Internships in Public Policy

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Below you'll find all of the companies that we've covered that may offer internships in Public Policy. You can also look at entry level jobs in Public Policy.

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The Institute for College Access & Success Logo

Even if you get a full ride, college isn’t cheap. There’s a huge opportunity cost along with all kinds of hidden expenses that make higher education inaccessible to so many. When you consider that people with college degrees make nearly double the salary of those without degrees, you have to think that education after high school is pretty important (even though it’s pretty obvious that a big part of that statistic is driven by selection bias). The good news is that despite the continuously rising costs of college, the U.S. is at or near an all-time high in terms of the percentage of 25 year olds with a Bachelor’s degree. Still, there’s a long way to go, and that’s why The Institute for College Access & Success, which is based in Oakland, CA, exists. They aim to “make higher education more available and affordable for people of all backgrounds,” and they do this by “conducting and supporting nonpartisan research, analysis, and advocacy.”

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Corporation for Enterprise Development Logo

It’s tax time, which means that I’ve spent some time looking over my records from last year. This year is already looking better than last year thanks to a sponsor on One Day, One Job. Hopefully it will mean that when I do my taxes in 2011, I won’t consider myself a “low-income entrepreneur.” But if I still do, I’ll at least have the option of getting some support from the Corporation for Enterprise Development. They’re a Washington, DC based non-profit that is “dedicated to expanding economic opportunity for low-income families and communities.” The program that I’m alluding to is the CFED’s Self-Employment Tax Initiative, which helps to provide free tax preparation services for people like me (though I haven’t actually taken advantage of any of these resources). That’s just a small slice of what CFED does, though. Their broader goal is “working at the local, state and federal levels to create economic opportunity that alleviates poverty.”

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White Pages

by on March 16, 2010

White Pages Logo

One of my new favorite sites is It’s kind of like One Day, One Internship for entrepreneurs. Nearly every day, Andrew Warner, the founder, does a video chat/interview with an entrepreneur. It’s a fantastic educational tool for aspiring entrepreneurs, and it’s also a pretty decent job search resource. One of the interviews that I watched recently was with Alex Algard, the founder of White Pages. He tells the story of how he started the Seattle, WA based company as a student with an initial $1,100 investment. White Pages is now a $57 million per year business. What do they do? They help people find people online. How have they made it so profitable? They’ve worked with the right advertisers from the start.

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The Reinvestment Fund

by on March 13, 2010

The Reinvestment Fund Logo

I grew up in Fairfield, CT, which is next to a city, Bridgeport, that is always aiming for “revitalization.” They’ve talked about a building a casino for years, and they even built a minor league baseball stadium. It’s hard to say whether that has helped or hurt, but it seems that Bridgeport is at least doing a little better than it was a decade ago. I’d imagine that the real reasons for improvement have come from smaller projects that are more in tune with the city’s communities’ needs. These are the kinds of projects that The Reinvestment Fund invests in in cities in the Mid-Atlantic. They are “a 24 year old nonprofit financial lending institution with a strong social mission” and offices in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, DC. They started out as a small community development organization, and they’ve grown to become something much bigger.

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Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center Logo

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it or not, but I’ve spent the last week in Florida. It’s been a partial vacation, but I’ve spent most of the time working (since it’s been cold and rainy here). One thing that I’ve noticed down here besides the terrible weather and bad driving is that immigration is still a major issue. With Florida’s proximity to Cuba and Haiti, the state runs into a lot of immigration issues. It may be refugees arriving by boat or raft, or it could be immigrants flocking to the state to work in agriculture. Whoever they are and wherever they’re from, they are eligible for support from Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center, a non-profit “legal assistance organization dedicated to protecting and promoting the basic human rights of immigrants.” The organization is based in Miami, and they’ve been around since 1996.

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The Aspen Institute

by on January 31, 2010

I don’t usually do this, but this is important. I find many of the non-profit internships that I feature on One Day, One Internship on It’s the best resource for non-profit internships on the web, and it’s a non-profit itself. The organization is in trouble right now, and they need money. If they’ve helped your internship search in any way, go to their home page and make a donation—I just did. Even $5 will help.

