Rutherford Summer Internship Program

The Rutherford Institute Summer Internship Program offers law students and undergraduates the unique opportunity to learn practical legal skills, while developing a critical understanding of constitutional law. The Summer Internship Program, open to qualified law students interested in receiving a grounding in critical areas of law impacting civil liberties and religious freedom, has attracted top students from law schools across the country and abroad. The program’s intensive lectures and course work are coupled with practical assignments related to the ongoing work of The Rutherford Institute.

Many students have made contacts through the intern program that proved to be beneficial in developing career opportunities. Former interns now serve in nationally recognized law firms, as clerks for federal and state judges and in leadership roles with various civil liberties groups, including The Rutherford Institute. But perhaps more importantly, Summer Interns at The Rutherford Institute learn that we all have a duty to rise above our self-interests and work to help fight human rights abuses. (Click here to read internship testimonials)

An internship at The Rutherford Institute offers:


Practical Legal Experience

Interns research and write legal memoranda and briefs for attorneys affiliated with the Institute in cases in state and federal courts throughout the country, including the United States Supreme Court.

Intensive Instruction in Law, Philosophy & Culture Affecting Human Rights & Civil Liberties

Interns analyze and discuss a broad range of constitutional and cultural issues under the instruction of attorneys who have practical and theoretical knowledge of their fields.

Direct Client Contact

Interns receive and respond to calls and letters for legal assistance from potential clients. Under the supervision of qualified personnel, interns gain hands-on experience in the art of integrating theoretical knowledge into real cases.

Opportunities for Cultural Enrichment

Charlottesville, nestled at the foot of Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains, is home to the University of Virginia, which was founded by Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson's home, Monticello, is just outside the city limits, as is Ash Lawn, the home of James Monroe. Montpelier, the home of James Madison, is a 20-minute drive from Charlottesville. The colonial city of Williamsburg, Virginia, and the nation's capital are also nearby.

Work Study, Independent Research and Externships

Work Study, Independent Research and Externship Programs provide law students with the opportunity to gain procedural and substantive knowledge through legal research and writing. Most of the assignments are for cases in litigation, providing a unique opportunity to improve legal skills while researching cutting-edge law.

The Rutherford Institute uniquely provides a way for law students to expand their legal education, increase their research skills and gain practical experience while attending law school through participation in these programs.

To Apply

First, second and third year law students are encouraged to apply. Undergraduate students are also welcome to apply. Please send a resume and writing samples to: