Law & Public Service

Law and Public Service Gaucho Path Way encompasses: law, public service, think tanks, NGOs, and government.

One of the most important steps in your career development is gaining experience, such as internships. These opportunities help you connect your academic preparation to the world of work as you explore career fit and strengthen your resume to become competitive for either occupations or graduate school. Some occupations may also have common paths to gain experience and enter the field. For instance, certain industries and organizations may provide more opportunities to gain experience through volunteering rather than starting with a formal internship. It’s important to explore those paths and qualifications of the field to help inform your own goals in gaining experience.

Not sure where to start? Check out Get Started & Find Opportunities


Strategies to Gain Experience in Law and Public Service

The career opportunities related to these areas are broad and diverse. For students and young professionals, it’s important to seek related experience that you can continue to build upon. Opportunities related to legal services, advocacy, and administrative services exist within non-profit settings in various roles. Some may seek opportunities within court services and grant writing, legal research, paralegal, program coordination and many other areas. These areas afford a broad overview of Law and Public Service while allowing for specialization over time.

Be open minded as you review openings on Handshake and other job boards to consider positions that provide experience in the different branches of business, in both people-facing and finance-facing roles, and consider developing related research skills.

  • Get involved with campus organizations that relate to your interests and become an active member in a finance-related student organizations and business fraternities
  • Consider internships and leadership roles that focus on legal services and research, as well as non-profit organizations as those roles are closely related to your chosen field.
    • Think broad when you search for positions as employers may recruit for interns using skill-based terms such as writing in, social media, legal research or outreach.
    • Get involved with campus organizations related to your interests, such as Mock Trial Team, Model United Nations, Legal Education Association for Diversity(LEADS), and consider other organizations and pursue a leadership role that lets you practice your writing, public speaking and other interests to prepare for your career.

