Originally, AHRC only had the summer internship program. It was patterned after the internship program of the law school of Columbia University, which sends its students to different human rights groups outside the United States to provide students with exposure to human rights work and advocacy. Its initial design had two components: domestic and international. Under the domestic program, interns were sent to different human rights groups throughout the Philippines. Under the international program, interns were sent to human rights groups abroad. The domestic program was designed to prepare students for international internship. AHRC implemented the first domestic internship in the summer of 1987, and the foreign program the following year. The foreign internship program was subsequently stopped in favor of an expanded domestic program.
AHRC has since expanded the internship program. In addition to the summer program, it introduced several sub-programs, which were designed to meet the particular needs of students and lawyers