Martin Luther King, Jr. Summer Internship Program

2024 Martin Luther King, Jr Summer Interns

2024 MLK Interns

The starting point for law students committed to advocacy and service is our Martin Luther King, Jr. Summer Internship Program. Through a curriculum that encourages self-reflection, personal growth, and building a professional network, our internships provide law students with individualized guidance and valuable legal work experience that allows them to learn about the unique challenges faced by low-income and marginalized communities in Pennsylvania and prepares them to be thoughtful, compassionate advocates for justice.  

About our Program

Each summer, ten first- and second-year law students are offered placements at the legal aid organizations in our Network. Selected candidates will be awarded placements with legal aid organizations throughout our Network and paid a program stipend of $7,500. The internship program kicks off with a two-day poverty law orientation training at our office in Harrisburg in May. The orientation serves as a crucial foundation for interns, equipping participants with a comprehensive understanding of various legal areas they will encounter throughout the next ten weeks. It also provides practical insights into networking, professionalism, and building essential attorney skillsets.

Following the orientation, participants will join their respective legal aid organizations, where they will have an opportunity to interact conduct initial client interviews, attend client meetings, and accompany mentors at hearings, trials, and administrative proceedings. Participants may also be asked to conduct factual investigation, legal research, and draft legal documents and memoranda. At the conclusion of the program, participants are required to complete an essay about their experiences, which is compiled into a volume called the Drum Major Essay Collection. Each summer, these essays are presented at our Martin Luther King, Jr. Summer Internship Reception. Held annually in July, the event is a time for celebration and inspiration as we reflect upon the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the impact of our interns' work.

Our Legacy

For over three decades, PLAN, Inc.’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Summer Internship Program has stood as a beacon for diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. Born out of the collaborative efforts of the Pennsylvania Legal Services Black Caucus and members across our Network, we've proudly supported and shaped over 410 budding legal minds to better mirror and serve our client communities.

How to Apply

Applications for the next Martin Luther King Jr. Summer Internship Program class are currently being accepted on a rolling basis. To apply, interested applicants should send a cover letter, resume, transcript, and three (3) professional references to: PLAN, Inc.'s Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging & HR Operations at MLKPrograms@palegalaid.net.  


Meet our 2024 MLK Cohort: 
 

Andrew Abdelqader
Andrew Abdelqader (he/him)

Program: Pennsylvania Health Law Project
Education: Widener School of Law (2L)

Biography:

Andrew Abdelqader is a second-year law student at Widener University Commonwealth Law School with a deep-rooted passion for making a positive impact through public service. His academic background includes degrees in criminal justice and communication, complemented by years of professional work experience. Raised in a multicultural environment, Andrew learned the importance of adaptability and empathy from a young age, which fueled his desire to create positive change in society. Outside of academics, Andrew finds joy in exploring other countries and cultures, culinary delights, and sports of every kind. One of his favorite quotes is “Every great accomplishment starts with the decision to try.” 

 

Cameron Chisholm


Cam Chisholm (she/her)

Program: Regional Housing Legal Services
Education: Drexel Thomas R. Kline School of Law (1L)

Biography:

Cameron Chisholm grew up in Abington PA from grades 5-12. Cameron graduated from Abington Senior High School and attended Albright College for undergrad where she earned her Bachelor's in English and Co-Major in History. Throughout high school, college, and law school Cameron has maintained a vested interest in literature and writing. Cameron is an avid reader who primarily reads books written by black authors. However, Cameron also maintains an interest in the underdeveloped world of personal finance.

 

Nicolas Johnson
Nic Johnson (he/him)

Program: Justice at Work
Education: Villanova Law (2L)

Biography:

Nicolas (Nic) Johnson, originally from Montgomery, Alabama, is a 2L at Villanova University's School of Law in Greater Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Nic received his bachelor's degree in political science from Spring Hill College, located in Mobile, Alabama, in 2022. At Villanova Law, Nic has been quite involved, having served as Pro Bono chair for the Black Law Students Association, as community outreach chair for the Street Law Society, as well as a Public Interest Scholar. Nic has also served as certified student attorney within the Villanova Law Caritas Clemency Clinic for the past academic year. In his spare time, Nic writes, plays the drums, and watches sports. In the future, Nic plans to do public interest and defense work in the areas of education and juvenile law. 


