Internship Opportunities

a young african american man in a suit stands at a podium   



Thank you for your interest in an internship with the San Francisco Human Rights Commission (HRC), The HRC, Office of Racial Equity (ORE), and Office of Sexual Harassment & Assault Response & Prevention (SHARP) welcome applications for virtual law student internships -- look for additional deadline information soon. More details about the program are below.



About the San Francisco Human Rights Commission

The HRC advocates for human rights issues and enforces non-discrimination laws as a municipal enforcement agency in the City and County of San Francisco.  For nearly 50 years, HRC has grown in response to San Francisco’s mandate to address the causes of and problems resulting from prejudice, intolerance, bigotry and discrimination.  We:



  • Advocate for equity as well as human and civil rights
  • Investigate and mediate discrimination complaints;
  • Resolve community disputes and issues involving individual or systemic illegal discrimination; and
  • Provide technical assistance, information and referrals to individuals, community groups, businesses and government agencies related to human rights and social services.


About the Office of Racial Equity

The Office of Racial Equity (ORE) was created in July 2019 through legislation authored by Supervisors Sandra Lee Fewer and Vallie Brown, as a division of the Human Rights Commission. The ORE will repair harm done by local policy decisions that have created, upheld, or exacerbated racial disparities within San Francisco. The ORE will collaborate with all city departments to create targeted strategies to advance racial equity and will also provide analysis on the racial equity impact of proposed ordinances pending at the Board of Supervisors in key policy areas. Most importantly, ORE will utilize a multi-method approach to facilitate public engagement and restorative justice processes, building trust and accountability in the communities most harmed by policy decisions. 

The powers and duties of the Office of Racial Equity includes the following: 

  • Development of Citywide Racial Equity Framework and related policy priorities—a frame and specific recommendations made to the Mayor and Board of Supervisors about changes to the city’s laws, programs, policies, budget and focus areas to address and repair racial disparities; 
  • Racial Equity Action Plans for city departments and annual reporting about both city workers and contracts and grants for service provision, with recommendations for budget reductions should benchmarks not be met; 
  • An annual release of data about the City’s workforce by race including but not limited to compensation, hires, promotions, disciplinary actions, complaints made, (and whether they were investigated) and more; 
  • Reporting on data regarding City's contracting by race
  • A Budget Equity Tool to assess how the City’s budget decisions and priorities benefit and/or burden communities, specifically communities of color. 
  • Racial Equity Policy Analysis Tool for Legislation at the Board of Supervisors to illuminate the impact of policy on communities of color-- before a public vote on policy. 
  • biennial report card or ‘Racial Equity Index’ on how San Francisco as a whole is faring within the public and private sector, with regards to indicators by race, including housing, income/wealth, transit, health, education, environment, policing/criminal justice and other factors. 


About the Office of Sexual Harassment & Assault Response & Prevention (SHARP)

The Office of SHARP collaborates with City Departments, law enforcement agencies, and community organizations to ensure that local government services are accountable and responsive to the needs of survivors of sexual violence. Specifically, the Office of SHARP is charged with the following duties:

  • Work with survivors to remedy the way any City department has negatively responded or failed to respond to their complaint
  • Engaging with City Departments and law enforcement agencies on prompt and thorough response to sexual violence allegations
  • Collaborating with community stakeholders on preventing sexual violence and improving the City’s response to sexual violence in a way that ensures dignity, trust, safety and professionalism for survivors.


About the Internship

We value our interns and pride ourselves on providing educational and meaningful internship experiences. As a host organization, we ensure that fellows will be actively engaged in important projects that are vital to our work.  

HRC internships provide a unique opportunity to learn about how local governments enforce laws and effect policy.  Your tasks will teach professional skills that apply well in this context as well as many others.  You may choose to develop any skills that interest you, such as interviewing, community outreach, legal writing and research, cultural competency, document production, and public speaking.  Your time and professional development mean a lot to us and we will work with you to ensure that you get the most out of your experience.

Join us at HRC's ORE and SHARP divisions for exciting projects at the forefront of social justice issues in the City!  Potential projects include:

  • For ORE:
    • Support building out ORE’s Citywide Racial Equity Framework.
    • Support racial equity analysis for pending legislation.
    • Other duties in keeping with ORE’s mission.
  • For SHARP:
    • Conduct intakes and advocate for survivors of sexual violence who attempted to bring their cases to City Departments and received inadequate treatment.
    • Liaise with San Francisco Police Department around potential policy changes for survivors of sexual violence.
    • Work closely with community members in developing SHARP’s policy priorities.
    • Other duties in keeping with SHARP’s mission.

Note that funding is not guaranteed from HRC.  Students are encouraged to seek funding from outside sources.  HRC may work with accepted interns to secure outside funding. 


How to Apply

When applying, please be sure your cover letter contains the following items:

  • An explanation of why you want to intern with the HRC and how your background is relevant to HRC’s work. A list of HRC’s projects can be found under the “Policy” tab of this website. However, you may also suggest additional human rights projects that you would like to explore during your internship with the HRC.
  • A preference to work in the Office of Racial Equity or the Office of Sexual Harassment & Assault Response & Prevention, or both/no preference. 
  • A description of your time commitment. We generally prefer interns to agree to at least two full days a week for a period of 3 months but are willing to accommodate students’ class schedules on a case-by-case basis.

HRC is dedicated to non-discrimination principles and equal opportunity employment and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, disability or medical condition, Acquired Immune Deficiency (AIDS/HIV) or AIDS related conditions, political affiliation, sexual orientation, ancestry, marital or domestic partner status, gender identity, parental status, veteran status, height, weight, or any other basis protected by law.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Please contact us at 415-252-2500 with questions.