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by Vault Law Editors | March 16, 2011


If you’re a four-leg fan and aspire to use your legal degree on Capitol Hill, the Animal Welfare Institute (“AWI”) has the perfect opportunity for you: a summer legislative intern position. Founded 60 years ago, AWI “has sought to alleviate the suffering inflicted on animals by people,” including animal experimentation, animal factories and activities that harm endangered species. AWI’s work “could be anything from helping endangered wolves stay on the endangered list to stopping the export of American horses for human consumption and slaughter to increasing whale and shark conservation to ending the shark finning,” says Christine Sequenzia, Federal Policy Advisor at AWI.

This internship may be particularly attractive to a law student aspiring to work as counsel to a committee. Interns attend AWI meetings with Congressmen and Congresswomen and can begin building connections. According to Ms. Sequenzia, contacts are everything in DC. And interns learn about lobbying. “The Hill is kind of a circle—you usually work on the Hill for a couple of years, and then you become a lobbyist,” she says. Interns will have the “opportunity to see it from the other side first . . . [to] see the lobby end of things before they go to the Hill.” Gaining this experience allows interns to understand where lobbyists are “coming from.”



Legislative interns at AWI will analyze legislation, work on vote counts, schedule meetings with Congressmen and Congresswomen, create materials for these meetings and generate spreadsheets. Ms. Sequenzia’s top criterion for interns is that they’re “willing to do the job that I’ve asked.” Interns also should be “very politically in-tune,” she says.

Not vegan or vegetarian? Not to worry—AWI focuses on animal welfare, but the organization isn’t vegetarian (in fact, its sister organization is Animal Welfare Approved, which “audits and certifies family farms raising their animals humanely, outdoors on pasture or range”). What’s important are a candidate’s attitude, passion for animals and interest in politics. See below for more information on applying to AWI’s legislative intern opportunity.

Application Period: April 1 – April 15, 2011 (Students are welcome to send in applications earlier, but they won’t be reviewed until this period)
Number of Interns: 2
Location: Washington DC
Compensation: Unpaid but eligible for school credit
Duration: 2 months, but start and end date are flexible
What to Submit: Resume and cover letter

Animal Welfare Institute Legislative Intern Information
Animal Welfare Institute site
Animal Welfare Approved site



Filed Under: Law