SUMMER 2017 LEGAL INTERNSHIP - ACLUF, National Security Project, New York, NY

Legal Internships
New York
August 26, 2016

National Security Project, 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 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 or national origin. 

The National Security Project of the ACLU’S National Office in New York City seeks legal interns for the Summer of 2017. A stipend is available for those students who do not receive outside funding and/or course credit. Arrangements can also be made with the student’s law school for work/study stipends or course credit.


The National Security Project is part of the ACLU’s Center for Democracy, which works to strengthen democratic institutions and values, to advocate for government transparency and accountability, and to reinforce the United States’ commitment to human rights and the rule of law.  The Center for Democracy includes, in addition to the National Security Project, the Human Rights Program, and the Project on Speech, Privacy, and Technology. 

The National Security Project is dedicated to ensuring that U.S. national security policies and practices are consistent with the Constitution, civil liberties, and human rights.  Our nation’s core democratic values are the foundation of its strength and security, and the Project works to ensure that our government’s response to national security concerns comports with those values.  Through our litigation and advocacy strategies, we respond to specific government measures, and strive to educate the public and shape the law so that the courts, Congress, and citizenry can serve as an enduring check against abuse.  The National Security Project’s litigation and advocacy focuses on issues including: government surveillance; targeted killing, unlawful detention, torture, discrimination, censorship, and secrecy. 


Interns will have the opportunity to work on all aspects of litigation.  The internship is full-time and typically requires a 10 week commitment,  with a preferred start date of June 1, 2017.


Interns will have the opportunity to gain valuable experience by working alongside the Project’s attorneys. Interns will gain hands-on experience in all aspects of litigation, including but not limited to:

  • Conducting legal research and factual investigation.
  • Drafting memoranda, affidavits, and briefs.
  • Researching prospects for new litigation, including both factual and legal claims.
  • Other projects as assigned.


This Legal Internship is open to law students who will have completed their first semester of law school before the internship commences.  Interns should possess the following:

  • Excellent research, writing, and communication skills.
  • Ability to analyze complex legal issues.
  • A strong commitment to civil rights and civil liberties issues, particularly as they relate to national security. 
  • The initiative to see projects through to completion.


Applicants should send a cover letter explaining their interest in the internship and any relevant life or work experience gained before or during law school; a resume; a list of three references; an official or unofficial transcript; and a legal writing sample of no more than 10 pages: (please reference NSP Summer 2017 Legal Internship in the subject line). Please indicate in your cover letter where you learned of this internship opportunity.

Students are encouraged to submit applications as early as possible, as decisions are made 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 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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