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Law Clerk Intern (Health Program, Fall Term)


The Law Foundation of Silicon Valley advances the rights of historically excluded individuals and families across Santa Clara County through legal services, strategic advocacy, and educational outreach. Now with over 90 employees, the Law Foundation is the largest provider of free legal services in the South Bay. Located in downtown San Jose, the Law Foundation is a dynamic and interesting place to work. We pride ourselves on fostering a work environment that is motivating, collaborative and fun, with plenty of opportunities for professional growth. We are working towards a Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC)-centered, community and movement lawyering-based legal services practice.




The Health program at Law Foundation is seeking law clerks to help with various projects within our Economic Rights and Patients’ Rights Programs. The Economic Rights Unit provides legal assistance and representation regarding problems related to public benefits, such as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medi-Cal, as well as general legal services related to consumer law, employment law, simple estate planning, and more. You will have the opportunity to help clients obtain benefits or prevent the loss of benefits to which they are entitled. This includes representation at administrative law hearings. Your Patients’ Rights responsibilities may include: 1) assisting advocates and attorneys with representing patients in locked psychiatric facilities in administrative hearings to challenge involuntary detention for mental health treatment or to preserve a patients’ right to refuse psychiatric medications; 2) helping to investigate and resolve complaints from recipients of mental health services regarding improper denials of patients’ rights; 3) monitoring and challenging mental health facilities and services for compliance with statutory and regulatory patients’ rights provisions; and 4) helping to provide technical assistance, training, and outreach to mental health providers, consumers, and community members.  You will have the opportunity to help with cutting edge legal research and advocacy efforts regarding impact litigation and community advocacy efforts regarding health issues in Santa Clara County.


Job Duties

  1. Written, telephone and in-person correspondence.
  2. Legal research and writing.
  3. Client intake and interviewing.
  4. Legal drafting, including letters, forms, and hearing briefs.
  5. Potential for client representation in an Administrative Law Judge hearing.
  6. Potential for presentations.
  7. Monitor mental health facilities for compliance with patients’ rights laws, including laws governing the use of seclusion, restraint, and involuntary medication, and due process requirements for involuntary mental health treatment;
  8. Respond to referrals and requests for technical assistance from community-based organizations.
  9. Help build deeper relationships with Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and AAPI communities and critical stakeholders to shape a more robust health equity lens.

The Law Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Affirmative Action Employer. We value having staff who come from communities that are most impacted by our issues. For example Black, Indigenous, Latinx, AAPI, and other people of color, womxn, people living with disabilities, older people, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people are encouraged to apply. It is the policy of the Law Foundation to prohibit discrimination and harassment of any type and to afford equal employment opportunities to employees and applicants, without regard to race, color, ethnicity, ancestry, religion, age, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, pregnancy, medical condition or genetic information, veteran status, national origin, disability, marital or other protected status. The Law Foundation will conform to the spirit, as well as the letter of all applicable laws and regulations.


More information regarding the Law Foundation is available on our website:




Desired Qualifications

  1. Ability to identify, investigate, and resolve client problems.
  2. Ability to analyze, write and present ideas clearly and concisely.                                                       
  3. Ability to work independently and as part of a team.
  4. Strong commitment to civil rights and the rights of mental health consumers, individuals living with HIV or AIDS, and other disabilities, and individuals from BIPOC and LGBT communities.
  5. Ability to treat mental health consumers and/or other disabilities with dignity and respect.
  6. Connections to and experience working with communities of color and people living with disabilities.
  7. Candidates of historically excluded communities from different racial, ethnic, cultural and linguistic backgrounds, persons living with disabilities, and members of the LGBTQ community encouraged to apply.
  8. Experience in using Microsoft Word and Excel.
  9. Willingness and ability to work as part of a team.



School year internships are full- or part-time, generally requiring a 10 hours per week minimum commitment. Students on the semester system must be able to commit to working at least 12 weeks. Students on the quarter system can serve shorter quarter-long internships. We greatly prefer that part-time interns commit to working longer days (i.e., two five-hour days rather than five two-hour days) and recommend that students commit as many days a week as possible for the best internship experience. School year interns must earn academic credit as determined by their law or graduate schools.


Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Law Foundation of Silicon Valley employees are currently working remotely for the foreseeable future, subject to some exceptions. The Law Foundation has implemented rigorous health and safety protocols to minimize risk of exposure for staff who occasionally need, or want, to work from the office.  Due to the COVID-19 crisis and its impact on personal lives, the Law Foundation is open to providing flexibility regarding work schedules to the extent feasible for the position.

To Apply: 


Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until position is filled. Please submit the following via email to (1) a resume and (2) a cover letter that explains why you are interested in an internship with us, and a paragraph that addresses the question below:


In order to best serve our clients and our community, the Law Foundation is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace in which differences are acknowledged and valued. How has your personal background or experiences, professional or otherwise, prepared you to contribute to social justice, race equity and diversity among our staff?



Submission Deadline: 
July 30, 2021
Organization Information: 
Law Foundation of Silicon Valley
4 North Second Street, Suite 1300
San Jose, CA 95113
United States
Phone: 408-280-2435