Spring 2018 Legal Internship Opportunity, ACLUF, Racial Justice Program, New York

Legal Internships
New York
October 27, 2017

Spring 2018 Legal Internship Opportunity,
American Civil Liberties Union Foundation
Racial Justice Program, New York

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 that the Constitution and the laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country. Whether it’s achieving full equality for the LGBT community, establishing new privacy protections for our digital age, ending mass incarceration, 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, disability, national origin, record of arrest or conviction.


The ACLU’s Racial Justice Program (RJP) aims to preserve and extend constitutionally guaranteed rights as well as other rights, to segments of the population that historically have been denied those rights on the basis of race, ethnicity or national origin. Interns will work with an experienced team of racial justice attorneys in the ACLU’s New York City National Office on a broad range of issues, particularly in the areas of criminal justice and education.

RJP 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 issues and with an emerging focus on economic issues. Among its other goals, RJP seeks to ensure that all children have access to equal, high quality educational opportunities, regardless of race or ethnicity. Likewise, the RJP is dedicated to exposing and eliminating discriminatory racial practices and policies which have a disproportionate impact on communities of color throughout the criminal justice system. RJP has worked to assure that persons of color have access to economic opportunities in the areas of government programs and access to home ownership. In furtherance of these goals, RJP, often working with the ACLU’s 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.

RJP 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 Equality Center, which also includes the ACLU’s work on immigrant’s rights, voting rights and disability rights.


The Racial Justice Program is offering Legal Interns the opportunity to work on all aspects of litigation. The Internship can be either full- or more typically part-time with a flexible weekly schedule and typically requires a semester-long commitment. The preferred start date is early January 2018.


Interns will have the opportunity to gain valuable experience by working alongside the RJP team. Interns will assist in all aspects of litigation. Interns will gain experience by working on the following:

  • Conducting factual and legal research.
  • Drafting pleadings, briefs and other litigation documents.
  • Researching prospects for new litigation, including factual and legal claims.
  • Assisting in the preparation of expert and percipient witnesses for courtroom testimony.


The opportunity is open to second and third year law students. Applicants should possess:

  • Excellent research, writing, analytical and communication skills.
  • The initiative to see projects through to completion.
  • A demonstrated commitment to racial justice issues, civil rights, and civil liberties.


Applicants should send a cover letter describing their interest in racial justice issues and civil liberties, including any relevant life or work experience gained before or during law school; a resume and two references, and a legal writing sample of no more than ten pages in length, to hrjobsRJP@aclu.org reference [RJP Spring 2018 Legal Internship/W] in the subject line. Please note that this is not the general ACLU applicant email address.  This email address is specific to Racial Justice Program postings. In order to ensure your application is received please make certain it is sent to the correct e-mail address.

Please indicate in your cover letter where you learned of this internship opportunity. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis.

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 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, 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.”

Stay Informed