The Sixth Amendment Center (6AC) www.sixthamendment.org is a national non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that no person faces potential time in jail or prison without first having the aid of a lawyer with the time, ability and resources to present an effective defense, as required under the United States Constitution. We do so by measuring public defense systems against Sixth Amendment case law and established standards of justice. When shortcomings are identified, we help states and counties address these problems in ways that promote equal justice, public safety and fiscal responsibility.
Although the 6AC staff is decentralized, working remotely from locations throughout the country, the 6AC has retained MA attorney Nancy Bennett (former Deputy Chief Counsel of the MA Committee for Public Counsel Services) to establish the 6AC Student Network in the Boston area, offering internship opportunities to students at local law schools. The 6AC is in the final stages of hiring another local attorney whose full-time responsibility will be the supervision of the 6AC student interns.
The 6AC Student Network will work closely with the university to offer law students opportunities to:
- Engage in experiential learning, which can be done remotely to whatever degree is preferable, working on high impact 6AC projects addressing the quality of justice across the United States while earning academic credit,
- Contribute to documentation of existing public defense needs, including the impact on due process of the many, varied measures taken by jurisdictions around the country to address the 2020 public health crisis,
- For qualified students if circumstances permit, travel to New Hampshire to perform on-site court observation and fact investigation regarding the 6AC 2020 evaluation of N.H. indigent defense; or, if circumstances prevent on site observation, conduct fact investigation through telephone interviews,
- Conduct empirical research, including data analysis, delving deeply into the issues confronting the United States’ criminal legal system, the effects of those issues on people in poverty, and possible solutions for the future,
- Contribute to published reports with national readership,
- Receive supervision from the experienced professional staff of the 6AC
- Participate in delivering public presentations of the research,
- Work in depth with the 6AC beyond a single semester
Students may apply for internships which will begin with the fall, 2020 semester. Law students should have completed courses in Criminal Law, Constitutional Law, and Legal Research and Writing.
To apply, students should submit a cover letter explaining what experiences and coursework have prepared them to work effectively on projects evaluating the quality of public defense, as well as a resume, law school transcript (may be unofficial) and writing sample. Applications for the fall semester should be submitted by 8/10/20, or for the spring 2021 semester by 1/8/21.
Applications and questions may be addressed to:
Nancy Bennett, Senior Program Manager, Sixth Amendment Center
Aditi Goel, Program Manager, Sixth Amendment Center, P.O. Box 15556, Boston, MA 02215
Direct: (408) 242-9336
Once students have accepted an internship with the Sixth Amendment Center, students must apply for independent clinical credits in order to earn academic credit. https://hls.harvard.edu/dept/clinical/clinics/independent-clinical-work-program/
Questions about the application process and the related requirements may be directed to Liz Solar at email@example.com.