The Aspen Institute Logo

If Aspen is known for anything, it’s known for skiing and affluence. In 1945 Walter Paepcke, a Chicago businessman, was so inspired by the town’s natural beauty that he wanted it to be known for something else—”as an ideal gathering place for thinkers, leaders, artists, and musicians from all over the world to step away from their daily routines and reflect on the underlying values of society and culture.” He started by organizing events in Aspen like “a celebration of the 200th birthday of German poet and philosopher Johann Wolfgang von Goethe,” and then he founded The Aspen Institute. It started as a “forum based on the writings of great thinkers of the past and present,” but now it’s evolved into something more. It is now a non-profit organization that fosters “values-based leadership” and provides “a neutral and balanced venue for discussing and acting on critical issues.” It’s certainly an ideas-focused organization, and it is now headquartered in Washington, DC with offices in Aspen, CO and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

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Feeding America

by on January 30, 2010

Feeding America Logo

Some of the most effective non-profits are the ones that work at a local level; however, the non-profits that operate at the national level usually have a much easier time raising money. Feeding America is a non-profit that is able to take advantage of both these facts by using a network model. Based in Chicago, they are “the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity.” They’re able to do this by operating “a nationwide network of member food banks.” This network of more than 200 food banks across every state distributes “more than 2.5 billion pounds of food and grocery products annually.” Those are numbers that are hard to get your mind around.

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Educational Testing Service Logo

You thought that you were done with standardized tests. No more #2 pencils and filling in bubbles for you. Guess again. An internship with the Princeton, NJ based Educational Testing Service would take you right back to Junior year in high school with all the standardized tests. They are “a private, nonprofit organization devoted to educational measurement and research, primarily through testing.” They’re behind AP Tests, the PSAT, the SAT, the TOEFL, the GRE, and plenty of other tests that you may have taken during your academic career. Their aim is to “advance quality and equity in education for people worldwide by creating assessments based on rigorous research,” and I’d say they’re doing a pretty good job. A lot of people have a strong distaste for standardized tests, but it seems that we are yet to find a better way to measure and compare achievement across groups. I was surprised to learn that the ETS is a non-profit organization, but it’s probably better for the people who take the 50 million tests that the organization administers annually.

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Oxfam America

by on January 17, 2010

Oxfam America Logo

Yesterday we took a look at one of the most familiar names associated with the Haiti Relief effort—the American Red Cross. This morning I came across a couple lists that shine a light on other organizations that are also putting a focus on Haiti. One is from U.S. News & World Report that discusses 10 Ways You Can Donate to Haitian Earthquake Victims, and the other is Haiti Earthquake—Best Ways to Assist in Providing Emergency Relief from the American Institute of Philanthropy, which rates charities involved with Haiti Relief. One of the organizations on both of those lists is Oxfam America, a Boston, MA based “international relief and development organization that creates lasting solutions to poverty, hunger, and injustice.” They already have teams delivering aid in Haiti, and you can find out all about what they’re doing their on their Haiti Earthquake page.

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Brooklyn Academy of Music

by on December 13, 2009

Brooklyn Academy of Music Logo

When did Brooklyn become the cool place to live? It’s definitely trendy, and I think a big part of that has to be the borough’s unique culture. It’s pretty artsy, which is why it makes sense that it’s the home of “America’s oldest continuously operating performing arts center,” Brooklyn Academy of Music. BAM was founded in 1861 and is still going strong—they had an attendance of more than half a million people last year. Although they have the word academy in their name, BAM’s mission is “to be the preeminent progressive performing and cinema arts center of the twenty-first century, engaging both global and local communities.” That’s not exactly what I think of when I hear academy, but maybe that’s why they usually go by BAM.

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National Endowment for Democracy Logo

I have to say that democracy is a pretty darn good thing—even if it is the only government system that I’ve ever known. It certainly has its flaws, but I’m not sure that we’ve found a better way to ensure the freedom of a nation’s citizens yet. I don’t think that there is a lot of debate about whether spreading democracy is a good thing—most of the debate centers around what are appropriate ways to spread it. The National Endowment for Democracy is a Washington, DC based “private, non-profit, grant-making organization” that aims to “strengthen democratic institutions around the world through nongovernmental efforts.” They’re funded through “an annual appropriation from the U.S. Congress through the Department of State;” however, they are not a government organization. They make grants to pro-Democracy groups across the world with the goal of helping democracy evolve naturally in a way that suits the nations culture and history.

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The Constitution Project

by on November 14, 2009

The Constitution Project Logo

Who doesn’t love the Constitution? Not only is it an extremely cool historical document, but it also happens to ensure our most sacred rights. You would think that such a document would be written with extreme clarity, but you probably know that ambiguity and interpretation come hand in hand with the Constitution. We’ve seen plenty of fractious debates end up in front of the Supreme Court and get settled with 5-4 decisions. The Constitution Project is a Washington, DC based non-profit organization that aims to build consensus on Constitutional issues.

