The Housing and Civil Enforcement Section (HCE) is a dynamic office with an active docket, including two new initiatives related to sexual harassment and accessibility for persons with disabilities.
HCE enforces five federal civil rights statutes:
- the Fair Housing Act, which prohibits discrimination in housing;
- the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, which prohibits discrimination in credit;
- Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination in certain places of public accommodation, such as hotels, restaurants, nightclubs and theaters;
- the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, which prohibits local governments from adopting or enforcing land use regulations that discriminate against religious assemblies and institutions or which unjustifiably burden religious exercise; and
- the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, which provides for the temporary suspension of judicial and administrative proceedings and civil protections in areas such as housing, credit and taxes for military personnel while they are on active duty.
Legal interns have the opportunity to get hands-on experience in investigating and litigating civil rights cases under the diverse array of laws that HCE enforces. In the past, legal interns have performed a wide variety of tasks, including:
- interviewing witnesses;
- researching legal issues;
- participating in trial strategy sessions;
- analyzing evidence;
- attending mediations and depositions;
- participating in site visits; and
- drafting memoranda, complaints, motions, and briefs under the supervision of attorneys.
Interns are assigned an attorney-mentor, and they also work closely with the attorneys for whom they complete assignments. HCE accepts interns for each semester (or equivalent) of the academic year and for the summer. For academic semester internships, HCE prefers applicants who can commit at least 20 hours per week for a minimum of ten weeks. For summer internships, HCE asks that applicants commit 40 hours per week for a minimum of ten weeks.