FALL 2018 PUBLIC INTEREST FELLOWSHIPS [IRP-41], ACLUF, Immigrants’ Rights Project, New York or San Francisco

Legal Fellowships
June 14, 2017


American Civil Liberties Union Foundation
Immigrants’ Rights Project, New York or San Francisco

For nearly 100 years, the ACLU has been our nation’s guardian of liberty, working in courts, legislatures, and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States.  Whether it’s ending mass incarceration, achieving full equality for the LGBT community, establishing new privacy protections for our digital age, or preserving the right to vote or the right to have an abortion, the ACLU takes up the toughest civil liberties cases and issues to defend all people from government abuse and overreach. With more than a million members, activists, and supporters, the ACLU is a nationwide organization that fights tirelessly in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C., for the principle that every individual’s rights must be protected equally under the law, regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, national origin, record of arrest or conviction.

The Immigrants’ Rights Project (IRP) of the ACLU seeks applicants for a sponsored fellowship such as Skadden, Equal Justice Works, or other public interest fellowships to begin in the fall of 2018.  IRP is interested in sponsoring one candidate in either its New York or San Francisco office to work on projects addressing immigrants’ rights.  Proposed projects often combine litigation and advocacy with community outreach and public education. IRP staff will work with candidates to develop their proposals for submission.


The Immigrants’ Rights Project (IRP) is a national project of the American Civil Liberties Union with offices in New York City and California. Using targeted impact litigation, advocacy and public outreach, the Project carries on the ACLU’s commitment to protecting the rights and liberties of immigrants. In federal district and appellate courts, including the Supreme Court, the Project conducts the nation’s largest impact litigation program dedicated to defending and expanding the rights of immigrants, enforcing the guarantees of the Constitution, and achieving equal justice under the law.

The Project is currently engaged in litigation and advocacy to challenge: the unconstitutional Muslim travel ban; the unconstitutional use of mandatory and prolonged immigration detention; the lack of due process in the deportation system, including the lack of appointed counsel and federal court review of deportation orders; constitutional violations that arise from state and local immigration laws and enforcement policies, including unconstitutional state anti-immigrant laws and immigration-related civil rights violations by local police and sheriffs; and illegal enforcement tactics used by federal immigration and border patrol agents, including abusive immigration detainer practices and unjustified cross-border shootings by U.S. Border Patrol.  We are also working to defend the rights of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients.


  • Conduct legal research and analysis and develop theories to support new litigation projects.
  • Draft legal memoranda, pleadings, affidavits, motions, and briefs.
  • Interview witnesses and potential clients.
  • Participate in discovery and trial practice.
  • Draft and edit public education and non-litigation advocacy materials.
  • Provide support to ACLU affiliates.
  • Help manage summer legal internship program and supervise student interns.
  • Engage in public speaking and attend meetings and/or conferences as needed.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to diversity within the office using a personal approach that values all individuals and respects differences in regards to race, ethnicity, age, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, ability and socio-economic circumstance.
  • Commitment to work collaboratively and respectfully toward resolving obstacles and/or conflicts.


  • J.D. or expected to receive a J.D by the spring of 2018.
  • A federal judicial clerkship is preferred, but not required.
  • Demonstrated commitment to public interest law, civil liberties, immigrants’ rights, and racial and social justice.
  • Excellent research, writing, and verbal communication skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to conduct complex legal analysis and fact-finding.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and a proven ability to work independently as well as within a team.
  • Self-motivated with the ability to take initiative, manage a variety of tasks and see projects through to completion.
  • Commitment to the mission of the ACLU.


The ACLU offers a generous and comprehensive compensation and benefits package, commensurate with experience and within parameters of the ACLU compensation scale.


Individuals interested in being sponsored by the Immigrants’ Rights Project should send a letter of interest, a resume, a transcript the names and telephone numbers of two legal references, and a legal writing sample to hrjobsIRP@aclu.org.Reference [IRP-41/ACLU-W] in the subject line.

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. 

Please indicate where you learned of this job posting.

This job description provides a general but not comprehensive list of the essential responsibilities and qualifications required. It does not represent a contract of employment. The ACLU reserves the right to change the job description and/or posting at any time without advance notice.

ACLU is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status and record of arrest or conviction.

The ACLU undertakes affirmative action strategies in its recruitment and employment efforts to assure that persons with disabilities have full opportunities for employment in all positions.

We encourage applicants with disabilities who may need accommodations in the application process to contact:hrjobsincl@aclu.org. Correspondence sent to this email address that is not related to requests for accommodations will not be reviewed. Applicants should follow the instructions above regarding how to apply.

The ACLU comprises two separate corporate entities, the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU Foundation. Both the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU Foundation are national organizations with the same overall mission, and share office space and employees. The ACLU has two separate corporate entities in order to do a broad range of work to protect civil liberties. This job posting refers collectively to the two organizations under the name “ACLU.”

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