Legal Patent Internship

Public Citizen is a non-partisan public interest group with more than 400,000 members and activists. Key areas of organizational focus include pharmaceutical drug safety and consumer health, among others.

Public Citizen's Global Access to Medicines Program works with partners worldwide to help improve access to medicines through use of cost-lowering measures including generic competition. Please see www.citizen.org/access.

We are now seeking a highly skilled, motivated, self-directed and experienced legal intern for the Summer 2019 and Fall/Spring 2019. The internship provides an excellent opportunity to gain or enhance an understanding of the practice of patent laws around the world in the context of a nongovernmental organization. Previous experience in, or knowledge of, the field of patent law is required.

The intern will be supervised by our Legal Counsel on assigned matters and will have numerous opportunities to learn about the practice of patent law in the public interest.  


The Intern Will:

  • assist our team in our regular course of work, which includes review and analysis of national and international patent and scientific literature
  • conduct prior art search, study patents and patent validity, draft memos in support of patent opposition proceedings, analyze case law
  • conduct legal research and other support activities
  • work with U.S. and international nongovernmental organizations
  • some limited administrative work should also be expected

Desired Competencies and Qualifications:

  • Excellent law school records, technical undergrad background (science & engineering) preferred
  • Previous experience  in the field of patent law (international experience is helpful but not required) and knowledge of other fields of intellectual property
  • While research experience is always welcome, a desire to learn, a passion for patent law and policy, and enthusiasm for public interest work is most appreciated!
  • Excellent communication, attention to detail and organizational skills
  • A positive attitude and a good sense of humor

Please Note:

Public Citizen offers both unpaid internships (course credit can be arranged) and a small numberof paid internships ($15 an hour).  To be considered for a paid internship for summer 2019, candidates must apply by March 31, 2019, and submit the materials listed below.  Chosen applicants will be notified by Monday, April 15, 2019.

If you are applying for a paid internship, please also include an essay outlining why you want to intern at Public Citizen and any other information about you that you wish to have considered, including your need for financial support (500 words or less). If you have completed the FAFSA, please also submit a copy of your Student Aid Report (SAR). The internship is based in our Washington DC office. Please include the range of dates you may be available to work in your application.

Submit a resume and cover letter to medsaccess@citizen.org