Sites with Listings and On-Campus Recruitment Events

Sites with Listings


On-Campus & Local Internships & Related Opportunities


  • UCSB ADP Court Representative - The UCSB Alcohol and Drug Program (ADP), under the auspices of Student Health, offers a wide range of services to the UCSB Community.  The role of the UCSB Alcohol and Drug Program, Student Program Assistant is to offer adminstrative support to our team of professionals.
  • UCSB Alcohol and Drug Program Internship - The Alcohol and Drug Program; under the auspices of Student Health Services, offers a variety of volunteer and paid internship experiences for UCSB Students. Volunteers and Interns help with education and outreach efforts on the UCSB campus as well as in the Isla Vista community.  ADP interns work an average of 8-10 hours per week.  All majors and class levels are encouraged to apply.  Recruitment for the following positions occurs during Spring Quarter of the academic year prior to starting the internship.
  • Associated Students - The Associated Students (A.S.) of the University of California, Santa Barbara is non-profit organization and a department of the UCSB campus, funded by undergraduate student fees. Through elected student positions and appointments we voice student concerns and express student opinion to the UCSB administration, UC system, our community, and state and local governments. We have dozens of boards, committees, and commissions that are organized and funded through A.S. to enrich student life and give students services and opportunities not offered by the administration. Our mission is to help students uphold the high academic standards and give them leadership, employment, cultural and growth opportunities to serve the campus community.
  • Department of Political Science Research Opportunities - UCSB Political Science Department does research in American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, Political Theory, Politics of Identity, Politics of the Environment, and Methods.
  • Larry Adams Scholarship in Public Policy - The Larry Adams Scholarship in Public Policy is open to upper division Political Science majors only who have a strong GPA and are willing to work a minimum of 10-12 hours per week in an otherwise unpaid internship in a local government agency; $1000 stipend.
  • Legal Education Association for Diversity - LEAD, or Legal Education Association for Diversity, is an organization dedicated to students of color on the path to law school. LEAD promotes brotherhood/sisterhood among driven and diverse students of color interested in law by creating strong relationships, mentorships, community involvement, resources, and providing information to facilitate the transition between college and law school.
  • Mock Trial Team - Mock Trial allows undergraduate students to take on the roles of attorneys and witnesses, acting out a fictitious case while competing against the mock trial teams of other universities. You are scored not only on content but also on performance.
  • Phi Alpha Delta - The brothers and sisters of Phi Alpha Delta, UCSB's only Co-ed Pre-Law Fraternity, are a diverse group of like-minded Gauchos who are interested in legal career paths and are involved in our local community. Our brothers and sisters have numerous legal resources at their disposal that allows them to prepare for their future careers in the legal field. Many of our alumni have achieved successful careers within the legal profession and offer current members a spanning network of connections in order to help them succeed.
  • On-Campus Jobs handout - This handout gives you an overview of on-campus locations that hire throughout the year.
  • Education Abroad Program - Integrate study abroad into your college academic plan and explore the many internship and volunteer opportunities available to EAP students abroad.
  • Greek Life—Joining a fraternity or sorority at UCSB is a great way to open doors to countless opportunities and activities; Office of Student Life (OSL)
  • Leadership Development—We are committed to teaching leaders how to organize efficient and effective action toward a goal. We assist leaders to identify their short- and long-term leadership objectives with the philosophy that a leader will also be most effective when she/he is cognizant of and committed to her/his unique set of values and interests; Office of Student Life (OSL)
  • Leadership Certificate Program - The Leadership Certification Program develops awareness, understanding and application of various leadership theories and practices in environments that support leaders with a wide variety of individual interests.
  • The Leadership Challenge - Whether you want to step into the corporate realm with an edge or you want to plan the ultimate weekend music festival, this world-renowned workshop is for YOU! Through participation in the series, you will learn The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership—five easy to remember, over-arching leadership practices that will yield results every time. This is a seminar series that will take place weekly through week nine. (Jan: 21, 28 Feb: 4, 11, 18, 25 Mar: 3)
  • Student Organizations—Office of Student Life (OSL) - Explore organizations related to professional interests as well as the extracurricular activities you enjoy doing in your spare time.
  • UCDC & UCCS - The University of California Washington Program and the Center in Sacramento provide UCSB students with a unique opportunity to live, work as interns, and study in our nation’s political and cultural epicenter, Washington, D.C, and observe the public policy process in our state's capital, Sacramento. 
  • Undergraduate Research - Look into research programs on campus and also speak with faculty who specialize in areas you are interested in to inquire about possible opportunities.
  • Faculty Research Assistance Program (FRAP) Directory  - The FRAP Directory allows students to identify UCSB faculty who are looking for undergraduate students to participate in their research projects or creative activities.
  • The Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (URCA) - URCA encourages undergraduates conducting independent research project or creative activities to apply for funding to support these efforts.
  • Sports Management Certificate- This program offers a chance to gain insight to the sports management industry from both academic and practical perspectives.
  • Health and Wellness Certificate- This certificate provides students with experience in the field of wellness (including public health).
  • Project Management Certificate- This program helps students develop the skills needed to complete projects on task, on time, and on budget. It also provides  training in classic aspects of project management as well as the newer approaches, including use of specialized software.
  • Strategic Business Certificate- This program helps students to gain a solid foundation in important business strategy areas; including accounting, business formation and law, finance, and the foundations of strategy.
  • Paralegal Studies Certificate-This program offers real-world exposure to the legal field, an understanding of the legal system, and substantive and procedural legal knowledge along with practical applications.
  • Fund for the Public Interest Internship- This organizations hires interns to work towards advocating for a variety of causes through holding press conferences, organizaing educational events, and increasing public support.
  • Life of the Party Peer Internship- Life of the Party Peer Leaders have the opportunity to develop and implement various alcohol and other drug prevention campaigns targeting both the UCSB and Isla Vista communities. This leadership position involves working with student committees to conduct field research about student opinion, create campaign materials, and develop effective strategies to disseminate the campaign messages.  Peer Leaders will help with print (brochure, newspaper articles, press releases) and online promotion (social media, email marketing). In addition, interns will be trained as Peer Facilitators and will provide educational presentations for various student groups on campus as requested. The LOTP internship requires at least one full school year commitment September - June and optional summer opportunities.


