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Criminal Justice Intern

*To be considered for an internship, you must apply directly through our online application here.* 

You will help our criminal justice team roll back unconstitutional overcriminalization, restore accountability for police and prosecutors who violate people’s rights, and challenge the scourge of plea-driven mass adjudication. As an intern in Cato’s Project on Criminal Justice, you will work with leading scholars and activists on researching legal briefs, responding to the many injustices perpetrated by the criminal justice system, and supporting legislative outreach efforts. Finalists for this department will be asked to provide a supplementary resume.


  • Conduct literature reviews
  • Frequent fact-finding missions to support scholars’ op-eds, studies, and blog posts
  • Attend and report on Hill briefings and other relevant panels and conferences


  • Strong research and writing skills
  • Demonstrated interest in criminal justice
  • Legal research experience is a plus

Cato’s scholars address a wide range of constitutional and legal issues—including federalism, property rights, civil liberties, criminal law and procedure, qualified immunity, civil asset forfeiture, and the Second Amendment, to name a few. Cato expects the judiciary to be the “bulwark” of our liberties, as James Madison put it, neither making up nor ignoring the law but interpreting and applying it through the natural rights tradition we inherited from the Founding generation.

About the Cato Internship Program

Cato’s paid internships are for undergraduates, recent graduates, graduate students, law students, and early-career professionals who have a strong commitment to individual liberty, limited government, free markets, and peace—principles that, taken together, constitute libertarianism, known alternately as “classical liberalism,” “market liberalism,” or, to many of our international friends, just “liberalism.” 

All Cato interns attend the same intensive seminar series, which covers a broad range of history, philosophy, policy, and professional development topics. Interns also aid with events and occasionally help Cato staff with other day-to-day needs. 

Interns receive competitive compensation. Part-time positions are adjusted accordingly and carry a minimum of 25 hrs./wk. Program participants must be available in person in Washington, D.C.  

For more information about the internship program and experience, we encourage you to explore our website.  

If you have any questions, feel free to email Cortez Bartolome, Programs Coordinator, at