Internship Programme

Photo credit: Laura Hilly

Photo credit: Laura Hilly

About the OPBP Internship Programme

Launched in 2010, Oxford Pro Bono Publico’s Internship Programme seeks to assist Oxford graduate students to undertake unpaid or poorly paid internships at human rights and public interest organisations. The internship programme is managed with the assistance of the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights in the Faculty of Law.

Through the Internship Programme, OPBP aims to:

  • encourage student interest and involvement in pro bono work and public interest law;
  • enable students to gain practical experience in these areas where, without financial assistance, they would be unable to do so;
  • put world-class legal skills at the disposal of organisations working pro bono in public interest; and
  • strengthen OPBP’s relationships with its partners.

 Over the past few years, we have awarded over £15,000 in grants from the Internship Fund and have assisted more than 25 students to undertake internships in ten different countries. OPBP’s internship partners have included organizations such as Human Rights Watch in the USA, the Centre for Policy Alternatives in Sri Lanka, StepChange Debt Charity in the UK, the Legal Resources Centre and Women’s Legal Centre in South Africa, Project 39A and IDIA in India and the International Labour Organisation in Switzerland.

Click on the links to read more about the experiences of our 20122013 and 2014 interns, or scroll down for more information about applying to the Internship Fund and hosting an OPBP intern.

OPBP Internships 2019

Eligibility

The Bonavero Institute and Oxford Pro Bono Publico Internship Programme 2019 is open to Oxford University students currently pursuing a research degree or a taught graduate course in the Law Faculty (BCL/MJur/MSc/MSt/MPhil/DPhil) or to graduate students from other Faculties within the University of Oxford, with a previous law degree.

The Bonavero Student Fellowships are open to the above and also to students currently in the final year of the BA (Jurisprudence) programme or those who have graduated from Oxford Law Faculty (including the BA programme) within the last twelve months.

Applicants may be about to complete their graduate degrees in Oxford or, in appropriate cases and after consulting their supervisor, may be seeking to intermit their studies in order to undertake the internship.

Applicants may apply to more than one of the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights Fellowships and the OPBP internships. Where applications are made for more than one fellowship or internship, applicants should indicate their order of preference with regard to the different fellowships and internships.

Applicants should demonstrate from their qualifications, especially their studies in Oxford, that they have sufficient knowledge of human rights law, public law, international law and/or constitutional law to make an effective contribution to their host institution.

Usually, applicants will have taken at least one of these law subjects in an Oxford taught programme, will have engaged in research in one or more of these subjects as part of their studies in Oxford and/or will have had practical experience working with human rights organisations

Application Process

The application process consists of a written application followed by an interview.

  1. Written application

If you wish to apply for any of these schemes, please read the individual scheme details and submit your application electronically to zoe.davis-heaney@law.ox.ac.uk by 12 noon Thursday 25th April 2019.

Please include the following documentation:

  • A completed application form (the form may be downloaded here)
  • Your CV (max 2 pages) which should indicate what previous work you have undertaken, relevant to your application, including whether you have been an active member of any of the organisations or groups linked with the schemes you are applying for.
  • Two letters of reference, preferably from individuals able to speak to your abilities in the field of international law and/or human rights law. In the case of current research students, one of the referees should be the applicant’s supervisor.
  • Official transcripts (scanned copies)
  • A letter (max 2 pages) explaining the following:
    • Explain your own reasons for wishing to undertake the internship (100 words).
    • Explain how your area of study is relevant to the chosen placement (100 words).
    • Clarify your preferences for the various placements.
    • If you are proposing an organisation to work with, please explain your proposed project (200 words). Please clarify whether this project is already confirmed, e.g. whether you are already in touch with the organisation.
    • Budget/ Planned Expenditure for the proposed placement (Travel, Accommodation, Subsistence, Other, TOTAL).
    • Other sources of funding (e.g. scholarship stipends, personal funds or college grants that have been granted to you in respect of this internship or for which you have applied) – please list, including amount.

Please make sure that all files are sent in pdf format and that file names include your name.

All applications should be sent electronically to zoe.davis-heaney@law.ox.ac.uk, by the deadline date.  Any applications received after this deadline or in the incorrect format, will not be submitted for review.

 

  1. Interview

It is planned that interviews will take place Thursday 2nd May and/or Monday 6th May 2019 (to be confirmed). Interviews will take place at the Bonaveo Institute, at Mansfield College, Mansfield Road.

Internships

 Women’s Legal Centre (Cape Town, South Africa)

The Women’s Legal Centre (WLC) is a non-profit law centre that seeks to achieve equality for women, particularly black women, through impact-based litigation, the provision of free legal advice, legal support to advocacy campaigns run by other organizations and training that ensures people know and understand the impact of judgements of the courts on the subject of women’s rights. The WLC also provides legal advice to the other non-governmental women’s organizations nationally and in Africa. The Centre has won several precedent setting cases that have improved women’s access to justice in South Africa.

The successful candidate will receive a maximum stipend of £2,000 to cover travel, living and other expenses associated with the internship. In determining the amount to be awarded, other sources of funding will be taken into account. The candidate will also be expected to provide a full report on their work at the end of their internship.

Project 39A, National Law University (Delhi)

Project 39A aims to trigger new conversations on legal aid, torture, DNA forensics, mental health in prisons, and the death penalty, using empirical research to re-examine practices and policies in the Indian criminal justice system. Their work is inspired by Article 39-A of the Indian Constitution, a provision that furthers the intertwined values of equal justice and equal opportunity by removing economic and social barriers. Issues of legal representation and intervention also lie at the core of Project 39A’s mandate. The Project is best known for its Death Penalty Research Project, a centre for litigation and allied research on the death penalty in India.

The successful candidate will receive a maximum stipend of £2,000 to cover travel, living and other expenses associated with the internship. In determining the amount to be awarded, other sources of funding will be taken into account. The candidate will also be expected to provide a full report on their work at the end of their internship.

OPBP Internship Fund: General Applications

OPBP also welcomes applications from Oxford graduate students who wish to undertake internships at other organisations engaged in work related to human rights and public law. Applicants must establish that they have been offered an internship by the organisation, and also provide a description of the work the organisation undertakes.

The successful candidate will receive a maximum stipend of £1,000 to contribute to travel, living and other expenses associated with the internship. In determining the amount to be awarded, other sources of funding will be taken into account. The candidate will also be expected to provide a full report on their work at the end of their internship.

Hosting an OPBP intern

Hosting an intern is a win-win situation: as well as providing a capable and highly motivated graduate student with invaluable experience, host organisations benefit from interns’ existing skills and knowledge and from their willingness to learn. If your organisation might be interested in hosting an intern, we would love to hear from you at opbp@law.ox.ac.uk.