top of page
  • Writer's pictureEstelle Reardon

8 Legal Internships for High School Students in San Francisco

Updated: Apr 23

Why do internships in high school?

Before we jump into a long list of legal internships for high school students in San Francisco, it is important to understand why these opportunities could matter for your future. According to PRISM, a consultancy, 70% of students attending a US News top 50 University have completed at least one internship while in high school. These opportunities serve as a way to distinguish yourself in the admissions process by showing that you have gone out and verified your future goals through experience. Doing internships will help you enter college with a clearer idea of the professional environments you enjoy or don’t enjoy, which will make it easier for you to recruit into a job you love after graduation. Students who have done at least one internship in high school also typically have an easier time recruiting into college internships and pre-professional organizations such as finance or pre-law clubs.

How to Find Legal Internships for High School Students in San Francisco

The best way to find legal internships for high school students in San Francisco is through online search tools and lists. The StandOutSearch database provides the largest free resource that lists almost every internship program for the high school age group and allows you to search by interest area. MIT Admissions also provides a helpful list of High School Internships

However, official programs tend to be very competitive, so if you are serious about finding a summer internship in high school, you should also prepare a cold outreach strategy. You can read more about how to form a cold outreach strategy to find a high school internship at the end of this article. We also include email templates to make finding an internship or research position through cold outreach less daunting.

8 Legal Internships for High School Students in San Francisco

Most of the legal internships for high school students in San Francisco below have an acceptance rate of 20% or lower, given that there are many more high school students looking for internships relative to official programs that provide them. We recommend choosing at least five opportunities to apply to. If you see an opportunity that excites you, take a moment to write the deadline on your calendar!

  • Ages: 15-19

  • Location: Virtual 

  • Timeline: Summer, Spring, Fall, or Winter

  • Deadline: Various Deadlines

StandOut Connect is a program created thanks to investment from UChicago’s Polsky Center for Innovation that matches high school students with internships in their interest area. Students interview with potential mentors who are leaders and innovators within their area of interest until they are hired for a two-month internship. Many students then receive optional return offers to continue with their internship for as long as they would like.

  • Ages: At least rising Sophomore 

  • Location: Across the Bay Area

  • Timeline: Summer

  • Deadline: End of April

The Bay Area Summer Academy for high school students is a paid internship and over the course of the subsequent four weeks, students will learn how regional agencies deal with issues like environmental justice, housing and transportation equity, community health, and social justice. 

  • Ages: Junior - Senior

  • Location: Palo Alto

  • Timeline: Year-round

  • Deadline: Contact for Deadline

Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo established her Student Advisory Board (SAB) in 1993 to give young people a voice in our government. The Board is made up of high school juniors and seniors who live in or attend school in her Congressional District. Past SABs have researched issues important to students and made detailed legislative recommendations to Congresswoman Eshoo.

  • Ages: Rising Junior or Senior

  • Location: San Francisco

  • Timeline: Summer

  • Deadline: April

SF YouthWorks provides paid job readiness workshops, training, and internships at different SF City Departments such as the District Attorney, Public Defender, and County Clerk. 

  • Ages: Rising Sophomore - Senior

  • Location: San Francisco

  • Timeline: Year Round

  • Deadline: Spring

The Teen Art Connect (TAC) Internship brings together high school students from diverse backgrounds for a year-round paid internship. Teens work and learn together in a world-class arts environment to experience art, explore identity and culture, produce and lead meaningful public events and programs, and develop professional skills. 

  • Ages: Freshman - Senior

  • Location: San Francisco

  • Timeline: Summer

  • Deadline: April

MYEEP provides San Francisco youth with paid work opportunities, academic support, and tools they’ll need to succeed in the workplace.  MYEEP also gives youth a chance to build relationships with other members of their neighborhood communities. MYEEP also offers leadership opportunities for youth who want to take the next step in becoming a leader in their community where interns connect with youth and community agencies throughout San Francisco to design and facilitate workshops and activities for other  MYEEP interns.

