FLS Internship Posting
Law Office Intern
Farmworker Legal Services of Michigan (FLS) seeks interns to assist the Kalamazoo office with its advocacy efforts for Michigan’s farmworkers. FLS is a nonprofit, public-interest law firm that provides free civil legal services to indigent migrant and seasonal farmworkers throughout the state of Michigan. From its offices in Kalamazoo and Ann Arbor, FLS provides access to legal services to the approximately 90,000 eligible farmworkers and dependents throughout Michigan. The majority of farmworkers are Spanish-speaking migrants from Texas, Florida, and Mexico, while some farmworkers have “settled-out” in Michigan for years.
The legal problems that farmworkers confront include:
- Failure to be paid minimum wage for their work, or not being paid at all.
- Recruitment abuses and unexpected changes in the employment contract
- Substandard health and safety conditions in the migrant labor camps
- Inadequate workplace/field sanitation (toilets, drinking water, and hand-washing facilities)
- Confusion about immigration status, immigration laws, and governmental procedures
- Denial of equal access to public benefits, services, and accommodations
FLS Interns provide support to the attorneys and other staff at FLS with cases and projects. Specific tasks include:
- Reception and client interviewing: The assistant will greet clients in person and over the telephone and obtain general information regarding family, contact information, and income situation, as well as identify the basic legal need or problem. Some interviews may involve gathering more specific information from the clients.
- Telephone coverage: Interns help answer, screen, and route incoming telephone calls.
- Case and project assistance: Interns organize and maintain accurate and complete client files and administrative records, including records of outreach visits and presentations. Various assignments will involve using the copier, scanner, and fax.
- Translations: Interns translate documents into English or Spanish as necessary.
- Outreach: During the harvest season, interns visit migrant labor camps to talk to farmworkers. These visits sometimes occur during the evenings or on weekends.
Conversational Spanish ability is required in order to perform some tasks. Good oral and written communication skills are required. Prior experience working with low-income clients and in a professional office setting would be helpful. FLS has some available positions that start at $10/hour. The office often hosts interns who work here for course credit or on a volunteer basis. Part-time internships are available during the academic year. Full-time internships are available during the summer.
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Apply by email by submitting a resume, a list of three references, and a cover letter that confirms your qualifications to firstname.lastname@example.org with “FLS Internship” in the subject line.