Law Internships in Africa

If you’re looking for a law internship abroad, and you’re interested in working within a nonprofit context, have a look at our opportunities in South Africa. We offer law internships in Cape Town, with cause-driven teams that provide legal services to members of disadvantaged communities that need pro bono legal support. As an intern, you can be part of a feminist legal center that advances women’s rights through strategic litigation, advocacy, and training. You can also join a nonprofit organization that offers legal advice to refugees, or an organization that provides vital support – legal and otherwise – to victims of gender based violence. Either way, whichever nonprofit law internship you join, you’ll gain a wealth of practical work experience, while you become familiar with the power legal work can have in a humanitarian context.

These law internships in Africa are resume-boosting, as well as highly rewarding. Regardless of the type of law career you envision for yourself, doing a nonprofit law internship offers an inspiring springboard for what comes next. Moreover, this time is an opportunity to live and work abroad – to experience a different way of life, soak up a foreign culture, and enjoy a travel adventure.

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Advocacy and Human Rights Internship

Open for applications

Advocacy and Human Rights Internship with NGO

Advocacy and Human Rights Internship with NGO

20-26 weeks

Cape Town, South Africa

Human rights, refugee law and migration issues

Gain valuable legal experience while offering refugees in Cape Town support and advice.

Intern life in Cape town

What can I expect from doing an internship in Cape Town?

You can expect to be challenged and delighted in equal measures. Cape Town is a wonderfully diverse city, with a blend of cultures, an abundance of natural beauty, and a buzzing creative scene. But like everywhere else in South Africa, there is a level of inequality, and there are underprivileged communities that deal with poverty, a lack of basic needs, and sometimes violence. As a participant on one of our NGO law internships, you will encounter this, and through your work, you’ll learn about aspects of people’s challenges, the South African legal landscape, and ways in which nonprofit legal work can create positive change for many individuals.

Doing an internship in Cape Town is also a real travel adventure. During your time off, you’ll have a chance to explore the city’s many appealing qualities; you can venture onto Table Mountain, enjoy hikes (of any level) with spectacular views, visit Robben Island, meet the local penguin colony at Boulder’s Beach, and explore Cape Point, where the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans meet at a dramatic cliff. And there’s plenty of opportunity to relax too; there are beaches to lie on, boat trips to take (with the chance of encountering whales and dolphins), wine estates to marvel at, and an incredible culinary scene to explore.

FAQs about law internships in Africa

Why should I do my law internship with a nonprofit organization?

Doing a nonprofit law internship offers an incredible learning opportunity, as well as the chance to make a difference in the lives of people from marginalized communities. You’ll experience firsthand the power the law can have in drastically improving the circumstances of abuse-victims, asylum seekers, or people who are otherwise dealing with injustice on an ongoing basis. Being part of creating life-changing solutions for people is a rewarding and inspiring experience.

Moreover, our nonprofit law internships offer a diverse work experience with a great amount of depth. As you’ll be joining a small but ambitious team, you’ll be able to take on interesting projects with real substance, and more responsibility than during the average internship in a more corporate environment. It’s a chance to challenge yourself, gain confidence in your abilities, and explore various aspects of legal work.

Which organizations can I join as a law intern in Cape Town?

We currently offer law internships with three different nonprofit organizations; two of them work to support South African women, and one works to advance the legal rights of refugees and asylum seekers.

Women in South Africa deal with many obstacles; levels of gender based violence are extremely high, educational and career opportunities are limited, and discrimination in the work place is prevalent. Legal protection is hardly ever accessible. As an intern, you can join an organization that advances women’s rights and equality through litigation, advocacy, and training – or you can join a nonprofit organization specifically dedicated to supporting victims of gender based violence. The tools used by both organizations are free legal protection in court, dissemination of information on women’s legal rights, and workshops.

Another nonprofit law internship we offer is with an organization that encourages cultural, social, and economical integration of refugees into the local society. On a legal level, the NGO offers support with the asylum application process, and they provide legal services when migrants experience xenophobic violence – something that is prevalent in many South African communities.

Your role as an intern with these nonprofits varies per individual internship, but it can include legislative research, preparation of cases, supporting individual clients with their cases, and assisting with information campaigns. Have a look at the individual internship listings for a full description.

How much experience do I need to qualify for these law internships?

It varies per internship. But overall, you’ll need to be studying law or something that’s relevant and related, and any work experience is a bonus. Have a look at the individual internship listings to find out more about the intern tasks and the requirements.

Can I get credit for my law internship in South Africa?

Yes, as long as your university allows it. Plenty of our interns get university credit, and we’ll always be happy to handle any paperwork required on our side. Just get in touch to find out more!

How do I apply?

If you’re ready to apply for a nonprofit law internship in Africa, here’s what to do; 

  • If you know which internship you’d like to apply for, fill out the application form, and send your CV to info@rootsinterns.com. If you’re interested in various internships, or you’re sure which one would suit you best, just send us an email and we’ll help you figure it out. 
  • We’ll set up a short online interview to discuss your application, find out more about you and what you’re hoping to get out of the experience, and allow you to answer any questions you might have. 
  • We’ll then pass your application on to the person who would be your supervisor on the ground. If he/she thinks it might be a good match, there will be a second interview, which will go into more detail.