Internships at the Student Press Law Center

Student Press Law Center
February 28, 2018
Washington, DC
Job Type


The Student Press Law Center is seeking two accomplished college journalists and a law school student for paid internships in Washington, D.C. for summer 2018.

The 10-week journalism internships commence on May 30 and conclude Aug. 8. The legal intern can begin the 10-week program earlier than May 30, at a mutually agreed upon date.

The living expense stipend for the summer internship is $4,900.

The application deadline is March 2.

Law Students

SPLC offers a summer legal internship for law students interested in careers that involve protecting the First Amendment rights of journalists. Intern duties will include conducting legal research, helping refine legal guides and fact sheets and writing stories for the website. Past legal interns have drafted amicus briefs and conducted survey research. The successful legal intern candidate will demonstrate a commitment to the principles of press freedom, and have studied copyright law and fair use, the Freedom of Information Act and open meetings laws. Applicants should have a background in journalism and superior research and writing skills.

You will work closely with SPLC's Staff Attorney and Senior Legal Counsel.

Journalism Students

These are open to undergraduate and graduate students as well as recent college graduates. We need storytellers to chronicle student media organizations in perilous times and help SPLC expand its audience and impact.

What it takes to be a stand-out candidate: Be a ranking self-starting editor who juggles multiple stories and engages in strategic planning. Have experience in accountability reporting, statehouse coverage, covering campus crime, government and/or school boards/districts. Tell us if you've ever filed a Freedom of Information request or dealt with attempts to bar you from a public meeting. Experience with using G Suite (especially Google Docs and Fusion Tables) is a plus. You should also know A.P. style.

Your portfolio should convey that you take complex subjects and break them down into fluid, explanatory news stories.

Experience in writing across platforms, video and podcast editing and understanding web analytics will show that you're a well rounded candidate.

You will report to Journalism Fellow Danielle Dieterich. Duties include:

· Balancing updates and breaking news on complex legal topics with longer-form storytelling on, its social media platforms and thrice-yearly magazine. Expect to work several stories concurrently. Many will center on the intersection of laws and how student news organizations battle intimidation and/or censorship.

· Breaking news about the SPLC’s New Voices and The Active Voice initiatives.

· Researching, writing and helping edit the Report, SPLC's magazine that chronicles the state of student press rights around the country.

· Taking a multimedia approach to stories, considering from the get-go how a story can be told not only with words, but with photos, video and sound, plus infographics and timelines.

· Drafting social media posts related to your stories.

· Pitching in from time to time to get organizational tasks done as assigned such as updating timelines and archiving and scanning documents for the website. We're a small office and work as a team.

Stipend and housing

SPLC pays a living expense stipend of $4,900 for 10 weeks. Many interns arrange to receive academic credit from their college or university with the endorsement of the SPLC.

The SPLC doesn't provide housing, but will assist interns in finding housing for the semester. Washington, D.C. has plenty of intern housing available, including furnished properties owned by Washington Intern Student Housing (WISH), which gives SPLC interns a 10 percent discount on general rates for spring and fall semesters.

Special opportunities for interns

News and current events junkies will love their summer in D.C. In recent semesters, SPLC has organized visits to The White House, visited with writers and columnists from The Washington Post, heard cases before the Supreme Court and attended First Amendment seminars at the Newseum.

About the SPLC

The SPLC is an advocate for student First Amendment rights, freedom of online speech, and open government on campus. The SPLC provides information, training and legal assistance at no charge to high school and college student journalists and the educators who work with them. Founded in 1974, the SPLC is a nonpartisan, 501 c-3 nonprofit organization that serves as nation's only organization dedicated solely to the legal challenges facing student media.

Deadline and How to Apply

Application packets will be considered on a rolling basis and must be received by email no later than March 2. Notifications will be made by March 23.

Assemble a single PDF that includes:

· A cover letter that describes your interest in and qualifications for being an SPLC intern.

· A current resume.

· Three samples of your news writing or active links to your work (legal briefs and other law-related samples for legal intern candidates).

· A recommendation letter that sings your praises and tells us how we can make you a better journalist or law student during your summer at SPLC.

· Names, telephone numbers and email addresses of two professional or academic references.

Submit your application for the summer 2018 internship to Director of Engagement Diana Mitsu Klos at The subject line should say, "Summer 2018 intern."

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