  • City of Carpinteria - Volunteers provide a broad source of expertise, talent, and support for City programs. Volunteers assist with special events, greet visitors, foster animals, conduct tours, clean up creeks and so much more.
  • City of Goleta - Each fall the City of Goleta looks for volunteer docents to lead tours for the Goleta Butterfly Grove.
  • City of Santa Barbara - The City of Santa Barbara offers a wide variety of volunteer opportunities.
  • Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)- As a CASA volunteer you will learn how to gather information, report to the court, monitor case progress, encourage positive communications and advocate for the best interests of the child.
  • The Eleos Foundation - Global Partnerships is a growing leader in the nonprofit impact investing sector. We offer our team members opportunities to use their skills and apply their passion to expand opportunity for people living in poverty.
  • Environmental Defense Center - The Environmental Defence Center offers the following internships: marine conservation, Goleta wateshed, environmental advocacy, and nonprofit adminitstration. Law clerks and externs are involved in substantive activities such as conducting legal research; drafting memos and pleadings; participating in client meetings, strategy discussions and negotiations; appearing before public agencies; and observing court arguments.
  • Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara - The mission of the Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County is to provide high-quality legal services in order to ensure that low-income persons and seniors have access to the civil justice system in times of crisis – to secure safe, habitable shelter, adequate income, and protection from domestic violence and elder abuse.
  • McNair Scholars Program- The McNair Scholars Program prepares qualified undergraduates for entrance to a PhD program in all fields of study. The goals of the program are to increase the number of first-generation, low-income and/or underrepresented students in PhD programs, and ultimately, to diversify the faculty in colleges and universities across the country.
  • Nuclear Age Peace Foundation - This local non-profit offers internships for students to get more involved in advocacy and non-profit education.
  • Santa Barbara County District Attorney Office - The District Attorney's Office offers diverse professional and para-professional job opportunities. Specific job descriptions and active recruitments are listed under the County Job Openings, and are briefly described below.
  • Santa Barbara Independent Internship Program- The Santa Barbara Independent students a court reporting internship, where they attend trials and write up summaries of what transpired.
  • Santa Barbara County Probation Department - The Santa Barbara County Probation Department recognizes the important contributions made by volunteers.  We offer responsible citizens the opportunity to volunteer for a variety of important assignments throughout Santa Barbara County.
  • Santa Barbara County Public Defender Office - Students from local colleges, especially UCSB and SBCC are offered the opportunity to observe the arraignment court and to assist the attorneys handling this busiest of calendars. The students work at counsel table in the court performing clerical and other gofer tasks but are rewarded by observing the real criminal court activity.
  • United Way of Santa Barbara County - UWSBC is one of just a handful of United Ways in the nation to have moved away from grant-making as its principal impact strategy to include direct programs and partnerships to better meet the educational, financial, and health needs of Santa Barbara County.

