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Food Related Legal Internships

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I am a law student right now with a profound love for food and all food related topics. Right now i am looking for internship opportunities for the up coming summer and i'd like to do something that involves food and ngo's, since i love food and i plan on entering the public law arena anyway. Unfortunately i am having trouble thinking of where or how i could find an internship that would be for an organization that works with food. Any suggestions?

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  1. Contact the major food pervayors (US Foods), chains (OSI, Darden), publications (Restaurant News), etc.

    I believe Joe Cato is head legal cousel for OSI. Send a nice registered letter. That may get your foot in the door.

    1. Generally speaking the food and hospitality industry offer interships to students who have attended/graduated (from) learning institutions that specialize in those fields. In fact many of the culinary arts schools require completing an internship in order to graduate. I think it might be extremely difficult finding an organization that works in food who will take you on in an internship program. But good luck anyway.

      1. what area of the country will you be living in during your internship, and are you open to moving to a new area for the duration of the internship? or will you be based in d.c?

        1. Look up your local restaurant association. Most states and some cities have one, as well as national groups. These almost always have legal departments to keep track of employment laws and health codes and help restaurants deal with legal disputes. In DC you'll want to try the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington (http://www.ramw.org/) or the National Restaurant Association (http://www.restaurant.org), which is headquartered here. There may be others as well.

          1. I'm a 1L and I'm specializing too. Hats off to you for going for what you love! I think everyone has given you good advice. The last thing I would recommend is that you be open to an unpaid internship and be willing to relocate for the summer. I completed an unpaid internship during my master's program. I was able to obtain the internship by emailing letters of interest from one end of the country to the other. The experience was great and I ended up with a job offer and numerous job contacts! Definately worth it!

            1 Reply
            1. re: faithfoodfriends

              that's great! where did you end up interning? i'm totally fine with an unpaid internship and i actually would rather get out of the city for the summer. like to new orleans or someplace awesome like that.

            2. IFIC, FDA, USDA, Center for Science in the Public Interest, any of the legal orgs Marion Nestle or Pollan cite in their biblios.

              3 Replies
              1. re: maria lorraine

                thanks for the advice. BTW, who is Pollan and Marion Nestle?

                1. re: sir cooksalot

                  Say it isn't so. You're interested in food policy and you haven't read Michael Pollan and Marion Nestle? Time to read and reap these authors' insights.

                  1. re: maria lorraine

                    i have not. but i'll do so immediately. Thanks for the tip!

              2. sir cooksalot: Are you looking at food law(s) and law suits? (as in outbreaks?) or more into food policy development ("politics")?....let me know which one and I can point to the potenical sources....

                2 Replies
                1. re: Pollo

                  I'm definitely more into food policy development, also into farm lobbying and farmworker rights as well. thanks for your help!

                  1. re: sir cooksalot

                    http://www.ufw.org/

                2. sir cooksalot: I'm a 2L and was in touch with one of the restaurant associations in DC about an internship last year. They were willing, but it didn't work out because my school required a certain amount of supervision. I'd be happy to put you in touch with them if you want.

                  But otherwise, yeah, I'm in the same boat as sir cooksalot.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: crispyontheoutside

                    Thanks! I'd def. be interesting in interning with a restaurant association. which one is it?

                  2. Try PIRG.

                    1. I don't think this has been said yet but you should be able to find the name of every general counsel of every public company very easily on the web just by looking at the proxy statement of officers. You could also get a lot of information about the company by looking at the 10K.

                      1. There are lots of NGOs working on food related issues like local food access, sustainable food and farming, emergency food shelves, U.S. farm bill. Take a look at the few I've listed and then explore who they link to and I'm sure you'll find something.

                        Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy: www.iatp.org
                        Sustainable Table: www.sustainabletable.org
                        Local Harvest: www.localharvest.org
                        Slow Food International: www.slowfood.com
                        Second Harvest Heartland: www.2harvest.org
                        Animal Welfare Institute: http://www.awionline.org/ (A stretch maybe on how it relates to food - I'm thinking farm animals.
                        )State and Local Food Policy Councils: http://www.statefoodpolicy.org/
                        Community Food Security Coalition: http://www.foodsecurity.org/

                        And let us know if you get set up somewhere!

                        1. Sir cooksalot: I'm a 1L this year with pretty similar interests. I've been looking for food policy summer positions, maybe related to sustainable agriculture and/or international economic development. What did you end up doing? Have any suggestions?

                          1. I realize it's been a couple years since you posted this, but hopefully you still check up on you posts! I'm now a 1L myself with a farming/ culinary background hoping to find a summer internship somewhere in the San Francisco/ Bay Area. Have you had any luck in the field? Any suggestions for me?