  • Ages: Freshman - Senior

  • Location: San Francisco

  • Timeline: Year - round

  • Deadline: Contact for deadline

Interns will work with The Department of Police Accountability. Task will include reviewing and analyzing body-worn camera footage; researching local, state, and federal laws to inform policy proposals; developing department-wide policies to ensure compliance with local, state, and federal laws; and aiding DPA attorneys in all stages of trial preparation (including sentencing and appeals).

  • Ages: Sophomore - Senior

  • Location: San Francisco,

  • Timeline: Summer

  • Deadline: February

Project pull connects students with paid summer internships in City departments such as the Board of Appeals, Board of Supervisors, and City Attorney. 

Cold Outreach Strategy for High School Internships 

If the opportunities listed above don’t turn out to be a fit, the next step to finding a legal internship for high school students in San Francisco is to launch a cold outreach strategy. This may seem intimidating at first, but the guide below should make it much more simple. As an added note, please exercise caution when reaching out to professionals you don’t know. It is always safest to interview or meet virtually. 

How to Find Companies to Reach Out to for a High School Internship 

Use LinkedIn to find small companies where you can help with skills such as social media, coding, content/grant writing, or graphic design. Smaller companies that need more hands on deck will be the most likely to hire high-school-aged students. Try to find personal connections with the professionals you reach out to, such as being from the same state originally or liking the same sports team. 

How to Find Professors to Reach Out to for a High School Research Position 

You can use online university staff directories to find professors to reach out to for research positions. Note that if you are looking for a remote research position with a professor, you should be aware that these opportunities tend to be harder to come by. Professors typically have high school students help with more manual laboratory tasks such as washing beakers or running equipment and usually do not have very much use for interns at a high school education level within a remote setting. The exception is if you are doing computational research, which generally requires introductory knowledge of Python or R to parse large datasets. You should be able to learn Python or R on your own for free within a few months using resources such as Coursera’s R Programming Course or Python for Everybody.

How to Structure and Send Outreach Emails 

For a successful cold-outreach strategy, aim to send at least 50 emails to potential internship providers. Be sure to include a link to your resume, which should be no more than one page while you are in high school. UChicago provides a helpful free resume template and guide. We recommend including your resume as a Google Drive link because including it as a PDF will sometimes negatively impact the deliverability of your email. However, be sure to check that the sharing settings on the document allow anyone with the link to view its contents. It can also be a good idea to include work samples in your resume, such as the link to a website you designed, a social media account you manage, or your GitHub profile. 

Email Template for Finding a High School Internship 

If you are unsure how to structure your outreach emails to potential internship providers, here are some basic templates you can customize to your needs. 

Template for Finding an Internship

Subject: Student Reaching Out

Dear Mr./Ms.____,

I hope you are having a great day! My name is [your name], and I am a rising [grade] at [your school]. I read about your company on LinkedIn and found the concept quite interesting. For context, [briefly state how the company relates to your interests or experience]. 

I was wondering if you might be looking for interns. I know I would have a great deal to learn from working with you, and I would love to contribute in any way I can. I have included my resume here. Thanks so much!


[Your name]

Template for Finding a Research Position

Subject: Student Reaching Out

Dear Professor/Dr. ____,

I hope you are having a great day! My name is [your name], and I am a rising [grade] at [your school]. I recently read your paper on [restate the abstract] in [name of publication] and was quite intrigued by [part you found interesting]. I was wondering if I might be able to intern for you over this summer. [Elaborate on your relevant skills and experience and why you are passionate about the field]. 

I have included my resume here. Thanks so much! 


[Your name]

Legal Internships for High School Students in San Francisco
Legal Internships for High School Students in San Francisco


Whether you are applying to established programs or launching a cold outreach strategy, the name of the game when looking for a legal high school internship or research position is perseverance. These opportunities can be extremely difficult to secure, but most high school students find it worth it in the end to get a head start on building their careers. If you found this article helpful, don’t forget to save it for later or share it with a friend. Good luck on your internship search journey! 


bottom of page