Intern or Volunteer

The work of The Women’s Law Project (WLP) is sustained by a cadre of volunteers and interns. Positions are available in both our Philadelphia and Pittsburgh offices.

We accept applications for law interns and for graduate and undergraduate students seeking semester, summer, or year-long internships or placements. In Philadelphia only, we accept applications for college students, graduate students and adults of any age to work as volunteers in our Telephone Counseling and Consumer Education Service.

Legal Internships

For Legal internships, please put “Legal Internship” in the subject line, include all attachments listed below, and email to:

Please include the following:

  • An introductory note detailing your availability
  • Resume
  • Contact information (email and phone) for three references (at least one academic)
  • Legal writing sample
  • Unofficial law school transcript

We review and accept candidates on a rolling basis, but recommend applying well ahead of the date you would like to start your internship. The final deadline for submitting application materials for a summer legal internship is the first Friday in February of the summer internship year.

Undergraduate and Graduate Student (Non-Telephone Counseling) Interns

For all undergraduate and graduate internships, please put the appropriate internship in the subject line, include all attachments listed below, and email to:

For all internships, please include:

  • Cover letter, specifying hours/days/months of availability
  • Resume
  • Contact information (email and phone) for two references (at least one academic)
  • Sample blog post on current feminist issue (Check our blog for examples. Please submit no more than 2 typed pages, or 800 words max)
  • Philadelphia applicants only, please also include a completed application
Telephone Counseling and Consumer Education Service Volunteers (Philadelphia only)

The WLP’s Telephone Counseling Service provides legal information to thousands of callers annually relating to domestic violence, separation and divorce, support and custody, the legal rights of lesbian and gay parents, reproductive rights, employment, housing, and welfare. The overwhelming majority of our callers are women, and most callers are low-income. We offer several types of volunteer positions relating to this service. Each is discussed in detail below.  Volunteers must:

  • Be at least 18 years old, have completed one year of college, and be mature and dependable
  • Be compassionate listeners – able to relate to and help many types of people
  • Be understanding of and comfortable with feminist perspective
Telephone Counselors

Telephone counselors take information from callers about their concerns and provide legal information and extensive referrals in response. Counselors develop skills relating to the following:

  • Interviewing callers to identify their legal problems
  • Understanding the limits of legal information (as opposed to legal advice)
  • Helping callers to separate legal from non-legal problems and identify problem-solving strategies
  • Providing useful referrals to other organizations

Because of the intense nature of our work, counselors must be:

  • Available for 8 hours per week between 9am and 5pm, Monday through Friday, for at least 10 weeks (counselors typically work two 4-hour shifts per week, 9 am-1 pm or 1-5 pm, on different days)
  • Able to learn and understand precise and detailed information

Counselors do not need to have a background in law or social services, as the WLP provides preliminary and ongoing training, as well as close daily supervision. Initial training requires intensive reading, listening to other counselors take calls, and observing proceedings at Philadelphia Family Court.

Apply to be a Telephone Counselor

Please note the application process to be a telephone counselor is very competitive, particularly for the summer months. Please submit your application well in advance of the time you hope to be at the WLP.

Intake Workers

Volunteers who are unable to commit to the time requirement for telephone counselors may want to serve as intake workers, who take initial calls from people wishing to speak to counselors. They record basic information and assess the callers’ situations for urgency. They enter the calls into the counseling database and, when appropriate, seek emergency intervention by a trained counselor or supervisor. Intake workers receive training at the WLP by both administrative staff and the counseling supervisor.

Other Volunteer Intern Possibilities

It is common, especially during the summer months, for volunteers to do telephone counseling and intake, observe family court proceedings, and take on independent projects that advance the work of the Women’s Law Project. We are happy to work with academic institutions to provide evaluations, etc. If you are interested in becoming a telephone counselor, intake worker, or take on an independent project in our Philadelphia office, please send a message to Dabney Miller at dmiller@womenslawproject.org and inlcude:

Thank you for interest interning or volunteering with the Women’s Law Project.