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"The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund is simply the best civil rights law firm in American history." -- President Obama

The Honorable Louis H. Pollak Memorial Fund Internship at LDF

September 21, 2017 - September 21, 2018

Judge Louis H. Pollak dedicated his legal career to the struggle for racial justice and civil rights and had a nearly lifelong relationship to LDF and our work. Following the legacy of his father, Walter Pollak, who served as counsel for the Scottsboro Boys, Judge Pollak was one of the small cohort of volunteer lawyers who assisted the late Thurgood Marshall and other LDF attorneys in preparing the briefs for Brown v. Board of Education and Bolling v. Sharpe.

After a brief period in government service, private practice at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison, and a stint as a labor lawyer, Judge Pollak distinguished himself in the legal academy. He was a professor of constitutional law and dean of Yale Law School and, later served as dean of the University of Pennsylvania Law School. His time at Yale was marked by his work on the front lines of the Civil Rights Movement. In 1971, Judge Pollak was elected vice-president of LDF’s Board of Directors, where he employed his significant talents and keen intellect to advance LDF’s mission – equal rights for African Americans and other people of color. Through his long-standing collaborations with LDF, Judge Pollak left an indelible mark in cases involving desegregation, sit-ins, freedom rides, voting rights, diversity in higher education, and advancing marriage equality. He was appointed a federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in 1978, where he sat until his death in 2012.

Judge Pollak’s lifelong passion for the work of LDF led to the creation of an endowed Memorial Fund, to honor him, carry forward his legacy, and support LDF. The goal of the fund is to financially support summer interns who are not provided adequate summer public-interest funding through their academic institutions or other means.

Summer legal intern applicants interested in applying for the Louis H. Pollak Memorial Fund at LDF should send a cover letter, résumé, 5-10 page writing sample, a list of three references, a letter including any anticipated source of summer funding, and an essay no longer than 300 words describing your commitment to and interest in civil rights, as well as explaining how support from the Louis H. Pollak Memorial Fund would further your career ambitions in these areas.  These materials should be sent to the address below:

Monica Garcia
Director of Human Resources/Administration
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.
40 Rector Street, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10006

or email:

*No phone calls please*