JUSTICE internships Q&A

What an intern does and timings

How is JUSTICE working given physical distancing requirements?

All JUSTICE staff are currently working from home using our remote system. We have weekly catch up calls as a whole team and within departments, and regularly catch up with each other using Zoom or on the phone. Andrea runs a remote yoga session each Monday, we have drinks on Friday after work and we had a pub quiz a few weeks ago which was great fun!

Given the physical distance requirements, how will the internship work?

For the foreseeable future, we will all be working from home. Our interns will do the same. All inductions, meetings and evidence gathering will take place virtually. Should government distancing requirements be lifted we will consider returning to working from our base in London, though there will be no rush. We can work effectively remotely. If the current measures are lifted during the internship, we will be flexible if interns would prefer to continue to work remotely.

What does a JUSTICE intern do on a typical day?

The main tasks are carrying out legal research and meeting with stakeholders and professionals to work through issues of concern in our justice system. The legal team works on the following areas of law reform: criminal, civil (including family), administrative and system-wide reform. Therefore, the individuals and bodies we work with vary depending on the area of law. For example, an intern focussing on the criminal justice system might engage with the Crown Prosecution Service, the Sentencing Council, the judiciary, and the police.

Other responsibilities include help drafting consultation responses to government bodies (including HMCTS, Ministry of Housing, Justice Committee) and assisting with research around proposed legislation – for example, the recent Coronavirus Bill.

As the Summer and Autumn internships, and the Kalisher Internship are advertised at the same time, can we apply for all simultaneously or are the application processes distinct?

The Summer and Autumn internship application processes are identical. You can just fill in the one application form, indicating that you would like to be considered for both internships. Alternatively, you may just want to apply for the internship that suits you best. The criteria for the Kalisher Internship are different, as the funding is provided by the Kalisher Trust. For this internship you need to complete a different application form, for which you will need to evidence your interest in a future at the Criminal Bar and to demonstrate that you are a person of modest means. The latter is tested at the interview.

When approximately might the Summer Internship start and finish? The Autumn Internship? What about the Kalisher Internship?

The Summer internship can start anytime over June or July, lasting for three months. The Autumn internship can start anytime over September or October. The Kalisher Internship will run for three months, starting between September and November.

Application process and interview: Can I apply for more than one internship?

You can apply for more than one internship. Please just make sure you follow the application process and complete the correct forms for each. You can apply for the Summer and/or Autumn internship within the same application form, just note this in the box within the form.

How many applicants do you typically get for the Summer internship?

The number of applications seems to vary drastically. Some years we have had 50, other years we have had over 200!

I am a final year LLB student. I have almost finished my studies and have a good idea of my final grade. Should I apply?

We will consider applications from students in this position, though obviously you will be competing against graduates.

Do you consider mature students who are studying law as a second career for your internships?

Yes, we welcome law graduates of all kinds. We have appointed mature students in the past.

You’ve advertised the internships full-time. Can you offer the flexibility of interning part time?

Yes, appointments can be made on a part-time basis.

Do you consider law students from other countries?

Given that our work focusses exclusively on justice reform in the UK, successful candidates will have a UK law degree or have studied the conversion course (GDL) in the UK. An LLM or PhD focussed on the UK justice system would be fine.

With so many applicants, how can we stand out?

We do receive a lot of applications. You can distinguish your application by: taking time to understand JUSTICE’s work and reflect this in your answers; making clear how your skills and experiences are transferrable to JUSTICE’s needs; investing time and thought to the questions about law reform and thoroughly proof-reading your work. It is very clear to us when candidates have just cut and paste material from other applications – we frequently read about how much people want to work at Liberty!

Do you prefer a one-page covering letter and how long should my CV be?

You are required to complete an application form. Please do not send us a CV or covering letter.

How many people will you interview?

Ordinarily we interview four or five candidates for each position.

Are there any specific qualities that you look for in an intern?

The person specification sets out the qualities that we are looking for in an intern.

Are the questions asked during the interview technical in nature?
The questions during the interview are not strictly technical, though they require understanding of the UK’s legal system and an awareness of JUSTICE’s policy remit and the issues we work on. Our Working Party reports, briefings and consultation responses are available on our website and give an indication of the kinds of human rights issues we focus on as an organisation.

Is substantial experience in human rights (through internships/volunteering) a must for an internship at JUSTICE?

Volunteering – for example at a human rights charity or law centre – demonstrates an interest in social justice and can develop relevant skills in candidates. At the same time, we recognise that not everyone is able to volunteer or undertake internships because of other obligations. We are frequently impressed by people who have balanced their studies with working in a pub or at a shop, and the personal qualities and value that brings.

How will the interviews take place during the current social distancing?

Interviews will take place by Zoom.

Other questions

When will the next internship opportunities become available?

We will be on the hunt for at least one more intern over Winter. The application process for this will begin in late September.

Can you provide visas?

We can provide the certificate of sponsorship for the Tier Five visa if required.

Does JUSTICE help interns when they are applying for scholarships or pupillage or training contracts?

Interns very much part of the fabric of JUSTICE and our staff are always keen to support interns with the onward progression of their careers.

I am not able to join as a member of JUSTICE, can I still apply?

Yes, please just email membership@justice.org.uk and you will get a response from a member of staff.

I’ve signed up as a member but haven’t received my membership number yet. When will I receive it?

If you have signed up as a member close to the closing date, please explain this on your application and submit it. It can take a while to process all of the memberships so please just apply and we will double check that you are a member.

To learn more about our internship roles and how working at JUSTICE is like you can watch this internship webinar recorded on 9 April 2020

Hear from our previous interns here