Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Seeks Interns for Summer 2018

The Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI), a joint center of Columbia Law School and the Earth Institute, is accepting applications until March 31, 2018 for internship positions for Summer 2018. Interns are staffed to one or more specific research projects depending on the background and interests of the particular applicant. Course credit can be granted in some cases.

CCSI is a leading applied research center and forum dedicated to the study, practice and discussion of sustainable international investment. Our mission is to develop and disseminate practical approaches and solutions to maximize the impact of international investment for sustainable development. The Center’s work is organized around three major areas of research: Sustainable Investments in Extractive Industries, Sustainable Investments in Land and Agriculture, and Sustainable International Investment Law and Policy.

Summer internships are full-time (35-40 hours per week) unless otherwise noted. Continuation into subsequent terms is possible, and in some cases, preferred.

To apply for a Summer 2018 internship, please send a cover letter, CV and writing sample to CCSI’s Executive Coordinator, Nancy Siporin (NSipor@law.columbia.edu), unless otherwise specified, by March 31, 2018. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. The cover letter should include a distinct list of which internships you are applying for. (You may include as many as you’d like.)

Summer 2018 internship opportunities are currently available for the following:

Legal Support Gaps in the Context of Land Investments (Unpaid Internship)

CCSI is seeking law students to assist with research, writing, and other activities relating to our project on legal support gaps in the context of land-based investments. Work could include: helping to develop guidance resources for communities interacting with investors (a collaborative project between CCSI and Namati); analyzing community-investor agreements around land; conducting research on financing solutions for legal support to communities and/or undertaking research on redressing harms to communities in the context of project failure. To the extent possible, work will be tailored to the intern’s interests and experience, and the intern will work closely with CCSI legal researchers. Preference will be given to applicants with strong research and writing skills.

Responsible and Sustainable Investments in Land and Agriculture (Unpaid Internship)

CCSI is seeking graduate students to assist with research, writing, and other activities relating to various projects within CCSI’s Sustainable Investments in Land and Agriculture focus area. Specific projects may include, for example: research to identify new solutions for advancing responsible investments in land and agriculture; writing primers on key topics related to sustainable investments in agriculture; or exploring agricultural investments undertaken by certain subsets of investors. To the extent possible, work will be tailored to interns’ interests and experience, and interns will work closely with CCSI researchers. Preference will be given to applicants with strong research and writing skills who have familiarity with relevant topics.

Investment and Human Rights (Unpaid Internship)

CCSI is seeking graduate students to assist with research, writing, and other activities relating to various projects on the topic of investment and human rights. Specific issues of focus could include:

  • Incorporating free, prior, and informed consent into contracting processes;
  • Home governments’ extraterritorial obligations in the context of outward resource investments;
  • Squaring investment and human rights frameworks, including the interaction between international investment agreements and human rights;
  • Understanding investment impacts in the articulation of land as a human right; and/or
  • Collaborative human rights impact assessments

The intern will work closely with CCSI legal researchers and, where possible, work will be tailored to the intern’s interests and experience. Preference will be given to applicants with strong research and writing skills who are law students or who have significant legal experience. Familiarity with international investment law and human rights law preferred.

Building the Case for Transparency of Land Investments (Unpaid Internship)

CCSI is seeking a graduate student to assist with research, writing, and other activities relating to our work on transparency in land-based investment. This may include research and writing focused on: addressing commonly perceived challenges of transparency, developing a robust human rights argument for transparency, articulating the benefits and challenges of transparency for specific sets of stakeholders, and/or tracking and assessing evidence and lessons learned related to land contract disclosure. The intern may also provide limited support to OpenLandContracts.org, the world’s first repository of publicly available land, agricultural, and forestry contracts. The intern will work closely with CCSI legal researchers. Preference will be given to applicants with strong research and writing skills.

Extractive Industries and Sustainable Development (Unpaid Internship)

CCSI is seeking LLM or JD student interns to assist with research, writing and other activities relating to various projects in CCSI’s extractive industries work stream. Tasks may include: performing research on the legal frameworks governing extractive industries in different countries; assisting with maintaining the Negotiation Support Portal, an online portal to support resource-rich countries as they plan, prepare for, negotiate, monitor, and implement large-scale investment projects; assisting with cross-cutting research on land and extractives. Preference will be given to candidates with strong legal research and writing skills, and candidates who have experience or demonstrated interest in issues relating to extractive industries.

Access to Justice (Unpaid Internship)

CCSI is seeking JD or LLM students to support research that seeks to assess the implications of the international investment regime for access to justice for investment-affected rights holders. Further information about the project can be found here and here. Applicants with experience in investment law and human rights law are strongly encouraged to apply.

Communications and Publications (Unpaid Internship)

CCSI is seeking a graduate student to assist with communications and publications tasks related to the Center’s work on Investment Law & Policy. This unpaid internship will involve a range of communications tasks, including: proofreading, editing, and formatting publications; drafting short publications, including blogs and briefing notes; managing social media; filming and editing short videos, including interviews and tutorials; and carrying out and transcribing phone interviews. Candidates with experience with Adobe Creative Suite are encouraged to apply.

International Trade and Investment Law and Policy (Unpaid Internship)

CCSI is seeking JD and LLM students to support a number of projects relating to policy analysis surrounding international investment treaties, treaty-based investor-state arbitration, and trade law. Students should be presently enrolled in law school. Familiarity with international trade and/or investment law is desirable, but is not required.

Investment Treaty Analysis (Unpaid Internship)

CCSI is seeking JD or LLM students to work on investment treaty analysis. This unpaid internship will involve working with CCSI staff to collect and analyze recently drafted investment treaties in order to identify and comment on notable trends in investment law. Interest in investment law is required, and applicants with experience in public international law are strongly encouraged to apply.

Trade, Investment, and Food Security (Unpaid Internship)

CCSI is seeking a graduate student to support its research on the nexus of trade, investment, and food security. This internship will require research on topical issues at this nexus, identification of the impacts of trade and investment agreements on efforts by states to enhance food security and nutrition, and documentation of best practices and/ or reforms. Preference will be given to candidates with strong legal research and writing skills. Familiarity with trade and investment law required.

For more information on internship opportunities and how to apply, please see the CCSI website.

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