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Children's Dental Health Project

Happy Halloween! Yesterday we took a look at Mars and talked about Halloween candy, but today we’re going to take a different tack. Since we’re told from an early age that candy will rot our teeth, I figure that Halloween is the perfect time to discuss a dental non-profit. It’s also appropriate because many people would consider the dentist to be way scarier than even the most deranged Halloween costume. After a little searching, I came across Children’s Dental Health Project. They’re a relatively small Washington, DC based non-profit organization that “advances policies that improve children’s access to oral health.” Now, this definitely does not mean that I think that anyone should give out toothbrushes for Halloween, but make sure you brush after eating all that candy.

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The Boston Globe

by on October 26, 2009

The Boston Globe Logo

It feels pretty good to be talking about a Boston based newspaper today knowing that they have to report on another trip to the World Series for the Yankees; although, I’m sure they’d much rather be publishing stories on what Dustin Pedroia and Jonathan Papelbon are doing during their offseason (possibly watching the World Series from their couches). Now that I’ve gotten in my dig at Red Sox fans, we can take a look at The Boston Globe, Boston’s most widely read newspaper. The paper is owned by the New York Times and has an excellent web presence at Much like other newspapers the Globe has had significant financial struggles, and The New York Times even threatened to shut the paper down if the paper’s union didn’t accept major concessions. Apparently those problems have been worked out, and The Boston Globe is now on more stable ground. At least that’s what the fact that they’re hiring would indicate.

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American Rivers

by on October 25, 2009

American Rivers Logo

I love rivers (mostly because they’re where I usually go fly fishing). They’re the lifeblood of our society, and even though we’ve figured out ways to move water on our own, they’re still a huge part of our infrastructure. There’s no question as to why most major cities sit on the banks of a large river. The problem with that is that it means that many of our greatest rivers have been subjected to significant abuse. Dams, pollution, irrigation, and overconsumption have left many of our rivers in pretty sad states. American Rivers is a Washington, DC based non-profit that hopes to fix this. They describe themselves as “the leading conservation organization standing up for healthy rivers so communities can thrive.”

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by on September 19, 2009

Oceana Logo

I love our oceans—everything about them. I love swimming in them, eating the food that they provide, fishing in them, watching sunsets over them, and all of the other wonderful things that they offer. However, our oceans are both blessed and cursed by the same thing—they seem infinite. That’s what makes them so great, but it’s also what has led us to abusing them nearly to the point of no return. A little pollution will disappear in the vastness of an ocean. Overfishing doesn’t matter because there are always more fish. Scraping up the bottom isn’t a big deal because we can’t see the bottom. I wish that oceans were that resilient, but they’re not. Oceana is a Washington, DC based non-profit organization that “seeks to make our oceans as rich, healthy and abundant as they were in our grandparents’ youth.” They recognize the value of their oceans, and they’re doing something to protect them.

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Corporate Accountability International Logo

We all need someone to call us out when we step over the line. Maybe it’s a parent, sibling, significant other, teacher, friend, or random guy on the street. For corporations it’s Corporate Accountability International, although I’m not sure there’s a lot of love going between the two parties. I don’t know when corporations became such a bad thing, and to be honest I still think that corporations do a lot more good than bad, but a great part of living in such a free society is that there’s always someone out there looking to hold you accountable. Boston based Corporate Accountability International demands “direct corporate accountability to public interests.” That means that when a corporation puts the food that we eat, the water that we drink, or the air that we breathe at risk, Corporate Accountability International will be causing a stir about it.

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American Legacy Foundation Logo

Three months ago when I featured the American Lung Association’s Jobs, I mentioned a good friend who is battling lung cancer. From what I’ve heard, he continues to be doing well and fighting for his life. Unfortunately, I recently learned that my grandmother is also facing a battle with lung cancer despite the fact that she stopped smoking before I was born. It’s obviously very upsetting for my family, and we’re going to do our best to get her through this. I don’t usually like getting too personal with these posts, but there’s no better way for me to introduce the American Legacy Foundation. They are a Washington, DC based non-profit organization that “is dedicated to building a world where young people reject tobacco and anyone can quit.” I’ve seen what tobacco can do to people, and it absolutely amazes me that anyone chooses to smoke these days, but many do. It may be their right to do what they want with their bodies but I’m glad that the American Legacy Foundation is working hard to push them towards a smarter, healthier decision.