State, National, International - Internship Programs & Related Opportunities

  • Capital Fellows Program (state) - The Center for California Studies administers the Assembly Fellowship, Executive Fellowship, Judicial Administration Fellowship, and California Senate Fellowship (Capital Fellows) programs. Fellows are normally presumed to be strong candidates for admission to the MPPA program.
  • Carter Center Internship Program (national) - For more than 25 years, the Carter Center Educational Programs has provided more than 2,600 interns and graduate assistants with a rewarding complement to classroom experience.
  • Center for International Trade Development Internships (CITD) (state) - We offer a year-round volunteer internship program that offers practice and professional work experience and training to students who strive to excel in new challenging environments. Those who apply may also have the opportunity to participate in a dual internship program with the U.S. Department of Commerce Sacramento U.S. Export Assistance Center, an affiliate of the U.S. Commercial Service.
  • Central Intelligence Agency (national) - Are you looking for an exciting and challenging internship or cooperative education experience? Consider employment with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) as an undergraduate or graduate student. CIA offers employment for students throughout the year--summer, winter, spring and fall.
  • CHCI Congressional Internship (national) - During CHCI’s paid summer and semester internships, promising Latino undergraduate students experience what it’s like to work in a congressional office, while participating in weekly professional and leadership development and civic engagement through community service.
  • Clinton Foundation Internship Program (national) - The Internship Program at the Clinton Foundation is geared towards current or rising undergraduate seniors, graduate students, and postgraduates who are in good academic standing. On some occasions, we do accept sophomores and juniors pursuing their undergraduate degree.
  • Duke University Undergraduate Research (national) - Check out internships and research opportunities in various disciplines at Duke University.
  • Fox Internship Program- Fox hires interns for all of its different departments and channels to work on marketing, finance, legal, digital, human resources, and business development.
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (national) - As the nation’s top law enforcement and intelligence organization, the FBI offers valuable work experience for students at every education level. With a variety of programs, internships, and entry-level career options, the FBI seeks the best and brightest students and recent graduates to bring their knowledge and skills to our diverse workforce.
  • Feminist Majority Foundation (state, national) - The Feminist Majority Foundation offers internships throughout the year in our Los Angeles, CA office. Interns are an essential part of the Feminist Majority Foundation office and perform a wide variety of responsibilities, including monitoring press conferences and coalition meetings, research, event and community organizing, organizational networking, media relations, and attending rallies. Each intern works closely with a staff member in order to learn directly from hands on experience and to contribute to substantive projects. All who are interested, including graduate and undergraduate students, are encouraged to apply.
  • Global Fund for Children (State, national) - The Global Fund for Children fosters a caring work environment that promotes collegiality, mutual respect, and professional development. We set standards of excellence and quality in our work, firmly believing that children and youth deserve the best we can offer.
  • Green America (State, national) - Our mission is to harness economic power—the strength of consumers, investors, businesses, and the marketplace—to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society.
  • Heritage Foundation (national) - The Heritage Foundation Internship Program attracts young conservative leaders of the highest caliber, and we train, equip, and develop tomorrow’s young conservative leaders during their time at Heritage. We are looking for rising juniors, seniors, and graduate students interested in experiencing DC first hand this fall from Sept. 11 - Dec 8. Interested applicants should apply by Oct. 10. 
  • Human Rights Watch Internship (national) - Human Rights Watch is a nonprofit, nongovernmental human rights organization made up of roughly 400 staff members around the globe.
  • Justice Corps (state) - JusticeCorps is a multiple-award-winning national service program that has helped over one million Californians find access to justice over the past 12 years. Building on this legacy of success, this year more than 300 AmeriCorps members will volunteer to serve people coming to court without an attorneys, who are trying to resolve crucial legal matters affecting their family, housing, personal safety, and financial stability. JusticeCorps members serve in court-based self-help centers in the Bay Area, Los Angeles and San Diego educating litigants on their legal options and potential outcomes. By providing neutral assistance—not legal advice—JusticeCorps members empower litigants to make the best choice for their particular case.
  • Lambda Legal (state, national) - JusticeCorps is a multiple-award-winning national service program that has helped over one million Californians find access to justice over the past 12 years. Building on this legacy of success, this year more than 300 AmeriCorps members will volunteer to serve people coming to court without an attorneys, who are trying to resolve crucial legal matters affecting their family, housing, personal safety, and financial stability. JusticeCorps members serve in court-based self-help centers in the Bay Area, Los Angeles and San Diego educating litigants on their legal options and potential outcomes. By providing neutral assistance—not legal advice—JusticeCorps members empower litigants to make the best choice for their particular case.
  • Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights (national) - The Leadership Conference and The Education Fund offer a substantive, fast-paced internship program designed to give undergraduate students interested in civil and human rights, public service, advocacy, journalism and online communications, real-world work experience in the policy arena. The program provides interns the chance to increase their knowledge and awareness of civil and human rights issues, enhance their understanding of coalition politics, and observe the legislative process of our federal government. Interns are fully integrated into staff activities and involved in communications, development, field, and policy work.
