Summer 2016 Legal Internship Opportunity American Civil Liberties Union Foundation Human Rights Program, USA

Publish Date: Oct 06, 2015

Summer 2016 Legal Internship Opportunity American Civil Liberties Union Foundation Human Rights Program

Location: 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 Human Rights Program (HRP) of the ACLU’S National Office in New York City seeks legal interns for the Summer of 2016. 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 Human Rights Program is part of the ACLU’s Center for Democracy, which works to strengthen democratic institutions and values, including the values of 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 Human Rights Program- the Speech, Privacy and Technology Project and the National Security Project, and also works closely with staff from the ACLU’s Communications Department, Affiliate Support and Advocacy Department, and Washington Legislative Office.

The Human Rights Program (HRP) is dedicated to holding the U.S. government accountable to its international human rights obligations and commitments. The Program uses human rights strategies to complement existing ACLU legal and legislative advocacy primarily in the areas of immigrants' rights, national security, women's rights, prisoners’ rights, criminal law reform, and racial justice. It conducts human rights documentation and related advocacy to combat human rights violations in the U.S., and it engages in advocacy and litigation before U.S. courts and international bodies, including the United Nations and regional human rights bodies (such as the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights).


Interns will have the opportunity to work on all aspects of domestic litigation and international advocacy.  The internship is full-time and typically requires a 10 week commitment. 


Interns will have the opportunity to gain valuable experience by working alongside the Program’s attorneys and human rights researchers. Interns will gain hands on experience in all aspects of litigation, human rights research and advocacy, including but not to limited: 

  • Conducting legal research and factual investigation.
  • Drafting memoranda, affidavits, and briefs.
  • 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.
  • A strong commitment to human rights and civil liberties issues. 
  • The initiative to see projects through to completion. 


Applicants should send a cover letter explaining their interest in the internship, their preference for a “primary” Project, including a description of  their interest in a specific project, 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 10 pages or less to: (please reference HRP Summer 2016 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, 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.” 

Further Official Information

Link to Original

Similar Opportunities


Human Rights


Eligible Countries


Host Countries

United States