Undergraduate Internships
New York
January 12, 2018

American Civil Liberties Union Foundation

New York, NY / Washington, DC

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 preserving the right to have an abortion, ending mass incarceration, achieving full equality for the LGBT community, establishing new privacy protections for our digital age, or preserving the right to vote, 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 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 included below regarding how to apply.

The Product & Technology, Communications and Legal Departments of the ACLU’s National Office seek undergraduate interns for the Summer of 2018.  The Internship is typically full-time and requires a ten-week commitment with a start date of June 1, 2018. A stipend is available for those students who do not receive outside funding and/or course credit.  Arrangements can also be made with educational institutions for work/study or course credit.  Some students may qualify for relocation assistance for travel and housing of up to $1,500, which will be deducted from their ACLU stipend.


An internship with the ACLU National Office provides interns with an opportunity to gain hands-on professional experience, build leadership skills and strengthen their understanding of the ACLU.  There are a number of our current staff who at one time were interns at the ACLU.

The Product & Technology Department is dedicated to leading software engineering with the ACLU.

The Communications Department places great emphasis on the role of communications in framing the debate on its issues, building support, and increasing the impact of its work. 

The ACLU Legal Department is comprised of three centers:

  • The Center for Democracy
  • The Center for Liberty
  • The Trone Center for Justice & Equality

Each center houses a number of projects that advocate and litigate specific civil rights issues.

The Center for Liberty, Center for Democracy and The Trone Center for Justice & Equality are seeking interns for some of their projects: 


The Center for Democracy

The Trone Center for Justice & Equality

The Center for Liberty

Immigrants’ Rights Project

Racial Justice Program

Women's Rights Project

National Security Project

Criminal Law Reform Project



The internship program is designed to provide interns with the opportunity to learn about public interest work. Interns will be under the direct supervision of the project’s staff and will have the opportunity to work on a range of issues and projects. Interns will gain experience by:


  • Working on the preparation of court filings and public education materials.
  • Handling inquiries from those seeking legal assistance.
  • Working on the maintenance of case files and the compiling of press files.
  • Other projects and duties as needed.


This internship is open to students who are currently enrolled in an undergraduate degree program and will have completed at least one year of college. Applicants must possess:

  • Strong research skills, including internet research.
  • Strong communication skills, both written and verbal.
  • Initiative to see projects through to completion.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office.
  • Strong interest in racial justice, social justice, and civil liberties issues.


Applicants should submit a resume, a writing sample of no more than five pages, and a cover letter that describes your area of interest, your interest in civil liberties and any relevant life or work experience. Applications should be sent to:  Please reference Summer 2018 Undergraduate Internship/ACLU-W in the subject line and identify the Project where you wish to be placed. 

Applicants are encouraged to submit materials as early as possible as decisions are made on a rolling basis.

Please indicate in your cover letter where you learned of this opportunity.

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.

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.

Applicants are not required or expected to provide any current salary and compensation information, or salary history during any phase of the recruitment process. Job candidates may provide salary expectations or request information regarding the salary for the position(s) to which they are applying.

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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