Legal Department Internships

What kind of work will I be doing as an intern?

Legal interns will work closely with the legal team of Mercy For Animals (MFA) on a variety of legal issues relating to global farmed animal protection, advocacy, nonprofit administration, and legal compliance. Interns will gain exposure to many different areas of law and will have the opportunity to develop and explore legal advocacy strategies in support of farmed animal protection, assist in the legal aspects of MFA’s undercover investigations, and gain an understanding of some of the administrative and corporate governance tasks pertaining to general nonprofit administration. Speakers of Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Canadian French, and Hindi are welcome and will be assigned work on a global basis.

What is the deadline for submitting applications?

Application deadlines are July 1 for the fall semester, November 1 for the spring semester, and January 31 for the summer semester.

How long are internships?

Internships require a minimum one-month commitment. Maximum length is based on the interns’ performance and number of other applications we receive.

What qualifications are necessary?

Qualified candidates must be enrolled in or have completed law school at the time applications are submitted. Applicants from non-U.S. jurisdictions are welcome to apply. Applicants from outside the U.S. should be advised, however, that they may be required to secure a visa or other authorization to volunteer and reside in the U.S. for the duration of the internship. Applicants who have been offered an internship are responsible for securing their visas, including any associated costs.

Does MFA offer school credit?

Please check with your school about specific requirements to obtain school credit for your MFA internship.

Are legal interns paid?

We cannot offer paid internships at this time. But full-time summer interns may receive reimbursement (up to $50 USD) per week for meal expenses.

Will training opportunities be offered?

Yes. Training will be provided by MFA attorneys and prior experience is not required.

How many hours a week will I work as an intern?

Full-time interns are scheduled for 40 hours each week. Part-time interns are scheduled for 20 hours each week. But we try to reasonably accommodate varying schedules for the right candidates.

Where is this position located?

For fall and spring semesters, internships are remote. Interns attending school in Southern California, however, may arrange to come to MFA’s headquarters in Los Angeles. Summer internships are located at MFA’s headquarters, but remote summer internships for the right candidate may be considered.

What about housing?

MFA housing is limited to our Los Angeles office and reserved for full-time legal interns who do not live locally. Housing is shared with the apartment monitor and with other interns, typically from the legal and social impact departments. Currently, we can accommodate only two legal interns for two months during the summer and one additional legal intern for one month. If MFA housing is not available, we may be able to assist you in finding housing. Applicants must be 18 years of age to be eligible for housing.

Is there a dress code?

MFA has adopted a “business casual” dress code. While it is not possible to list every article of clothing that is acceptable or unacceptable, as a general rule, pants, collared shirts, dresses and skirts of an appropriate length, and suits are acceptable. If jeans are worn, they should not be ripped or torn. T-shirts are considered inappropriate unless they are official MFA-branded T-shirts. Additionally, sweatpants, exercise wear, and flip flops should not be worn to the office.

It is important for interns to project a professional image while at the MFA headquarters and while representing MFA at public functions by being appropriately attired. As a general rule, interns working at the MFA headquarters must be dressed in a manner that is suitable for impromptu meetings with donors, supporters, or professional visitors to the office.

Do I have to be vegan?

You do not have to be vegan to intern with MFA, although we ask that you not use or consume animal products in the MFA office, at MFA events, or in MFA housing.

Will an internship help me get a future job in animal rights?

A legal internship at MFA is a great way to gain experience in and exposure to emerging fields of law and learn about what it would be like to have a career within the animal rights movement. While we can’t promise anything, you will receive mentorship from MFA lawyers and make connections that could help you land a future career in animal protection.