Summer 2018 Legal/Policy Internship, Campaign for Smart Justice, New York, NY

Legal Internships
New York
January 10, 2018

Summer 2018 Legal/Policy Internship

American Civil Liberties Foundation

Campaign for Smart Justice, New York, 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 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 ACLU’s Campaign for Smart Justice is committed to realizing a new criminal justice system – one that is substantially smaller than its current size while also keeping communities safe, advancing racial justice, treating people fairly, and using fiscal resources wisely. The ACLU’s Campaign for Smart Justice works with partners to build a movement for social change and win state-based reforms needed to cut the size of our nation’s incarcerated population by 50 percent. The Campaign is committed to advancing both decarceration and racial justice. The issue of mass incarceration is ripe for bipartisan involvement, and the ACLU works collaboratively with groups across the political spectrum to achieve our goal of ending mass incarceration.

The ACLU’s Campaign for Smart Justice seeks interns for the Summer of 2018.  The internship is full-time and requires a 12-week commitment. A modest stipend is available for those students who do not receive outside funding and/or course credit.


  • Conduct legal and policy research;
  • Research and analyze opportunities for decarceration in states and localities across the country;
  • Participate in discussions with the Campaign team on building and supporting strategic legislative and advocacy campaigns;
  • Conduct research on state legislation, including the impact of previously passed legislation;
  • Develop advocacy materials including reports and briefers, for use by the Campaign.


  • Passion for and demonstrated commitment to criminal justice reform and racial justice.
  • Personal experience being incarcerated or in other ways entangled with the criminal justice system, preferred;
  • Excellent analytical, research and communication skills;
  • Ability to clearly and succinctly memorialize research in writing;
  • Must be self-motivated and demonstrate the initiative to see projects through to completion;
  • Experience with criminal justice issues, policy advocacy, public education, community organizing, and/or legislative lobbying, preferred;
  • Strong commitment to civil rights and civil liberties issues. 


Please send a cover letter and resume to  Reference [Summer 2018 Legal/Policy Internship Campaign for Smart Justice at ACLU] 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 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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