Spring 2014 Legal Internship-ACLUF Criminal Law Reform Project, NY

October 24, 2013

American Civil Liberties Union Foundation

Criminal Law Reform Project, NY

For more than 93 years, the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation (ACLU) has been at the forefront of virtually every major battle for civil liberties and equal justice in this country.  Principled and nonpartisan, the ACLU has offices in all 50 states, Washington, DC and Puerto Rico, and brings together the country’s largest team of public interest lawyers, lobbyists, communication strategists, members and activists in the advancement of equality, fairness, and freedom, especially for the most vulnerable in our society. 

The Criminal Law Reform Project (CLRP) of the ACLU’s National office in New York City seeks law students for a Legal Internship which will begin in January 2014.


The Criminal Law Reform Project seeks to transform the U.S. criminal justice system into one that views incarceration as an option of last – not first – resort. We work to ensure that our criminal justice system is effective, fair, and free of racial bias, and to end excessively harsh crime policies that result in mass incarceration and stand in the way of a just and equal society.  The Project focuses its work at the “front end” of the criminal justice system, from an individual’s first contact with law enforcement through to the sentencing phase, with a focus - though by no means exclusive - on ending our nation’s punitive drug policies, which have failed to achieve public safety and health while putting unprecedented numbers of people behind bars and eroding constitutional rights. We fulfill our mission through strategic litigation and advocacy that promotes reform of the criminal justice system and drug laws in particular, reduces the number of people entering the system, and protects the constitutional rights of those in the system.

The Project’s current priorities include: reducing reliance on incarceration, with a focus on decriminalizing drug offenses and shortening sentencing schemes overall; reducing racial disparity in the criminal justice system through challenging the selective enforcement of drug laws; and challenging police and prosecutorial misconduct and abuses of power. In addition to these core priorities, the Project also works in the following areas: enacting pre-arrest diversion and similar reforms that reduce entry into prisons and jails; reducing penalties not only by ending drug prohibition but also reducing penalties for other offenses; reducing the collateral consequences of drug convictions; protecting emerging rights of the seriously-ill to use medical marijuana; halting the expansion of random drug testing programs in schools and the workplace; and addressing the criminal justice implications of emerging surveillance technologies.


Our Spring 2014 legal internship requires a 10-12 week commitment. The internship is part-time, with weekly hours negotiable. Arrangements may also be made for work/study or course credit.


The Spring legal intern will have the opportunity to gain valuable experience by working on a wide variety of issues.  Working closely with the CRLP team, interns will have the opportunity to work on all aspects of litigation. The intern will gain experience by working on the following:

  • Conduct factual and legal research.
  • Work on the drafting of pleadings, affidavits, briefs, memoranda and other litigation documents.
  • Other projects as assigned.


This legal internship is open to second and third year law students who posses the following:

  • Excellent legal writing, research, and communication skills.
  • Ability to analyze complex legal issues.
  • Must be self-motivated and demonstrate the initiative to see projects through to completion.
  • A demonstrated commitment to criminal law reform, racial justice issues, civil rights and civil liberties. 


Applicants should send a cover letter, resume, a legal writing sample and a list of two references via email to hrjobsCLRP@aclu.org. Please reference [ Spring 2014 Legal Internship-CLRP] in the subject line. Please note that this is not the general ACLU email address.  This email address is specific to Criminal Law Reform Projects postings. In order to ensure your application is received please make certain it is sent to the correct e-mail address. You can expect to receive an automatic response that acknowledges the submission of application materials.

Alternatively, applications can be mailed to:

Human Resources Department
 [RE: Spring 2014 Legal Internship–CLRP]
American Civil Liberties Union Foundation
125 Broad Street, 18th Floor
New York, NY 10004

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

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and candidates are encouraged to apply early.

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, 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 contact HRJobsINCLReq@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.”

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