2023 Bill Grimm Memorial Summer Clerk Program

The Position

William Lee “Bill” Grimm, Senior Director at the National Center for Youth Law, was a public impact attorney who worked for 43 years transforming and redeeming some of the most troubled child welfare systems in America. To honor him and his powerful legacy, in partnership with his family and friends, we have created the Bill Grimm Memorial Summer Clerk Program. Read more about Bill here.  


NCYL seeks law students to support its Washington, DC and Oakland offices during summer 2023. Under the mentorship of supervising legal or policy staff, summer clerks will work on projects impacting low-income children and youth.  

This position is a remote opportunity. As summer 2023 approaches, NCYL will continue to evaluate whether clerks will have the ability to complete any portion of the program in person. 

The National Center for Youth Law is committed to hiring clerks who reflect the racial and cultural diversity of our clients. Students of color, those who will increase the diversity of NCYL, and those with personal experience in our practice areas are strongly encouraged to apply. 

The Washington, DC Office 

Impact litigation law clerks in the DC office will work with a highly experienced group of litigation attorneys with strong civil rights backgrounds. Working seamlessly together with our litigators and subject-matter experts across the country, the DC office works on impact litigation projects intended to improve the lives of low-income children. 

The DC office is also home to NCYL’s Education Civil Rights Alliance (ECRA), a diverse and experienced group of litigators, policy counsel, organizers, educator organizations, professional associations, and civil rights organizations that are committed to protecting the civil rights of marginalized students. The DC office intends to hire one law clerk to support the ECRA’s work. 

Unless applicants indicate a preference to contribute to impact litigation or ECRA exclusively, the DC office will consider each applicant for both the litigation and ECRA law clerkships.  

Essential Functions of DC Office Clerks 

Impact Litigation 

  • Research novel legal theories 
  • Draft legal memoranda, including complaints, motions, and declarations 
  • Assist with discovery, including reviewing discovery responses, drafting discovery requests, and assisting in deposition preparation 
  • Contribute to fact/case development, including speaking with existing or potential plaintiffs, co-counsel, and/or community partners 
  • Other support of ongoing impact litigation efforts 

Education Civil Rights Alliance 

  • Research novel legal theories 
  • Launch state and local campaigns aimed at eliminating illegal education inequity, harassment, and discrimination 
  • Build the capacity of state Attorneys General offices 
  • Develop, collect, and disseminate resources for local stakeholders  

The Oakland, CA Office

The Oakland office’s staff includes policy and legal staff. Law clerks will work with a highly experienced group of attorneys and staff who work on cases and campaigns in multiple states, including work focused on the foster care system, juvenile justice, education, immigration, commercial sexual exploitation of children, and health access and equity.  

Essential Functions of Oakland Office Clerks 

  • Write legal and policy memoranda 
  • Assist in ongoing impact litigation efforts (e.g., reviewing discovery responses, drafting discovery requests, helping with deposition preparation, researching, and drafting motions or pleadings, and contributing to fact/case development by speaking with existing or potential plaintiffs, co-counsel, and/or community partners) 
  • Assist with administrative and legislative policy campaigns 
  • Participate in community partnership work 

Qualifications for all law clerk applicants 

  • Current law student (1Ls must submit law school writing sample in application) 
  • Knowledge and understanding of and commitment to NCYL’s mission 
  • Demonstrated understanding of and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion 
  • Belief that systemic racism exists 
  • One year of experience with and/or exposure to at least one of the following: communities of color; low-income communities; child- or youth-centered activities 
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and complete multiple projects  
  • Excellent communication skills 
  • Ability to commit 37.5 hours per week for a minimum of 10 weeks between June and August 2023 


NCYL will ensure summer clerks receive $6,000.00 to help with cost-of-living during the summer by supplementing funds clerks raise from their college, university, law school, or other sources. Clerks are expected to secure all funding for which they are eligible. NCYL will not provide supplemental funding for students who are receiving academic credit for their work at NCYL. 

Note to colleges, universities and law schools: NCYL will not provide supplemental funding to students who fail to receive the same summer public interest funding available to students volunteering, interning or clerking at institutions that do not provide any summer funding. 

How To Apply 

Applications will be reviewed until the positions are filled or until January 13, 2023. Applicants must submit the following: 

  • Resume (not including GPA) 
  • Cover letter describing your particular interest in working for NCYL (including any specific issue areas of interest) and understanding of NCYL’s mission 
  • Law school writing sample (5-7 pages) that demonstrates legal analytical skills  

NCYL will not participate in regional or school-based career fairs taking place after the January 13 deadline if all clerk spots have been filled. All students are encouraged to apply as early as they are permitted to do so by their schools. 

Apply at: https://recruiting.paylocity.com/recruiting/jobs/Details/1366616/National-Center-For-Youth-Law/2023-Bill-Grimm-Memorial-Summer-Clerk-Program

Applicants with lived experience within any of our practice areas, and Black, Indigenous, and other people of color, are strongly encouraged to apply.  

 It is the policy of NCYL to provide equal employment opportunities to all Applicants (including Employees) regardless of race, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, breastfeeding, national origin, age, abilities/disabilities, neurotypicality, socioeconomic status, veteran status, marital status, prior convictions, or any other protected classifications under federal, state, or local law.