Undergraduate Student Internships


Cause Areas


It's flexible! We'll work with your schedule.


1730 Franklin St #300Oakland, CA 94612


Root & Rebound (R&R) is a reentry legal resource center whose mission is to increase access to justice and opportunity for people in reentry from prison and jail, and to educate and empower those who support them, fundamentally transforming and strengthening the reentry infrastructure across the state of California.


R&R’s office headquarters is located downtown Oakland, California . Its work and services are offered statewide across California (and growing on the national level).

What We Do:

R&R builds innovative legal tools, resources, and supportive services to help formerly incarcerated people and people with records navigate legal barriers to employment, housing, family reunification, getting ID, voting rights, financial stability, and more. We do this through the following key programs:

  • "Roadmap to Reentry" Legal Guide: The basis for R&R's work, both direct services and statewide public education, is its " Roadmap to Reentry: A California Legal Guide ," a first-of-its-kind comprehensive manual that explains in simple terms how to prepare for, identify, understand, and navigate legal barriers across nine areas of law and life in reentry: obtaining ID & voting rights, housing, parole & probation, public benefits, employment, court-ordered debt, family & children, education, and understanding & cleaning up your record. R&R has already distributed more than 13,000 guides to currently and formerly incarcerated people, their family and loved ones, and community service providers and government staff.

  • "Roadmap to Reentry" Trainings (In-Person Statewide and Online): Through R&R's in-person and online trainings ( www.reentrytraininghub.org ), participants learn how to use the "Roadmap to Reentry: A California Legal Guide" and other R&R resources in their daily life and work, and engage in intensive real-life problem-solving on critical issues and barriers in reentry.

  • Reentry Legal Hotline & Prison Letter-Writing Service (Statewide): R&R runs a weekly Reentry Legal Hotline every Friday for anyone with a reentry-related question or issue, or needing further assistance using the "Roadmap to Reentry" guide. A member of R&R’s legal team will help to answer questions, walk a caller through the guide, and provide reentry-related information. We also offer legal correspondence to currently incarcerated people via our prison letter-writing service.

  • Direct Services & Know-Your-Rights Clinics (Primarily offered in Bay Area and Los Angeles): R&R offers local clinics to provide direct legal advice as well as training and empowerment for self-advocacy to people in reentry and those who support them.

  • Systems Reform & Policy Advocacy: R&R advocates for broader systems reform by documenting the experiences that clients, callers, and trainees articulate to us about the legal and practical barriers they encounter, and by communicating these issues to partner policy reform groups, impact litigation firms, and other stakeholders. Through key partnerships, conferences, and awareness-building campaigns that incorporate news media, phone calls and letters, social media and community organizing, we push for an improved reentry infrastructure that will better prepare and support people before and during their reentry.



Part-time (min. 12 hours/week; 16 hours/week preferred), from Jan. - May 2016. We are looking for law students who can volunteer time beginning immediately!

Position Description:

The Law Clerk will work under the supervision of R&R’s deputy director and staff attorneys and will be tasked with legal research and writing on a variety of topics related to reentry and criminal records; assisting with in-person and online legal trainings; client intakes and follow-up support to callers on our weekly Reentry Hotline; correspondence with people writing from prison; community outreach; and other duties relevant to advancing R&R’s mission and work.

The Law Clerk will have the opportunity to work on cutting edge criminal justice issues at a creative, startup legal nonprofit, and will be extensively trained on the collateral consequences of incarceration and system involvement, as well as our Roadmap to Reentry legal guide.

Duties & Responsibilities:

Duties and responsibilities may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Conduct legal research and writing about the most current and relevant reentry legal issues to continuously update and improve our Roadmap to Reentry guide and other toolkits and resources;

  • Help staff develop legal trainings in the community and, perhaps, assist with those trainings;

  • Answer Reentry Legal Hotline calls and speak with currently and formerly incarcerated callers, and those who support them, about their reentry-related questions and issues every Friday from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.;

  • Correspond with people writing to Root & Rebound from prison, and provide writers with follow-up legal information and resources on a variety of reentry topics;

  • Assist with any of Root & Rebound’s direct services work;

  • Strengthen R&R’s referral databases of community-based organizations, government agencies, and partners;

  • Write blog posts on legal issues in criminal justice and reentry;

  • Research upcoming relevant criminal justice legislation; and/or

  • Any other necessary duties that fall into Root & Rebound’s legal programs.


The successful candidate should possess the following qualifications:

  • Desire to work with reentering people and on criminal justice issues in a dynamic legal environment.

  • Demonstrated interest in improving the lives of disenfranchised people and communities.

  • Currently in law school or recent law school graduate.

  • Previous experience working directly with clients in a legal clinic setting preferred.

  • Strong research and writing skills.

  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills.

  • Strong attention to detail and meticulous follow-up.

  • Strong work ethic, positive attitude, sound judgment, and a sense of humor.

  • Eagerness to take initiative, solve intricate problems, work on multiple projects simultaneously, and prioritize and organize in a deadline-driven environment.

  • Ability to be flexible and adapt well in a changing startup environment.

  • A high level of dependability and the ability to maintain a consistent schedule.

  • Ability to comfortably and appropriately communicate with a diverse group of stakeholders including currently and formerly incarcerated people and their loved ones, staff, community partners, board members, and others.

Compensation & Benefits:

The ideal candidate will have access to outside funding or school credit through his/her law school or other fellowship program for nonprofit work. If a strong candidate has no access to credit or funding sources for nonprofit work, other options may be explored.

Application Instructions:

To apply for this position, please send a resume , cover letter , short sample of legal writing (4 pages max.) , and at least 2 references with contact information in an email to Sonja Tonnesen, Deputy Director at stonnesen@rootandrebound.org . Resumes without a cover letter, writing sample, and references will not be reviewed. No fax or mail applications and no phone calls, please. Decisions will be made on a rolling basis.

Root & Rebound is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from all qualified individuals including women, people of color, people with conviction histories, persons with disabilities, ethnic and religious minorities, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and gender variant individuals.


  • Data Entry
  • Organization
  • Verbal / Written Communication
  • Administrative Support
  • Community Outreach

Good Match For


Requirements & Commitment

  • 12 hours/week (min) 16 hours/week (preferred)
  • See position description for details

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