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Free Press

by on July 26, 2009

Free Press Logo

I doubt many of you would disagree with the assertion that the “mainstream media” has some major issues that need to be worked out. Take the coverage of Michael Jackson’s death. Yes, he was a great entertainer. Yes, the way that he lived his life was totally perplexing. Yes, people are fascinated by him. But did we really need all that coverage? It’s just one example of how our media is failing us, but I’m sure that Free Press would be willing to give you many more examples. They are a non-profit, “national, nonpartisan organization working to reform the media through education, organizing and advocacy.” Free Press advocates “independent media ownership, strong public media, and universal access to communications,” and they do this through a number of campaigns: Save the Internet, Stop Big Media, No Fake News, Local Radio Now, Stamp Out Postal Rate Hikes, Save Our Spectrum, Community Internet, Public Broadcasting, Pentagon Propaganda, White Spaces, and Rate the Debates. They’re based in both Washington, DC and Florence, MA, and they’ve been working since 2002 to fix what they call a failing media system.

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National Public Radio

by on July 12, 2009

National Public Radio Logo

A child’s first sign of teenage (pre-teenage?) rebellion often begins at the radio dial. The parent’s up-to-this-point unchallenged decision of what to listen to while in the car is called into question, and all hell breaks loose. If there are multiple kids in the family (or even just in the car), the negotiation can quickly becom more heated than a multi-lateral peace process in a war-torn nation. The parent will fight hard to maintain his or her right to National Public Radio, but the kid will persist in his or her challenge to hear something that feeds a suddenly “eclectic” taste in music. Often the parents cede this battle in hopes of winning in the future (bad idea!), which results in the parent’s driving the kids around the mini-van listening to rap music that would be a lot more offensive if the parent knew what some of the words meant. Eventually the rebellious tykes will grow up and realize that they too want to be more cultured, and they slowly, but surely come around to listening to NPR. Or maybe some kids just never speak up. They like NPR from the start. Maybe those are the ones who end up taking internships at NPR.

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Lesic & Camper Logo

This is a guest post by Heather R. Huhman. Heather is the media relations manager at a national health care professional association and entry-level careers columnist for

You don’t have to be in Washington, DC to be part of the political scene. Lesic & Camper Communications is doing just fine with their two locations in Ohio—Columbus and Cleveland. The agency’s specialties are media relations, public affairs and strategic counsel, and its staff has “decades of experience in journalism, public policy, government, political and issues management, and public opinion development.” While many of Lesic & Camper’s clients are Ohio-centric, they do have a few big names on their roster, such as Accenture and Nationwide.

Between the two offices, the staff at Lesic & Camper is extremely small—nine staff members and two “associates” (partner organizations). Lesic & Camper is what I would call “top heavy” in that they have very few junior-level staff members. However, this gives you an opportunity to really learn from the pros.

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American Lung Association Logo

Yesterday I got some bad news. A good friend and one of the best people in the fly fishing community was diagnosed with lung cancer a few months ago. It’s not a pretty picture, but if anyone can beat it, it’s him. Since he’s been on my mind since yesterday, I thought it would only be appropriate to take a look at the American Lung Association today. They’re a nationwide non-profit organization that aims to “save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease.” Whether it’s a lifelong smoker who is facing a life and death situation or a kid who is growing up with asthma (like me), the American Lung Association is there to help – mostly “through research, education and advocacy.”

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Sustainable Long Island

by on April 26, 2009

Sustainable Long Island Logo

I’ve always had a grudge against Long Island. It’s not because I went to college with half of Long Island at Cornell or because of those stereotypes that you hear about Long Islanders. It’s the fact that I grew up in Southeastern Connecticut, and Long Island blocked us off from the beautiful Atlantic Ocean. Since Long Island isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, I’ve learned to live with it, and I can even enjoy an occasional visit there. It really is a beautiful place with amazing beaches – it even has farms. Unfortunately Long Island is only so big, and there are certainly some problems from growth (try driving out to the Hamptons on a Friday night). That’s why organizations like Sustainable Long Island exist – they aim to “promote economic development, environmental health and equity for all Long Islanders, now and for generations to come.” They want to encourage smart growth so that everyone can enjoy Long Island, whether they want to live, work, or vacation there.

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The White House

by on March 2, 2009

The White House Logo

Ok, we all know that White House interns don’t have the best track record, so let’s not even go there. We also all know that there hasn’t been a time in recent history where the government’s role has seemed so important. Wherever your political views lie, right now would have to be one of the coolest times to be an intern at The White House. An expanding government may not be good for us young people in the long run, but you can reap the benefits now by taking one of the many internships that The White House is offering. There’s plenty of information on the White House available, so I don’t think that I need to go any further.

