Fifty years ago, in its landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court held that the intentional segregation of students on the basis of race in public schools violates the Fourteenth Amendment to the U. S. Constitution. Subsequent federal legislation and court decisions also mandate that school officials not discriminate against students on the basis of sex, national origin, language status, religion, or disability. The Educational Opportunities Section enforces federal civil rights laws in a diverse array of cases involving elementary and secondary schools and institutions of higher education. The current docket includes cases and matters addressing desegregation, services and access to education for English Language Learners and students with disabilities, harassment and bullying, sexual assault, the school to prison pipeline, and the rights of immigrant students.
Law student interns in the Section have the opportunity to assist attorneys in research and drafting of pleadings and briefs, in discovery and motions practice, in enforcement of consent decrees and agreements, in investigations, and in efforts to review and draft policy guidance. Interns receive assignments from different attorneys and across a range of substantive areas.
The Section hires part-time and full-time volunteer legal interns for the fall and spring semesters, and full-time volunteer legal interns for the summer. The Section prefers spring and fall legal interns to work at least 15 hours per week, for at least ten weeks; and prefers summer legal interns to work 40 hours per week for ten weeks (split-summer requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis). The Section is particularly interested in applicants with demonstrated interest or experience in education-related issues.