Announcing: Paid 2020 Summer Legal Internship with CILA


Law students: are you ready to get out from under your law books and hit the ground running in the field of children’s immigration law? The Children’s Immigration Law Academy (CILA) is an expert legal resource center created by the American Bar Association (ABA). CILA’s mission is to empower Texas UC Champions, advocates who guide children through complex legal procedures, to do so with courage, competency, compassion, and creativity. CILA builds capacity for those working to advance the rights of children seeking protection through trainings, technical assistance and collaboration.

CILA is looking for law students with a passion for empowering children and immigrants who love to research novel legal issues in an dynamic legal field.   Learn the law while connecting with  immigration advocates on the front lines in Texas and collaborate with us to implement systems change.

The Details

  • 10-weeks
  • Full time
  • Paid ($5000 stipend) internship
  • ABA-CILA Houston office located within South Texas College of Law

Our training program will offer the opportunity to:

  • Understand the sources of immigration law and policy including working with unaccompanied children, removal proceedings, asylum and special immigrant juvenile status.
  • Enhance both oral and written presentation skills.
  • Learn practical trial skills for immigration court.
  • Learn practical lawyering skills including research, assessing legal options, and counseling clients.
  • Connect with the immigration legal community in Houston and across Texas

Internship Projects and Opportunities

  • Legal Research and Writing (50%): The Legal Intern would spend about half of their time assisting staff attorneys with research requests that come in from advocates around the state. Additionally, the Legal Intern will be responsible for 1-2 independent research projects to be completed over the course of the summer under the supervision of a CILA attorney.  The completed project(s) will be used to create original resources for advocates, shared on our website and in our newsletter.
  • Collaboration with Advocates (20%): The Legal Intern will have the opportunity to participate in 2-4 working groups depending on their scheduled time with CILA (our working groups are scheduled on June 10, July 8, July 21st, August 12th).
  • Training (20%): The Legal Intern will have the opportunity to participate in up to three trainings designed to empower advocates to better meet the legal needs of unaccompanied children.  CILA’s Texas UC Champion Symposium will take place on June 5, 2020 and will feature presentations from advocates around the state.  The Intern will be able to participate in the training, meet the speakers, and have the opportunity to introduce the speakers.  Additionally, CILA will present a webinar for advocates on emerging issues in representing unaccompanied children on July 14 for which the Intern will help prepare content with the option to present information in conjunction with CILA attorneys.  Last, the Intern will participate in the CILA/National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA), Advocating for Children in Immigration Court (a learning by doing program) on August 5-7th.  This program is a unique opportunity for attorneys and DOJ accredited representatives to practice trial skills for immigration court under the direction of faculty experience in both immigration and trial advocacy.  The Legal Intern will participate as a witness in the program which will provide invaluable insight into the immigration court system and skills.
  • Systemic Advocacy (10%): Through its unique lens as a statewide legal resource center, CILA identifies systemic trends and legal barriers to permanency in the United States for Unaccompanied Children.  The Legal Intern will have the opportunity to conduct legal research and help collect and analyze data that CILA collects to identify these trends and share with community stakeholders including the American Bar Association.


  • Applicants should have an interest in immigration law and/or working on behalf of children.
  • Applicants should have strong research and writing skills. Spanish language is not required.

To apply, please send your resume, a writing sample and cover letter to: by March 1, 2020.