Drug Policy Alliance is the nation's leading organization devoted to minimizing the harms associated with both drug misuse and the laws and policies that derive from the war on drugs. DPA's Office of Legal Affairs, based in Oakland, California, pursues these goals nationwide through impact litigation, legislative drafting for local and state bodies, and advocacy on behalf of public health interventions which address the problems associated with substance abuse at the individual, family and community levels.
The Office of Legal Affairs is looking for law students who are interested in contributing to creating real alternatives to the war on drugs as part of a multi-disciplinary office team. Projects might include: drafting and editing public education and litigation materials; developing and collecting research to support ongoing litigation; drafting amicus briefs; writing press releases and assisting in media outreach efforts; and creating and maintaining databases in public education and litigation projects.
The Office of Legal Affairs works on a variety of issues, including access to substance abuse treatment, including narcotic replacement therapies; provision of harm reduction services, including access to sterile syringes and overdose prevention programs; reduction of drug testing and other pervasive surveillance technologies; eligibility for public benefits for individuals with drug problems or prior drug convictions; lawful use and supply of medical marijuana and sacramental cannabis; adequate treatment of severe and chronic pain; combating the criminalization of pregnant substance abusers; reforming sentencing laws, including advocating for treatment instead of incarceration; and addressing racial disparities in drug laws and sentencing.
Qualifications and Application Procedure
The Office of Legal Affairs is looking for first, second or third-year students to commit to work at least eight hours a week during the spring or fall semesters or at least 20 hours per week (usually for 10 weeks) during the summer.
The Office of Legal Affairs also accepts internship applications from graduate students in public policy and public health, as well as academically talented undergraduates and recent college graduates.
Please send a cover letter, resume and writing sample to the attention of (email preferred):
The Drug Policy Alliance is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Women, people of color, and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply. We are particularly interested in hiring those who have been adversely affected by the war on drugs.
Note: Only those candidates under consideration will be contacted.