ArchCity Defenders

St. Louis, Missouri

ArchCity Defenders

Please Note: This internship is co-sponsored. This means that the funding for this internship is provided by two institutions at Harvard. The Primary Affiliation is with the IOP, and the Secondary Affiliation is with the Center for Public Service and Engaged Scholarship​. The primary institute will be the point of contact during the application and internship onboarding process, and applications for this placement will be processed by the IOP.

Please note the IOP's application instructions to ensure you meet all the requirements. The intern selected for this internship will have the benefits and obligations of an intern in both of programs.

***FINALIST APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS: All applicants are required to submit a resume (one page), statement of interest (one page), and two references by the application deadline. If selected as a finalist, applicants to this host organization may be required to submit the following additional materials directly to the host organization after the application deadline: 

- Writing Sample

LOCATION: St. Louis, Missouri

FORMAT: Our office is able to host an IN-PERSON intern. We ask that our interns work at our office in St. Louis in person and full time during the summer term to get the most out of their experience and time with ACD. However, we can and do accommodate a couple of interns each summer who are only able to work remotely. We do ask them to keep the same hours as the rest of the cohort to the best of their ability.

TIME ZONE: Central

WORKING HOURS: The intern needs to keep the same business hours as our office.


ABOUT US: ArchCity Defenders (ACD) is a 501(c)(3) holistic legal advocacy organization that combats the criminalization of poverty and state violence, especially in communities of color. ACD’s foundation of civil and criminal legal representation, social services, impact litigation, policy and media advocacy, and community collaboration achieves and inspires justice and equitable outcomes for people throughout the St. Louis region and beyond. VISION ArchCity Defenders envisions a society liberated from systems of oppression where the promise of justice and racial equity is realized; communities where our approach to public safety prioritizes investment in well-being, health, and transformation without relying on criminalization and incarceration; and people living freely in their communities, thriving regardless of their race or income. VALUES ArchCity Defenders is committed to revolutionary justice. We believe that the law is not the final arbiter of justice; rather, we advance a view of justice rooted in love, support, accountability, and equity for all people. We are an antiracist organization that combats racist power, policy, and ideas. Because we understand antiracism to be intersectional, we stand with all people subject to abusive systems of power and privilege. We believe that true antiracism is also feminist, queer, anti-nativist, and anti-poverty, which means that we oppose the exploitative system of capitalism that mass produces poverty. We believe in advocacy that is people- and community-centered. We are committed to the self-determination of our clients and their communities, and thus are committed to supporting them in building power to exert control over their own lives and destiny. In our work with clients, partners, and each other, we strive toward abolition of the prison industrial complex. We believe that our challenges are best addressed by people in intentional and supportive community with each other–with universal access to healthcare, housing, educational and employment opportunities, and shared public spaces–and not by prisons and jails, policing, or prosecution.

PROJECTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES: The intern selected for this position will work with our Community Collaborations team and, in turn, organizers and community partners to assist people directly impacted by systems of oppression to get civically engaged. The team seeks an intern with an enthusiastic desire to assist and serve others. A successful intern needs to be assertive, independent, persistent, empathetic, proactive, and flexible. They will need to take initiative, use problem-solving skills, see projects through to completion, and become a strong advocate for themselves and others. 

***Please note that this internship may require hours that include nights or weekends because of the nature of scheduling events to meet the community when and where it works best for them. 


  • Provide Story of Self training
  • Set up and conduct one-on-one interviews with impacted people.
  • Assist in coordinating one-on-one meetings with elected officials.
  • Participate in or facilitate political education training.
  • Assist with planning and content and/or the facilitation of Movement meetings, Townhalls, or other group meetings.
  • Assist with planning and content of Campaign/Movement Member Kickbacks.
  • Create social media content/graphics.
  • Participate in, plan, and/or facilitate community canvassing.
  • Engage in phone and text banking.
  • Planning/Facilitation of prep meetings for those testifying at BOA committee meetings.
  • Attending Board of E&A and Board of Aldermen meetings, note taking and report backs.
  • Attend strategy and organizing meetings as assigned. 


  • Excellent interpersonal, written, and verbal communication skills.
  • Basic administrative skills
  • Detail-oriented approach to working in a team-driven organization.
  • High capacity for problem solving and self-direction and the ability to work independently within time constraints.
  • Flexible and able to respond appropriately to ACD’s changing needs.
  • Commitment to racial and economic justice and systems change.
  • Cultural awareness and sensitivity toward diverse populations; awareness of structures of power, privilege, and oppression.

WORKING ENVIRONMENT: Interns are able to work closely with ACD staff and volunteers throughout the term and have the most contact when joining us in person. We do have special opportunities for the intern cohort: social connection and networking events, practical training sessions, guest speakers, and attendance at ACD events. Each intern has a specific supervisor assigned to them to ensure they have ongoing assignments, support, and feedback through the summer. Interns work in our office and have a designated work area in addition to the use of conference rooms and more informal workspaces. We all work hard but make time for connection and getting to know each other and generally have a pretty laid-back approach.


  • Access to high-speed Wi-Fi
  • Personal laptop
  • Web Camera
  • Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, Excel)