Position: Summer Research and Advocacy Intern

Application Deadline: February 1, 2021

Position Dates: early May to mid or late July 2021 (exact dates TBD)

Hours: Full-time

Location: Any remote location in the US (preference for a location in Ithaca, NY)

Remuneration: Stipend


The Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide seeks an intern for a full-time position in summer 2021. In the past, we have primarily worked with law students, but we are open to applications from undergraduates with relevant experience and interests. The ideal candidate will have a demonstrated commitment to human rights, death penalty, and/or criminal justice issues and strong writing skills. The position is full-time and comes with a stipend. We will consider candidates who wish to telework from any remote location within the United States, though we do have a preference for a location in Ithaca, NY. To our regret, we are unable to consider applications from candidates who are not based in the US.



Interns will have the opportunity to gain valuable experience working closely with the Center’s attorneys. Interns will:

  • Contribute research to the Death Penalty Worldwide database, the world’s most comprehensive source of information on global death penalty laws and practices;
  • Conduct legal research and analyze international human rights law for a variety of projects and advocacy initiatives, including:
    • The Alice Project, which is focused on gender and capital punishment in the United States and around the world;
    • A forthcoming global report on women facing the death penalty for drug offenses;
    • Assisting with research and organization in preparation of the fourth Makwanyane Institute for Capital Defenders (if the intern speaks French);
  • Assist with our social media campaigns and website content.


We seek students with:

  • Excellent research, writing, and communication skills; and
  • A demonstrated commitment to human rights issues.

JD and LLM students are preferred, though we will consider undergraduates. Relevant coursework and foreign language skills (particularly French, Chinese, and/or Arabic) are an advantage. We have a particular interest in French speakers, as they can take on a role in our French-language training for capital defenders in sub-Saharan Africa, which is to take place in late June 2021.

Applicants must reside in and be authorized to work in the United States.


To Apply:

Applicants should send a cover letter explaining their interest in the Center and its work, any relevant experience, and what they hope to gain from the internship along with a CV or resume to with the subject line “DPW Summer 2021 Legal Internship.” References and writing samples may be requested from short-listed candidates.

Please note that applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, so applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.


About the Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide


The Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide aims to bridge critical gaps in research and advocacy around the death penalty. First, the Center provides comprehensive, transparent data on the death penalty laws and practices of all countries and territories that retain the death penalty. Second, it publishes reports and manuals on issues of practical relevance to defense lawyers, governments, courts, and organizations grappling with questions relating to the application of the death penalty, particularly in the global south. Third, it engages in targeted advocacy focusing on the implementation of fair trial standards and the rights of those who come into conflict with the law, including juveniles, women, and individuals with intellectual disabilities and mental illnesses. Finally, it provides training through the Makwanyane Institute to a cadre of competitively chosen Fellows, who undergo intensive capital defense training with the intent to return home and share their knowledge with other capital defenders around the globe. More information is available at