JP Leskovich

JP Leskovich (he/him)

Program: Community Justice Project
Education: University of Pittsburgh Law (2L)

Biography:

JP Leskovich is a second-year student at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. He grew up in a family of service, with members of his family working in teaching, nursing, and the military. JP is passionate about democracy and the rule of law, working as JURIST’s US Bureau Chief, and he sees legal aid as a way to ensure the law respects everyone. He worked with Neighborhood Legal Services in Summer 2023 on their tenants’ rights teams, helping protect low-income tenants from eviction. In his free time, JP enjoys film and cinema, reading about queer and Jewish history, and finding ways to be artistic. He hopes to pursue a career in public interest law so he can use his legal skills to improve people’s lives.

 

Kayla Martin
Kayla Martin (she/her)

Program: MidPenn Legal Services
Education: Villanova Law (2L)

Biography:

Kayla Martin is a rising 3L Dean’s Merit Scholar at Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law, who graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A in Criminology and Law and Society. She is passionate about advocating for social change and making a positive impact. Kayla has pursued this passion through academic and civic engagement opportunities by serving as a legal research assistant for the law school’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion department while also having served as the president of the university’s Black Law Student Association and as a board member for the Criminal Law Society. Professionally, she has worked as an advocate for social justice by serving as a law clerk for the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia and at the Law Office of Peter Levin. She has also worked as an investigative intern for the Federal Public Defender for the District of Maryland and as a legal intern at The Law Office of LaSheena M. Williams. In her spare time, Kayla enjoys SoulCycle, hiking, listening to crime podcasts, completing Sudoku puzzles, and volunteering at Penn Relays.

 

Rachael Robles
Rachael Robles (she/her)

Program: Legal Aid of Southeastern PA
Education: Villanova Law (2L)

Biography:

Rachael is a First-Generation law student. Her journey to law school has been unique and demonstrates the transformative power of faith, determination, and relentless hard work. Beyond her legal pursuits, she finds joy in spending time with loved ones, road trip adventures, and visiting the manatees in Florida. Driven by gratitude and a passion for advocacy, Rachael is excited to expand her legal skills and serve the communities that have shaped her upbringing and inspired her dreams of becoming a legal advocate. 

 

Emily Tyler


Emily Tyler (she/her)

Program: Neighborhood Legal Services
Education: Thomas R. Kline School of Law – Duquesne University (1L)

Biography:

Emily is from Pittsburgh, PA, and she currently attends the Duquesne University Kline School of Law. Growing up in a warm, tight-knit community inspired Emily to give back to her city. In particular, she is passionate about family and property law because she loves tailoring solutions to unique situations, and more importantly, these areas of law are filled with everyday people who need support in vulnerable situations. As of now, Emily has two long-term goals: not only does she seek to provide equitable legal resources to underserved individuals, but she also wants to make the legal field, itself, more inclusive by listening to, learning from, and working with people with different experiences. Beyond her career goals, Emily grounds herself by writing music and going on runs. She is grateful for this opportunity to grow as an advocate.

 

Luke Watkins


Luke Watkins (he/him)

Program: Community Legal Services
Education: University of Pittsburgh Law (2L)

Biography:

A writer at heart and a field organizer by trade, Luke Devlin Watkins never wanted to go to law school. All of that changed, however, on May 1, 2021, when Luke suffered a psychotic break from undiagnosed Bipolar I. At the bottom of the pile of hundreds of pounds of Pittsburgh Police officers, Luke learned what it felt like to die. Except he didn't, and he is determined to do as much good for as many people as he can in the bonus time it appears he was given. Flirting with abolitionist politics before the incident, his own experience with police brutality propelled him first into law school, and now into public interest law. When he is not busy trying to "save the world," whatever that means, he enjoys spending his time with his significant other and their lovely little cat, Molly. When they are busy, he keeps himself occupied by golfing. 



Chelsea Watt
Chelsea Watt (she/her)

Program: Pennsylvania Institutional Law Project
Education: Penn State Law (1L)

Biography:

Chelsea was born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and attended Auburn University. She is a first-year law student at Penn State Law. She is a first-generation college and law student who enjoys reading, hanging out with her cat Cleo, and watching movies with her friends in her free time. She is still exploring the different areas of law she is interested in but knows she enjoys working with low-income and underrepresented communities.

  

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