Catholic Migration Services (“CMS”) is currently accepting 2021 summer legal internship applications for our Tenant Advocacy Program, Immigration, and Workers Rights’ Programs. CMS is a nonprofit provider of legal services primarily serving low-income residents of Brooklyn and Queens and is an affiliated agency of Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens.
Interns will be responsible for legal research, drafting legal memoranda and other documents, factual investigation, assisting in hearing/trial preparation, development of educational and outreach materials, client interviewing, and a host of other needs that arise in CMS litigation and advocacy efforts. Interns also may have opportunities to observe CMS attorneys in court or administrative agency proceedings. Due to COVID-19, it is likely that the internship work will be performed entirely, or almost entirely, on a remote basis.
The Tenant Advocacy Program (“TAP”) at CMS assists tenants – primarily residents of Queens – with a wide array of housing-related legal services ranging from brief advice to full representation in court proceedings. TAP assists tenants with matters such as eviction defense, obtaining needed repairs, combatting landlord harassment and rent overcharges, obtaining renewal leases, and obtaining rent increase exemptions for seniors and persons with disabilities. We typically litigate cases in Queens Housing Court and at administrative agencies, and also periodically represent clients in Queens Supreme Court and the Second Department. Because TAP also has tenant organizers, our legal team and organizers collaborate to lead community education events and bring group cases.
The Immigration Unit at CMS is comprised of three programs: Removal Defense, Affirmative Filings, and Naturalization. Removal Defense represents immigrants who are before Immigration Court seeking forms of relief such as defensive asylum, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, cancellation of removal for lawful permanent residents and non-lawful permanent residents, motions to reopen, and 212(C) waivers. The Removal Defense team also files affirmative asylum petitions, U visas, T visas and I-130 family based petitions associated with a removal case before United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”). The affirmative filings team files R visas, religious worker petitions, consular processing family petitions, Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) petitions, I-130 family petitions, inadmissibility waivers, I-90 green card renewals, and adjustment of status applications. The Naturalization team submits naturalization applications and N-600 (application for certificate of citizenship for people who derived or acquired US citizenship through their parents) applications before USCIS. We are seeking summer interns to assist with our removal defense and affirmative work.
The Workers’ Rights Program at CMS works towards strengthening the enforcement of workers’ rights through affirmative litigation, policy reform, individual representation, and community education. In collaboration with workers’ centers and community-based organizations citywide, the Workers’ Rights Program provides advice and representation to hundreds of low-income and immigrant workers each year facing a range of problems, including wage theft, entitlement to paid and unpaid leave (family leave, sick leave, etc…), discrimination, unemployment insurance, and other basic workplace rights. The Workers’ Rights Program represents clients at various city, state and federal enforcement agencies, as well as in state and federal courts.
Applicants should be currently enrolled in an ABA accredited law school. The internship is unpaid, however CMS will support the applicant’s effort to obtain funding from outside sources (e.g., their law school, Equal Justice America, etc…). Interns must be able to commit to a schedule of 35 hours per week for at least 8 weeks.
Interested applicants should email a cover letter, resume, writing sample, and three references directly to the program to which they are applying:
For Immigration Internships (Please direct your application materials to the intended unit):
Supervising Attorney, Removal Defense Project
Supervising Attorney, Affirmative Filings Unit
For Tenant Advocacy Internships:
Managing Attorney, Tenant Advocacy Program
For Workers’ Rights Internships:
Managing Attorney, Workers’ Rights Program