Careers in media law and legal journalism

      Journalism and law are intertwined like the Washington Post and Watergate.
legal journalism      Good journalism can bring about changes in laws. And the law affects how well journalists can do their jobs.
     As professions, both require superior research and writing skills, critical thinking, and knowledge of government and the legal system.
     It's no wonder that so many journalists end up going to law school, and that journalism is one of the popular alternative career choices among lawyers.
     For example, Fox News' Greta Van Susteren is a Georgetown Law alumnus. Penn Law grad Michael Smerconish is a popular radio show host.
Slate's Dahlia Lithwick went to Stanford Law. And CNN's Nancy Grace is a former prosecutor.
Providence Journal reporter Robert Luskin is now a prominent litigator at Patton Boggs, a prestigious Washington law firm. Levine Sullivan Koch & Schulz, a renowned First Amendment boutique law firm, is full of journalists-turned-lawyers.
     (And the creator of is also a lawyer and journalist.)
     To assist with the crossover, this page lists career and educational opportunities in media law and legal journalism.

Legal journalism internships:

The American Lawyer, a monthly 20,000-circulation law magazine, offers a summer internship for graduate and undergraduate students interested in business and legal journalism. The position is in New York City, runs 10-12 weeks and pays $400 per week.

ABC News offers year-round internships with "attractive salary" in its "Law & Justice Unit," a group of former lawyers who generate, report and produce major legal stories for all of the network's news programs and platforms.

NPR offers unpaid internships working with Legal Affairs Correspondent Nina Totenberg. Provides real experience in researching, analyzing, and reporting on events in the Supreme Court and other major legal arenas
Media law internships:

Levine Sullivan Koch & Schulz offers well-paid summer associate positions to law school students in its New York, Washington and Philadelphia offices.

Society of Professional Journalists offers two
Pulliam/Kilgore Freedom of Information Internships. One intern works in the Washington office of Baker & Hostetler, the Society's legal counsel. The other intern works at the Society's headquarters in Indianapolis.

Student Press Law Center offers paid internships year-round in its Washington-area office. College, graduate and law students and recent college graduates may apply.

Reporters Committee for Freedom of Press offers paid internships year-round in Washington for students and recent graduates.

The Freedom Forum, a Washington-based organization dedicated to free speech and free press, offers year-round paid internships tohigh school, college and graduate students.

National Public Radio, a.k.a. NPR, offers year-round paid internships for law students in its legal department at its Washington headquarters.

Citizens Media Law Project, which is affiliated with Harvard Law School and provides legal help to online and citizen media, offers paid internships in Boston to law students.

Law degrees for journalists:

Columbia, Northwestern and UC-Berkeley offer a joint J.D./M.A. program in law and journalism.

Yale and Georgetown offer a one-year master's degree in law.

Carnegie/Newhouse School Legal Reporting Fellowships provide up to $3,000 each, plus other benefits, for freelance journalists examining some aspect of the American legal system.

McCormick Tribune Publications Fellowship is a 13-month position for a recent graduate that involves writing and editing publications both online and in print for the Student Press Law Center. The Washington-based position pays $37,000 and includes benefits.

Reporters Committee for Freedom of Press hires two or three legal fellows each year. Fellows must be working journalists or law school graduates. They monitor developments in media law, assist reporters with legal defense and write for the Committee's publications, including the quarterly magazine The News Media & The Law. Fellows are based in Washington.

Media Law Resource Center Fellowship offers a recent law school graduate the opportunity to join in all MLRC projects and to contribute to and develop specific First Amendment research and/or writing projects. The one-year fellowship is based in New York and pays $35,000.

Loyola Law School Journalist Fellowship is a free, four-day intensive seminar in Los Angeles for journalists whose coverage requires an in-depth knowledge of the legal system.

Vermont School of Law Summer Media Fellowships is a 2-week program on environmental law that provides free housing, a $1,200 stipend, private tutorials and free law classes for journalists.

Georgetown Law Graduate Teaching Fellowship in First Amendment and Media Law provides the opportunity to work on cutting edge cases, to work closely with a mentor faculty director, and to teach law students. Two-year position is in D.C. and pays $50,000 per year.