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Space Studies Board

by on January 17, 2009

Space Studies Board Logo

Internships are often a good way to figure out what you want to do with your life. They are a low commitment way to make sure that your expectations for a given career are realistic. Today’s internships still provide an opportunity for students to try out a career path, but they’re reserved or students who have demonstrated an extremely serious interest in space science research. The Space Studies Board is a division within the National Academies (a non-profit organization that advises the nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine) that focuses on space research. The Board is based in Washington, DC and was founded in 1958. They “oversee advisory studies and program assessments, facilitates international research coordination, and promotes communications on space science and science policy between the research community, the federal government, and the interested public.” If you’re committed to studying space, you need to intern with the Space Studies Board.

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Atlantic Media

by on December 15, 2008

Atlantic Media Company Logo

It’s amazing to think that a publication started by Harriet Beecher Stowe, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., and James Russell Lowell in 1857 is still kicking. The Atlantic has morphed from a focus on literary and cultural affairs to more broadly attacking the topics of foreign affairs, politics, economics, and cultural trends. It has also joined forces with National Journal and Government Executive to form Atlantic Media. Their publications are a little more advanced than Highlights and Mad Magazine, which is why a recent rebranding effort was probably necessary. Appealing to people’s intellectual sides just isn’t the best way to sell magazines, unfortunately. With lots of changes going on at Atlantic Media, and National Journal Group’s political trade journals still bringing money, now might be an interesting time to consider interning with Atlantic Media.

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The Wilderness Society

by on December 14, 2008

For me the wilderness is central to life itself – I can’t be happy without time spent outdoors. That doesn’t mean that I’m not enjoying life in downtown Chicago, but I plan on spending lots of time in the woods and rivers of Wisconsin and Michigan once Spring starts to show its face. My philosophy is shared by the people at The Wilderness Society. Their About page says that “It is our calling and our passion to protect America’s wilderness, not as a relic of our nation’s past, but as a thriving ecological community that is central to life itself.” I couldn’t agree more. They’re a non-profit organization that provides “scientific, economic, legal and policy guidance to land managers, communities, local conservation groups and state and federal decision-makers” to “ensure the best management of our lands – national forests, parks and refuges, as well as public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management.” I’ve seen one of my favorite places in the world (a Northern Michigan tract of wilderness and quality fishing areas) put at risk by poor land management policies that would have allowed natural gas drilling in an extremely sensitive area, so I know how firsthand how vital The Wilderness Society’s work is.

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Food & Water Watch

by on November 23, 2008

Food & Water Watch Logo

Do you look at the labels on all of the food that you buy? Not only the nutritional facts but also the ingredients? If you answered yes, then you’re probably a health conscious consumer, or maybe you have a specific food allergy. Well what about the stuff that’s in your food that isn’t on the ingredients label? No mater what kind of drugs they pump into the cow that your hamburger is coming from, it’s always just going to be labeled beef. How about that bottle of water that you’re drinking from right now? It’s just water, or is it? A salmon from Lake Ontario is still just salmon, even if it’s full of PCBs (at least you can’t buy those in the grocery store). There’s a lot of stuff in our food and water that we don’t know about, which is why Washington, DC based Food & Water Watch exists. They’re “a nonprofit consumer organization that works to ensure clean water and safe food.”

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Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive Logo

Newspapers are dying. If you’re a college student, there’s a good chance that the only newspaper that you ever read a physical copy of is your campus’ daily. When you graduate, you probably won’t subscribe to a newspaper. Everything is moving online, and the industry is suffering financially because of it. With all of this change, there’s also a lot of opportunity. Interning in a traditional newsroom can offer some amazing learning opportunities, but the future is working in an interactive newsroom. Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive is the digital arm of The Washington Post (and we think that it may eventually be the only arm). WPNI consists of,, Slate,, Girlfriends Getaways, Sprig, The Root, The Big Money, Loudoun, and Ad Specs and they are looking for a ridiculous number of interns.

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The Fund for Modern Courts

by on October 18, 2008

The Fund for Modern Courts

Have you ever served jury duty? It kind of sucks, right? Although a lot of people will never be fond of forced service, most people would be much more willing to serve on a jury if the entire process wasn’t so onerous. What about people who actually go through the judicial process? They’re probably not too fond of the system either, but may that’s because half of the parties involved in cases always lose. Whatever your view on the judicial process is, I think that we can all agree that there is a lot of room for improvement. That’s what the The Fund for Modern Courts is all about. They’re a “a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to improving the administration of justice in New York.”

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