Houston Volunteer Lawyers (HVL), the pro bono service arm of the Houston Bar Association, is seeking interns/externs (“interns”) for the fall of 2022. HVL provides free civil legal services to low-income people who need assistance accessing help with family law, guardianship, estate planning, probate, tax disputes with the IRS, landlord/tenant disputes, homeownership, consumer issues, and bankruptcy matters.
HVL asks that interns be available for a minimum of 240 hours each semester. If you are requesting placement at HVL through a grant or for course credit, the grant requirement or your school will determine your hours/week requirements. At this time, HVL is not offering paid internships.
Virtual internship positions are available. For interns seeking to work from HVL’s office, HVL is located in downtown Houston at 1111 Bagby, Suite FLB300, Houston, TX 77002.
All applicants should have a desire to assist indigent clients; strong writing, communication, interpersonal, and organizational skills; and be a student in good standing. Priority is given to law students in their 2L or 3L year. HVL periodically accepts interns who are in college or who are enrolled in master/ PHD programs. Interns will have the opportunity to observe court proceedings. All interns will get one-on-one mentorship and training from HVL staff attorneys.
General Responsibilities of an Intern:
- Review client files
- Contact clients to obtain needed information to determine the best course of action and work with attorney to complete that course of action
- Schedule client meetings
- Draft affidavits and other legal documents
- E-file documents required to be filed in court
- Provide instructions to clients on where and how to file documents if proceeding pro se
- Send closing letters to clients and close client files
- Conduct legal research
- Assist with attorney referral summaries for a pro bono attorney
- Other activities as needed.
1. Veterans Legal Initiative Internship
The Veterans Legal Initiative (VLI) serves Veterans and their surviving spouses making up to 300% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines and living in a 17-county region surrounding Harris County. As an intern in the VLI, you can expect to speak with clients and potential clients, draft documents, conduct research, and assist with legal clinics.
2. Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) Internship
The LITC intern will assist HVL clients in providing legal assistance to low-income taxpayers in a variety of federal tax controversies. The LITC is seeking a motivated law school student to assist the LITC staff attorney and clinic director with reviewing client files, collecting financial information, and with database administration.
3. Family Law Internships
The family law intern will assist HVL clients in resolving family law issues including divorces, suits affecting parent-child relationships, adult guardianships, name changes for adults and minors, and other family law matters.
4. Probate, Title, and Estate Planning Internship
The probate intern will assist HVL clients in solving their real property probate issues, as well as assisting some clients in drafting their estate planning documents, including Transfer on Death Deeds. Probate assistance will primarily be drafting affidavits of heirship but may also include drafting small estate affidavits or applications to probate a will as muniment of title. The intern may also draft deeds so that co-heirs or other parties may transfer their interests in real property to another heir or person. The intern may also assist some clients with filling out HCAD (Harris County Appraisal District) forms in order to claim homestead and other exemptions for their real property.
5. Medical Legal Partnership (MLP) with Texas Children’s Hospital
The MLP intern will assist MLP clients with various legal issues that impact the health of the patient. These cases include guardianship, alternatives to guardianship, landlord/tenant issues, social security, and education. Depending on the COVID-19 situation, this intern may need to travel to the Texas Children’s Hospital (6651 Main St, Houston, TX 77030) in the medical center.
How to Apply for an Internship
Please send your resume and a cover letter to email@example.com. Please indicate if you wish to have a general internship or if you prefer one of the five Internships described above.
HVL welcomes applications from April 15, 2022 to July 15, 2022.
Priority for the fall internship will be given to individuals that apply by May 31, 2022.