and externships?
A. Applicants must have completed at least one year in law school.
Q. What qualities do you look for in an ideal applicant?
A. Successful applicants have a strong work ethic, exceptional legal research skills, and an understanding of classical liberal principles. They also must be personable and have a good sense of humor.
Q. What is the compensation?
A. At this time Law clerks and Externs may receive class credit towards their J.D. degree and are unpaid. For additional financial assistance, we encourage you to contact your school’s public interest law organization (PILO) for grant and scholarship opportunities. Upon accepting an offer to work at the center, you may also apply for assistance through the Institute for Humane Studies Hayek Fund for Scholars.
Q. What hours do clerks and externs work?
A. Typically, Summer clerks commit to the entire summer, and the position is full-time (40 hours per week). Fall and spring clerks can work full- or part-time. Externs work the number of hours required by their school based on the number of credits they receive for the work.
Applicants with unique schedules should not be restrained from applying for clerkships and externships; hours may be flexible and work may be done outside the office in some cases.
Q. When should I apply?
A. Applications are accepted anytime. First-year students should wait until December 1st to apply for a summer position.
Q. How do I apply?
A. Mail a cover letter, resume, and legal writing sample to Matthew Fabisch at P.O. Box 17213, Esmond, RI 02917. Please note clearly in your cover letter (1) whether you are in your first or second year of law school, and (2) whether you are applying for a clerkship, externship, or both.
Q. Who may I contact to answer my questions about the clerkship or externship program?
A. You are encouraged to email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you may have.
Rhode Island's Leading Free Market Civil Rights Litigation Center
We encourage all students interested in working with the Center to contact us at Info@hopkinsri.org.