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Summer 2020

Nonprofit & Small Business Internship

Philadelphia VIP, the hub of pro bono in Philadelphia, recruits, trains, and supports volunteer attorneys who provide free legal services to low-income clients. 


LawWorks is the community economic development project of Philadelphia VIP that works with small business and nonprofit organization clients. LawWorks strengthens Philadelphia communities by providing these clients with pro bono legal advice and transactional representation. Philadelphia VIP seeks a highly motivated undergraduate student to serve as an intern with LawWorks. The LawWorks intern will gain valuable experience by:

  • Communicating with small business and nonprofit organization clients
  • Drafting written communication with diverse constituents
  • Implementing and improving processes to recruit clients and volunteers, following up on referred cases, and spreading awareness of resources through LawWorks

VIP values a diverse work environment and strongly encourages people of color, people who identify as LGBTQ, and people with disabilities to apply.


  • Passion for access to justice for underserved communities and commitment to VIP’s volunteer-based service model
  • Interest in community development
  • Prior experience in event coordination desirable
  • Strong organizational skills and keen attention to detail


  • Communicate with clients leading up to legal clinics to support their attendance
  • Assist with client communication after legal clinics to support them in applying for on-going assistance
  • Update written LawWorks materials, such as promotional brochures and client guides
  • Follow up on referred cases to get updates from clients and volunteer attorneys
  • Draft written communications to clients and volunteer attorneys to inform them of upcoming events and resources


Email cover letter and resume to Karna Laubenstein, Director of Operations,  No calls, please. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, with a priority deadline of March 13, 2020.

What to include in your cover letter:  We invite you to include a statement about how your unique background and/or experiences might contribute to the diversity, cultural vitality, and perspective of VIP’s staff team and legal practice.


Frequently Asked Questions

What sort of training and supervision can I expect?

This position is supervised by a member of the External Relations/Operations Team. Interns go through a two-week orientation process customized to their specific positions.

How many internship spots do you expect to have each summer/semester?

We have several internship slots each summer and during the school year, depending on staff needs.

Will Philadelphia VIP help me with obtaining academic credit?

Yes. If your school offers credit for internship experiences, let us know and send us materials. We want to support your professional development however we can.

Are interns paid?

VIP does not have funding for paid internships. We are happy to work with our interns to secure other funding, including fellowships and Work Study.

Is Philadelphia VIP an eligible Work Study employer?

Yes. VIP is a “community service” Work Study site. We are happy to make a Work Study contract with your school, and we require a waiver of the “co-pay” some schools ask employers to contribute. Contact your Financial Aid Office as soon as possible about this.

What is the internship schedule and commitment?

The intern must be available during normal daytime office hours. Summer internships at VIP start in May and run through August for a ten-week period.  School-year internships ideally start in August or January, and can be flexible with class schedules. We have found a minimum commitment of 12 hours per week in the school year, and 20 in the summer, provides the ideal experience for all.

Can Philadelphia VIP host or “sponsor” me for a summer fellowship?

Yes.  We encourage our interns to apply for funding and keep us informed so we can help.

Are there other ways I can work with Philadelphia VIP as a student?

Yes.  VIP has an ongoing need for interpreters and translators in various languages.