Trone Center for Justice and Equality Legal Internship Opportunity, Prosecutorial Reform Project, Washington, D.C.

Legal Internships
District of Columbia
September 22, 2017

Trone Center for Justice and Equality Legal Internship Opportunity

American Civil Liberties Union Foundation

Prosecutorial Reform Project, Washington, D.C.

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 or national origin.

The newly created Prosecutorial Reform Project welcomes applicants for Fall 2017 and/or Spring 2018 Legal Internships. The ACLU provides a $5,000 stipend to law student summer interns who work full-time at the ACLU for 10 weeks. If students receive funding from their law schools in an amount that is less than $5,000 the ACLU will provide a stipend to cover the shortfall in their funding, up to $5,000. Arrangements can also be made with the student’s law school for work/study stipends or course credit. 


Significant prison population reduction is a necessary component of criminal law reform and cannot be achieved without transforming the incentives that drive prosecutors—the most powerful actors in the criminal justice system. The Prosecutorial Reform Project seeks to achieve that transformation by, in part, bringing creative litigation against prosecutors and their offices in key target jurisdictions. These cases will be married with public education, advocacy, legislative, and media efforts, in order to raise public awareness of the dangers of unchecked prosecutorial power.


The internship is either full-time or more typically part-time with weekly hours that are negotiable, requires a commitment for the semester, and has preferred start dates of early October 2017 and mid-January 2018. Interns will have the opportunity to gain valuable experience by working alongside the National Prison Project team.


Interns will have the opportunity to work closely with staff lawyers on major civil rights lawsuits in federal and state court and gain valuable experience by working alongside the CPP team on the following:

  • Draft pleadings, briefs, and motions.
  • Assist with trial preparation.
  • Provide technical assistance to ACLU local affiliates, cooperating lawyers, and other lawyers who seek assistance from the Project.
  • Participate in strategy discussions regarding potential targets and the national impact of particular suits.



This 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:

  • First, second, and third year law students may apply.
  • Strong analytical skills.
  • Excellent research, writing and communication skills.
  • Commitment to civil liberties and public interest law.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite, and conducting internet research.
  • The initiative to see projects through to completion.
  • A commitment to civil liberties, civil rights and social justice.
  • A familiarity with criminal justice issues is highly desirable.

Students are highly encouraged to seek public interest fellowships or other funding for the internship. Arrangements also can be made with the student’s law school for work/study stipends. In the event a student is unable to secure alternative funding, a stipend will be provided by the Project.


Please send a cover letter, describing your interest in capital punishment reform and civil liberties, including any relevant life or work experience gained before or during law school; a resume; a short writing sample (no more than 10 pages in length); and a list of three references to Reference [PRP Legal Internship/ACLU-W] 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.

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, 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 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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