Pre-Law Internships

USD School of Law has established an unpaid internship program for undergraduate students considering a legal education upon graduation, and CAI is a proud participant in this program, along with the Center for Public Interest Law, and the Energy Policy Initiatives Center. The program is intended to introduce these undergraduate students to the USD School of Law as well as public service through the legal profession.

Interns in the Program work with CAI personnel and law students on a variety of research projects and assist with clerical and other tasks as assigned. Projects may involve helping staff conduct research for reports, reviewing and analyzing pending state and federal legislation, and drafting letters of support or opposition for CAI staff consideration, identifying and comparing each state’s laws on certain children's rights‐related topics. Once accepted to the Program, students will coordinate their schedules with the appropriate Center director. The weekly time commitment is typically ten hours per week.

Pre-law interns are encouraged to attend USD School of Law events, have the opportunity to observe at least one law school class, and interact with the school’s professors, students and administrators.

Please review the internship program information and qualifications attached (pdf). Fill out the application below and submit with the requested materials as a complete package.

Internship opportunities are based on project availability within CAI (and other Centers). At some times during the year, there may be no internship opportunities with one or more of the Centers.

Download the application (pdf)

Application Deadlines:

  • Summer Applications due by April 15th***
  • Fall Applications due by August 15th
  • Spring Applications due by January 15th



***Due to the Governor's emergency declaration and COVID-19 pandemic we will not be hiring any undergraduate interns for the Summer 2020 session.  Please feel free to apply for the Fall, however, at this time we cannot guarantee if we will be able to accept interns in August.  We will keep you updated if you apply.***

Meet Alexa Pre-Law Intern Fall 2019

Alexa SmithAlexa Smith is an Economics major at San Diego State University. She is also attaining an interdisciplinary studies minor through the Weber Honors College at the University. This past fall semester, she was proud to be able to work with the Children’s Advocacy Institute by aiding in projects that help protect children. Alexa has a passion for children’s advocacy work and hopes to continue with this type of work in the future. 

During her time as an intern, Alexa collected information regarding legislation to be monitored by CAI. She kept detailed records of legislation updates and summaries to be monitored by CAI staff. She also was able to gather research about various topics such as community-based approached care for children and gun violence reduction groups. 

Alexa hopes to apply to law school this upcoming Fall and continue her work to advocate for those who cannot speak for themselves.

Meet Zion Pre-Law Intern Summer 2019

Zion ReedZion Reid is a Finance major at the University of San Diego, as well as a member of the Army ROTC program. This past summer, he was able to intern under the Child Advocacy Institute.

Zion was proud to support CAI's mission to improve the lives of children, specifically as it pertains to the protection of students. As a pre-law intern, Zion provided weekly reports on legislation and litigation nationwide regarding predatory and deceptive enrollment practices of proprietary colleges. He also had the chance to listen in on conference calls with California advocates discussing policy developments related to student protection and for-profit regulation.

This was a wonderful and meaningful experience that Zion will carry with him through his pursuit of a legal education and onwards.

Meet Jennifer Pre-Law Intern Summer 2019

Jennifer AJennifer Arredondo attends the University of California, Irvine. She is a double major in Political Science and Economics. As a San Diego native, she is grateful she was able to undertake the USD internship.

Jennifer values helping children and being able to create a world for them where they can reach their potential to the fullest. At UCI she is a research assistant for the L3 Lab. The lab studies children development of language, cognition, and literacy skills. Therefore, her passion for helping children grew while she was an intern for CAI.

As a pre-law intern at CAI, her research consisted of constructing a policy memo based on the Children’s Online Privacy Act. She researched the gaps that exist in protecting children’s online privacy rights and methods to close those gaps.

Jennifer is grateful for this opportunity because it opened many doors for her. It also allowed her to experience USD in a manner she would’ve never been able to. She looks forward to applying to law school next year.

Meet Tabitha Pre-Law Intern Summer 2019

Tabitha BelsheeTabitha is majoring in Politics at Princeton University with a double minor in Statistics & Machine Learning and American Studies. She grew up in Escondido, CA and wanted to spend the summer before her senior year reconnecting to the San Diego area.

Tabitha is passionate about immigration policy and addressing the politics that have allowed the current system to commit human rights violations. Her past independent research at Princeton has focused on corruption among Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) personnel, and her senior thesis will explore how a failure to record and maintain data within CBP allows for these violations to continue.

As a pre-law intern at CPIL and CAI, Tabitha researched the records kept by government agencies on UACs (Unaccompanied Alien Children) and the process by which UACs are detained. This research informs legal action over an ongoing Freedom of Information Act request seeking information on the treatment of UACs in federal custody. Tabitha also performed research on the current status of AI in policy from an international, national, and state level. 

She looks forward to graduating and exploring other interests before applying to law school.

Meet Paul Pre-Law Summer Intern 2019

Paul AmmonsPaul Ammons is a senior at Saint Joseph's University majoring in Sociology and minoring in Political Science, Latinx Studies, and Faith-Justice Studies.  A proud native of San Diego, Paul was excited to connect his learned experience from the East Coast and integrate them into his legal advocacy work under the USD School of Law!

As a prelaw intern, Paul compiled research on state regulatory structures of massage parlors and their relationship to the proliferation of human trafficking in California.  Because of California's stats as one of the states with the highest rates of human trafficking, Paul sought to connect his research interests to governmental advocacy on behalf of survivors. 

In addition, he researched news stories on the detention of child migrants at the border to support CPIL/CAI in their efforts to secure transparency from federal agencies on their migrant detention practices.

Paul plans to attend law school, and will explore further interests through service fellowship opportunities.