Legal Research Initiative

Put your legal skills to use through our Legal Research Initiative!

Through the Legal Research Initiative (LRI), volunteer law students and legal professionals work on legal research projects that we develop in-house or with partner organizations. Projects can be short-term or longer-term, can be completed remotely, and have flexible time commitments. Legal research is supervised either by If/When/How staff or by the partner organization’s legal staff. Time dedicated to legal research for the LRI qualifies for pro bono credit at most law schools and for bar admission. Projects are available year-round and we are always seeking new researchers to work with us. Come join the LRI!

If you are a law student or lawyer interested in being placed on an LRI project, please fill out our application form, and you will begin receiving our digest of available research opportunities.

We welcome a variety of partner organizations and are particularly committed to serving community-based reproductive justice organizations without full time legal staff. If you are an organization or advocate with an idea for a project related to reproductive justice, please contact Jessica Goldberg, Attorney & Pro Bono Programs Coordinator, at

“One of the reasons that [the research] worked out so well is that If/When/How did an awesome job making a good match between the organization and the [researcher]. But even beyond that, I can't think of another way that we could have been assured that we were working with someone with an intersectional RJ analysis. If I had needed to provide supervision that included building a political framework, we never could have had the kind of results that would have made the project worthwhile. This was an invaluable collaboration and we want more of this for the RJ movement!”
Moira Bowman, Forward Together

What is a typical LRI project?

The research is as diverse as the RJ movement. Past projects have included policy analysis of legislative proposals to support young parents, memos on regulation and licensing for midwives and physicians, fact sheets on sexual violence and access to maternal health in South and Central America, and research on the implementation of a bill banning the sterilization of women in prison. Projects can take many forms, but will always deliver an intersectional analysis of complex issues.