For almost a decade, Public Knowledge has been a leader in training diverse early career advocates for a future in public policy making, putting them in positions to have their voices included in the making of laws and regulations.
Public Knowledge’s training program is an immersive experience where early career interns, externs, students, and fellows learn by working side-by-side with PK’s lawyers and advocates, in the halls of Congress, before agencies like the FCC, FTC, and DOJ, in coalition meetings, and with the press.
PK’s flagship program is its full time post graduate fellowship program, where fellows commit one or two years to learning and practicing the policy making process. PK fellows have moved on to leadership positions at Common Cause, National Hispanic Media Coalition, elected office as a state senator, with federal agencies, including an FCC commissioner’s office, Capitol Hill, and other policy institutions. The fellowship program is a driver of diversity in the tech policy field. Two thirds of the 22 fellows hired into PK’s program from 2013-2020 were female, almost two thirds were people of color, and over one third were from families where at least one parent was born outside the U.S. At least three identified as LGBTQ+.
Explanation of Types of Opportunities
Fellowships: PK has hosted more than 20 full time post graduate fellowships in the last decade (many fellows are law graduates, but that is not a requirement). These fellowships are a key way to train the next generation of public interest advocates. These fellowships are funded according to PK’s ability to gain outside support. Funders have included the Democracy Fund, the Nielsen Foundation, the Knight Foundation, Media Democracy Fund, partner law schools, and others. If a funded fellowship is available, it will be posted on Public Knowledge’s website. (If there is no fellowship posting on the website, there is no open fellowship.) If a student wishes to collaborate with a funder, such as their law school or another funding source, the student should contact Public Knowledge at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss a proposal.
Internships: PK hires a few interns each summer. Like fellowships, they must be funded through outside sources, such as the student’s law or other school. Internships are usually 10 weeks starting in May and ending in July or early August. Interns perform the same kind of work as fellows – learning by doing.
Externships: PK hires externs during the school year or the summer. Externships are for academic credit, rather than for a stipend. In general, it can be easier to get an externship with PK than a summer internship, as there is more room during the school year.
Co-ops: Some law schools have co-op or capstone programs, where students will work with PK for a semester long credit.
If you are interested in an externship or co-op, start by consulting your school, then reach out to email@example.com
Do You Need to Be a Law Student? You do not need to be a law student to apply for a PK experience, unless specified in the posting, although most interns are law students. PK has hosted a variety of other students who have a deep interest in tech policy work.
Other Experiences: PK has hosted students for a variety of limited experiences, such as working on a specific area of inquiry or paper. These experiences can be remote, and are more limited in terms of exposure to policy making, but they can be valuable to the student and make a contribution to PK’s scholarship.
Outreach: Public Knowledge’s President, Chris Lewis, hosts a monthly breakfast called Privileged Conversations, reaching out to students/recent graduates of color to share information about career paths in tech policy. Public Knowledge’s leadership makes itself available for informational interviews for aspiring students, and Public Knowledge provides expertise to other training programs, including appearing as speakers. Public Knowledge’s outreach includes building relationships with HBCUs, including Howard University School of Law and North Carolina Central University School of Law.
How to Apply:
Fellowships: If there is an open fellowship, the application will be on Public Knowledge’s website. If you would like to suggest an fellowship, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
School year internships, externships, co-ops: Public Knowledge does not have specific timelines for school year applications, usually timelines are guided by the student’s school. Contact email@example.com if you would like to propose a school year experience.
In Need of Housing for Your Internship? Check out the links below:
- Washington Internship Student Housing (WISH)
- International Student House of Washington DC
- The Washington Intern Housing Network
- American University Non-Student Intern Housing
- George Washington University Non-Student Intern Housing
- Georgetown University Summer Sublets Facebook Group
- Washington, DC Sublets Facebook Group