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Betty Brubach



Internships Back to Job Listing


Washington DC

The National Trust for Historic Preservation is a privately funded nonprofit organization that works to save America’s historic places. The organization’s Law Division welcomes a limited number of interns each year. The legal internship program provides a practical learning opportunity to law students who have an interest in protecting significant places that reflect our nation’s diverse cultural heritage. Applicants with diverse backgrounds who have an interest in historic preservation law and advocacy are strongly encouraged to apply. 

The Law Division's attorneys provide a wide array of legal services to the organization, which includes litigation and legal advocacy relating to saving historic places; providing general in-house, corporate legal support to the various operating divisions of the National Trust; providing advice (both within the organization and to the public) on matters relating to federal, state, and local preservation laws; and coordinating with government agencies and other non-profit organizations.  

The Law Division also plays a key role in supporting the organization’s National Treasures program, which leverages all the National Trust’s resources to focus on a portfolio of endangered nationally significant buildings, landscapes, and communities, and fulfilling the organization’s other preservation priorities. A list of current National Treasures is available at In addition, the Law Division also assists with the implementation of the National Trust’s African-American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, which seeks to tell our nation’s full history by drawing attention to centuries of African-American activism and achievement. More information is available at  

Although most internships with the National Trust are unpaid, a modest stipend will be provided to interns selected for the Mildred Colodny Internship in Historic Preservation Law.  In some instances, students who are receiving classroom credit are unable to accept outside funding for their work. The Law Division will assist interns in obtaining academic credit in the form of an externship. 

Interested students should submit a resume, detailed cover letter, and writing sample not exceeding ten pages in electronic format only.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most National Trust staff and interns at our DC headquarters will continue to work remotely for the foreseeable future (currently projected through June 2021).  Internships for 2021 may be performed remotely as well. 


The internship provides students with a well-rounded experience of working in a fast-paced nonprofit in-house counsel’s office. Legal interns are exposed to all areas of the division's activities and are provided with a variety of research and writing opportunities. Interns support the Law Division's staff attorneys in providing an array of legal services to the organization, including:

  • litigation and legal advocacy relating to the preservation of historic properties; 
  • providing general in-house legal assistance to the various operating divisions of the National Trust;
  • providing advice (both within the organization and to the public) on matters relating to federal, state and local preservation laws;
  • coordinating with government agencies and other non-profit organizations involved in historic preservation; and,
  • supporting the organization’s National Treasures Program and African-American Cultural Heritage Action Fund Program.


The intern will gain experience under the mentorship of respected legal professionals, in an educational setting at one of the nation’s leading arts & cultural and non-profit advocacy organizations. The intern will also have the opportunity to participate in periodic staff educational programming, as well as staff and off-site meetings that provide insight into the professional workings of a large non-profit and legal department.  Students may also be eligible for academic credit at the discretion of their institution.

Activities performed by the intern will be directed and reviewed by supervising attorneys within the Law Division, and at the end of the project the intern will have produced or contributed to substantive research and writing pieces, which can be added to their professional portfolio in support of their future career pursuits.


  • The internship program is targeted to second- or third-year law students, preferably with a demonstrated interest in historic preservation or a related field.
  • Excellent writing abilities are a prerequisite, and law review or journal experience is a plus.
  • Basic analytical and problem solving skills, including issue identification and prioritization.
  • Ability to collaborate and achieve results with supervision, including ability to interact professionally with key internal and external stakeholders as needed.
  • Strong organizational skills required, with ability to prioritize, multi-task efficiently, and meet deadlines in a timely fashion. Excellent attention to detail.
  • Ability to adapt and be flexible in a dynamic work environment.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills. Friendly and professional demeanor on the phone and in writing, with ability to speak and write clearly in English. Bi-lingual language skills a plus.
  • Ability to work effectively with culturally diverse colleagues; connections to or experience helping to engage culturally diverse audiences and partners a plus.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office products required, including Outlook, Word and Excel.


Summer 2021: January 25, 2021


Posted December 14, 2020

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