“Interning with the Farmworker Division opened my eyes to the injustices many United States farm workers face. The greatest lesson I learned was that public interest law is not only about arguing law and winning cases. It is also about standing up with real people to help them exercise their rights.”
The Farmworker Rights Division of Georgia Legal Services seeks law students to join our advocacy on behalf of farmworkers. Our unit advocates and litigates on behalf of Georgia’s farmworkers. Our clients frequently experience significant wage violations, discrimination, wrongful termination, and other broken promises. We litigate cases aggressively, impacting practices that affect both low-wage immigrant workers and their domestic counterparts. See, e.g., Tomason v. Stanley, 297 F.R.D. 541 (S.D. Ga. 2014); Hernandez v. Hendrix Produce, Inc., 297 F.R.D. 538 (S.D. Ga. 2014); Ojeda-Sanchez v. Bland Farms, 600 F.Supp.2d 1373 (S.D. Ga. Mar. 4, 2009).
Our work has received national media attention. Coverage of our cases can be found in The New York Times, the Atlanta Journal Constitution, National Public Radio, and Dan Rather Reports. You can find links to news articles here. See, e.g., Ethan Bronner, Workers Claim Race Bias as Farms Rely on Immigrants, N.Y. Times, May 6, 2013. We have litigated cases with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which has led to efforts in Congress to defund our organization. See, e.g., Dana Milbank, How Rep. Scott Betrayed His Tea Party Roots, Wash. Post, Aug. 9, 2011. Due to widespread use of immigrant labor and lax government enforcement, there is no shortage of deserving clients and meritorious claims to be litigated. In 2015, we recovered over $509,000 in unpaid wages, penalties and other damages, as well as fees and costs, on behalf of 131 farmworkers. See the chart of our recoveries. As a result of our efforts, several major agricultural employers in Georgia adopted changes in practices that will benefit countless more.
Student Intern Responsibilities: Interns will enjoy a full summer of federal litigation, legal research and writing, case planning, fact investigation, client communication, and outreach activity to the farmworker community. Summer is our busy time, as the height of the Georgia harvest season occurs from May through July. Student interns will develop their client communication skills through direct contact with workers. Interns will investigate cases, draft affidavits, letters and pleadings, and participate in the discovery process, including electronic document review. Previous interns have attended trials, second-chaired depositions, and worked on cases involving racial and national origin discrimination, work stoppages, and serious violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Agricultural Worker Protection Act.
Supervision: Student interns will work closely with and receive their training and assignments from Solimar Mercado-Spencer (Indiana University School of Law ’07), Lauren Hoff-Downing (UPenn Law ’14), and Isaac Raisner (NYU Law ’14). Students will receive ongoing feedback, including mid-summer and final reviews.
Apply: Email cover letter, resume and writing sample to email@example.com. Applications from both 1L and 2L law students will be considered. Strong writing skills are necessary and Spanish-language skills are preferred. Students typically work from May through the end of July.
Read about Ashley Smith’s experience as an intern in summer 2010 on theNYU Law Blog.
See the updated case docket