The Special Litigation Section enforces various civil rights statutes, including the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act ("CRIPA"), 42 U.S.C. § 1997a, which authorizes the Attorney General to conduct investigations and litigation relating to conditions of confinement in state or locally operated institutions, including prisons and jails, to determine whether there is a pattern or practice of violations of residents' federal rights.
Additionally, through the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, 42 U.S.C. § 14141 ("Section 14141"), Section 14141 authorizes the Attorney General to conduct investigations and litigation to reform police departments and agencies involved in the administration of juvenile justice found to be engaging in a pattern or practice of violating federal rights. The Section also enforces the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. § 12132, to ensure that individuals with disabilities can access care in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs and wishes, in accordance with the ADA and the Supreme Court's decision in Olmstead v. L.C., 527 U.S. 581 (1999).
Finally, the Section enforces the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE), 18 U.S.C. § 248, and certain aspects of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000. The Special Litigation Section's website, provides additional information about the Section's work.
Interns assist attorneys in conducting preliminary inquiries, investigating, litigating, or monitoring compliance with consent decrees. Assignments for interns may include conducting legal and factual research, interviewing witnesses, making presentations, participating in case strategy sessions, and drafting memoranda, motions, or reports. Spanish language proficiency is desirable but not required; students indicating proficiency may be tested.
Attorney mentors work with each intern to ensure that the internship is a productive and rewarding experience. Mentors review interns' work, provide feedback on assignments, give advice, and sponsor opportunities to network with Special Litigation staff.
The Section is currently only considering applications from current law students. For the Summer, we prefer that the student work full-time for a duration of at least ten weeks. For the Fall and Spring Semesters, we prefer candidates who can work at least 15 hours per week.