Fall 2019 Legal Fellowship Sponsorship Opportunity
Notice to Third-Year Law Students and Recent Graduates
American Civil Liberties Union Foundation
Racial Justice Program, NY
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 protecting the rights of immigrants, ending mass incarceration, achieving full equality for women and the LGBT community, advancing racial justice, 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 and civil rights cases and issues to defend all people from government abuse and overreach. With more than one 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 ACLU invites rising third-year law students and recent law graduates to apply for a sponsorship opportunity to work with us as a Legal Fellow. The Racial Justice Program of the National office in New York seeks applicants to consider for a sponsored fellowship such as Skadden, Equal Justice Works, or other public interest fellowships to begin in the fall of 2019.
The ACLU's Racial Justice Program challenges racial discrimination and other practices and policies that have a direct or disparate impact on communities of color with a particular emphasis on education and criminal justice and economic justice issues.
RJP seeks to ensure that all children have access to equal, high quality educational opportunities, regardless of race or ethnicity. Likewise, RJP is dedicated to exposing and eliminating discriminatory practices and policies which have a disproportionate impact on communities of color throughout the criminal justice system, particularly those that criminalize poverty by subjecting indigent people to jailing because of an inability to pay court fines and fees. RJP has worked to assure that persons of color have access to economic opportunities in the areas of government programs and access to fair credit home and home ownership.
Recognizing the potential of new forms of discrimination resulting from the rapid advance of digital technology, RJP has increasingly turned its attention to taking steps to monitoring and taking action to counter the discriminatory effects of digital platforms. RJP also seeks to expand its work on providing protection against discrimination for Native American individuals and tribes. And we want to explore cutting edge ideas for new litigation strategies to advance racial justice.
In furtherance of these goals, R.JP, often working with the ACLU's 53 affiliates nationwide, has filed lawsuits challenging disparate educational opportunities, pre- and post- 9/11 racial profiling, policies and practices which push children out of the education system into the juvenile justice and criminal justice systems, unfair lending practices and a range of police and criminal justice system practices which have a particularly adverse impact on communities of color. R.JP has also engaged in other innovative advocacy and public education efforts including the development of resource materials and web sites addressing a number of racial justice issues. RJP is part of the ACLU Trone Center for Justice and Equality, which also includes the ACLU's work on criminal justice reform, eliminating the death penalty and upholding the rights of those who are incarcerated in American prisons and jails.
Our staff will work with candidates to develop their proposals for submission, helping tailor the proposal to address an important civil liberties issue while satisfying the funding organization’s requirements. Proposed projects often combine litigation and advocacy with community outreach and public education.
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
- 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, brief writing, and trial practice.
- Draft and edit public education and non-litigation advocacy materials.
- Provide support and assistance to ACLU affiliates and cooperating attorneys.
- 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, sex, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, ability, and socio-economic circumstance.
- Commitment to work collaboratively and respectfully toward resolving obstacles and/or conflicts.
EXPERIENCE AND QUALIFICATIONS
- J.D. or expected to receive a J.D by the spring of 2019.
- 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.
- Demonstrated commitment to public interest law, civil liberties, and racial justice.
- 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, to supplement the external funding.
HOW TO APPLY
If you would like to be considered for a sponsorship opportunity, please submit by email to HRJobsRJP@aclu.org, referencing “2019 Legal Fellowship Sponsorship – Racial Justice Program” in the subject line:
- a letter of interest (your letter may, but is not required to, include a description of a project proposal)
- current resume
- legal writing sample
- unofficial law school transcript
- names and telephone numbers of three references
We will review applications on a rolling basis, but priority consideration will be given to those who submit applications by July 6, 2018
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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.
The 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, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, record of arrest or conviction, and veteran status.
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 address that is not related to 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.”