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The Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights Internship - Elizabeth Frankel Fellowship in New York, New York


Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights is a national organization dedicated to protecting and advancing the rights and best interests—safety and well-being—of immigrant children in the United States. The immediate focus of Young Center’s work Child Advocate Program is to serve as Child Advocate (guardian ad litem for children in immigration proceedings) for unaccompanied and separated immigrant children pursuant to the 2008 Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act and the 2013 Violence Against Women Act. Our role is to identify and advocate for the best interests of immigrant children both while they are in federal custody and after they are released, applying federal and state law and long-recognized principles of the best interests of the child. Young Center also does policy work, advocating with legislators, federal agencies, and other stakeholders to promote consideration of the best interests of the child in all decisions concerning immigrant children and to create a dedicated juvenile immigrant justice system that treats children as children. Young Center has offices in Houston, San Antonio, Harlingen, Chicago, New York, Washington DC, Phoenix, and Los Angeles.


Elizabeth M. Frankel (Liz) was the first Associate Director of the Young Center. She joined the Young Center in late 2009, as just the third full-time employee, becoming part of a trio of attorneys in Chicago who would develop and implement an entirely new model for advocating for the rights of immigrant children and youth. Today the Young Center has eight offices across the country with more than 100 staff; Liz was involved in the creation and development of each office. From 2009 to 2015, Liz taught in the Immigrant Child Advocacy Clinic at the University of Chicago Law School. She loved mentoring law students and seeing them use their skills to take pro bono cases or jobs in public interest law.


The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights annual Elizabeth Frankel Fellowship began in 2022. This Fellowship Program intends to honor Liz’s passion for supporting law students as they learn to advocate effectively for immigrant children and families. The Fellowship Program will enable fellows to spend 10 weeks training to zealously advocate for children, and to carry on Liz’s vision of honoring the child’s wishes through careful, strategic best interests advocacy. The Fellows will serve as Child Advocates for individual children, communicate with stakeholders, conduct legal research and writing, and draft best interests determinations under the guidance of Young Center staff within the Child Advocate Program. The Fellows will also engage in policy advocacy through ongoing initiatives at the Young Center under the supervision of the Policy Program staff. Fellows will be based in New York City and will spend one week of the Fellowship Program in the Young Center’s Harlingen office to understand how immigration patterns, enforcement, and advocacy play out on the ground along the U.S.-Mexico border. The Elizabeth Frankel Advisory Committee, comprised of Liz’s family, friends, colleagues, and Young Center staff, advises the Young Center regarding the operation of the Fellowship Program.


Law Students who are rising 2 L’s or 3 L’s


Lived experience/knowledge that lends insight into supporting immigrant children and their families

Bilingual in Spanish and English (oral and written).

Additional consideration will be given to law students who come from backgrounds/circumstances which prevent them from engaging in pro bono work during the summer.


Physical demands include regular attendance; keyboarding; sitting for long periods (at least 5 hours a day); driving. Ability to use computer, telephone, and copy machine. Ability to travel by plane, car, and other conveyances within U.S. Occasional lifting for event setup/preparation.


All fellows must be fully vaccinated prior to the first day of employment.


Fellows will receive a stipend of $10,000 for 10 weeks (40 hours per week). The Fellowship Program will run from June to August 2023, with some flexibility as to individual start and end dates.

For roles working directly with children, clearance of a fingerprint-based criminal background check, child abuse and neglect check (CANS), and tuberculosis test is a condition of employment.

Interested students should email the following materials to

Cover letter


Personal statement (2 pages maximum) about the applicant’s relevant experience, interest, and future aspirations with respect to legal work with immigrants and children.

Contact information for three references

The final deadline to submit application materials is January 4, 2023.

Materials will be reviewed by the Fellowship Committee, and interviews with Young Center staff will take place in mid to late January 2023. The Young Center anticipates making offers to potential fellows in late January/early February 2023.

The Young Center is an "at-will" and equal opportunity employer that does not discriminate in and affirmatively factors diversity into its hiring practices. Young Center encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, creed, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, ancestry, marital or parental status, pregnancy, citizenship, non-disqualifying physical or mental disability, genetic information, or veterans’ status. Reasonable accommodation will be made so that qualified disabled applicants may participate in the application process; no application will be penalized for requesting an accommodation. Please advise in writing of special needs at the time of application.