Law Student Opportunities
CLERKSHIPS AND INTERNSHIPS AT DNA
DNA is one of the largest Indian legal service organizations in the country, located in northern AZ, northwest NM, and southern UT. We serve clients who live in poverty, with their civil legal needs, such as consumer law, domestic violence, guardianships and other family law, landlord/tenant, employment and public benefits cases. We practice in tribal, state, federal and administrative courts. We have summer law clerk positions (volunteer, or Work-Study) available. Applicants must be able to live in remote areas, with no Starbucks in sight, and must enjoy outdoor activities, such as hiking in canyons, running, cycling, climbing and camping. Having a reliable vehicle means that you can work in one of our on-reservation offices, as opposed to off-reservation.
DNA finds local housing for students (either existing DNA housing, or staying with a DNA attorney). Students may have to pay rent, but the highest rent is $350 per month including utilities.
Clerk Interns do the same work that attorneys do, under attorney supervision: Interview clients, draft advice letters and “brief services,” such as help completing pro se documents or demand letters, legal research, drafting pleadings, and accompanying attorneys to tribal, state or federal court.
Hired students participate in a 2-day Orientation in Window Rock, where they meet all of the other law students, learn about federal Indian Law, learn about living on the reservation, and get the resources to learn to prepare pleadings, discovery, etc. We endeavor to send law clerks to attend the Navajo Nation Bar Association annual conference, where they can again be with the other law clerks, learn about Navajo laws and customs, and meet Navajo attorneys and judges. We organize a 2- or 3-day backpacking trip with the law students and other DNA staff in June; in the past, we’ve gone to Canyon de Chelly, Navajo National Monument, canyons in southern Utah, and Havasupai Falls (the western part of the Grand Canyon).
DNA-People’s Legal Services Summer Law Clerk (volunteer or work-study) internship is a 10 to 12 week program beginning June 1st and ending in August. This program is for students who have completed their second year of law school. Clerks are expected to work at least 40 hours per week during this period.
School Year Clerkships Interns
DNA school year programs are open to students in their second year of law school. The school year programs are semester long programs where students may work either for financial compensation or for school credit, they will be committed to the professional development of new attorneys in the field of Indian law. Each year DNA conducts a nationwide search for law school students to participate in its clerkship/internship programs in all of its offices. The paid positions are full-time positions (40 hours per week) for Hopi offices and the positions for school credit (internships) are full or part time positions.
The DNA-People’s Legal Services serves the information needs of the Native American People and the public. Opportunities exist for volunteers, non-paid internships, part-time work-study positions, and other federal funded programs.