  • Library of Congress (national) - The Library of Congress is the largest library in the world, with millions of books, recordings, photographs, newspapers, maps and manuscripts in its collections. The Library is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office.
  • Montgomery Summer Research Diversity Fellowship in Law and Social Science (national) - The American Bar Foundation sponsors an annual program of summer research fellowships to interest undergraduate students from diverse backgrounds in pursuing graduate study in the social sciences. The summer program is designed to introduce students to the rewards and demands of a research-oriented career in the field of law and social science.
  • National Association of Attorneys General - The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) was founded in 1907 to help attorneys general fulfill the responsibilities of their office and to assist in the delivery of high quality legal services to the states and territorial jurisdictions. NAAG’s mission is: "To facilitate interaction among Attorneys General as peers and to facilitate the enhanced performance of Attorneys General and their staffs."
  • NBC Campus to Career Internship Program- NBC's internship program offers internships in: accounting and finance, advertising, business development, media relations, human resources, legal, marketing, and technical services.
  • National Organization for Women (national) - The National Organization for Women is the largest organization of feminist grassroots activists in the United States. NOW has hundreds of chapters and hundreds of thousands of members and activists in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
  • Office of the Governor Internship - The office of the Governer offers students the opportunity to gain real life experience in areas such as Legislative Affairs and press.
  • Office of International Affairs, US Department of Justice - The Office of International Affairs (OIA) is housed within the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and is tasked with the responsibility of cooperating with foreign nations to facilitate extraditions and other mutual legal assistances to achieve global criminal justice. We are always seeking talented and enthusiastic legal, graduate, and undergraduate interns year round.
  • Presidential Management Fellows Program (national) - The Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program is administered by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM). Each year, candidates apply to the program in efforts to be selected as Finalists. Finalists are then eligible for appointment as Presidential Management Fellows.
  • Public Policy and Internal Affairs Program (national) - Our mission is to promote the inclusion and full participation of underrepresented groups in public service and to advance their leadership roles throughout our civic institutions serving domestic and international affairs.
  • Public Service Fellows Internship Program (national) - The Public Service Fellows internship program is an opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students as well as recent graduates to contribute to the Partnership’s mission while developing valuable professional skills.
  • Sierra Club- Sierra Club especially seeks interns who have been directly involved in conservation work and have good communication and writing skills. Regular intern rotations are in the fall, winter/spring, and summer but are flexible with other starting dates.
  • UNICEF (national) - The UNICEF Internship Programme offers eligible students the opportunity to acquire direct practical experience in UNICEF's work. UNICEF is active in various functional areas related to its mandate, which can be categorized in three main pillars: Programme and Policy, External Relations and Operation
  • United Nations Internship (national) - If you are thinking of entering the world of diplomacy and public policy, an internship at the United Nations could be the ideal start for you. The objective of the internship is to give you a first-hand impression of the day-to-day working environment of the United Nations. You will be given a real chance to work with our people. As part of our team, working directly with outstanding and inspiring career professionals and senior management, you will be exposed to high-profile conferences, participate in meetings, and contribute to analytical work as well as organizational policy of the United Nations. Initially you will take on the amount of responsibility you can shoulder; the potential for growth, however, is yours to develop.
  • US Department of State Student Intern Program (national, international) - This unpaid program, for students with a minimum of 60 credit hours or greater, provides the opportunity to work in U.S. Embassies and Consulates throughout the world, as well as in various bureaus located in Washington, D.C. and at Department offices spread around the United States. This unpaid program is designed to provide substantive experiences in a Foreign Affairs environment.
  • US Office of Personnel Management (national) - This Program is designed to provide students enrolled in a wide variety of educational institutions, from high school to graduate level, with opportunities to work in agencies and explore Federal careers while still in school and while getting paid for the work performed. Students who successfully complete the program may be eligible for conversion to a permanent job in the civil service.
  • US Senator Dianne Feinstein (state and national) - If you are interested in public service and federal government, I encourage you to apply for an internship with my office. Internships are available to undergraduate college students in my Washington, D.C. office, as well as my four state offices – located in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Fresno.
  • White House Fellows Program (national) - Selected individuals typically spend a year working as a full-time, paid Fellow to senior White House Staff, Cabinet Secretaries and other top-ranking government officials. Fellows also participate in an education program consisting of roundtable discussions with renowned leaders from the private and public sectors, and trips to study U.S. policy in action both domestically and internationally. Fellowships are awarded on a strictly non-partisan basis.
  • World Affairs Councils of America (national) - The WACA accepts a limited number of interns at its Washington, DC office each semester. Fall internship run from approximately September-December, spring internships from January-May, and summer internships from May-August. Internships are unpaid; hours are flexible depending on students' schedules and the needs of the office.
  • World Bank International (national, international) - The World Bank Group Internship offers highly motivated and successful individuals an opportunity to improve their skills while working in a diverse environment. Interns generally find the experience to be rewarding and interesting.