The ACLU of Louisiana is a nonpartisan public interest organization devoted to protecting and extending civil rights and civil liberties. Whether it’s ending mass incarceration and police brutality, achieving full equality for LGBTQ+ people, protecting privacy in the digital age, preserving the right to vote, or ensuring reproductive freedom, the ACLU is principled and strategic, willing to take on tough civil liberties issues to defend all people from government abuse and overreach.

Externs will focus primarily on continuing the work of the ACLU of Louisiana’s latest initiative, “Justice Lab: Putting Racist Policing on Trial.” In short, externs will be intimately involved with (i) the case intake process, and (ii) rollout of the initiative’s restorative justice platform—which seeks to lend voice to individuals whose cases cannot be litigated. More information about Justice Lab is located here. At bottom, the initiative aims to bring a wave of lawsuits challenging racially discriminatory policing practices in Louisiana.

Externs will be principally responsible for:

  • Conducting legal research and writing legal memos that analyze the viability of claims received through our Justice Lab intake.
  • Writing weekly memoranda to law firms, law schools, and intake volunteers to keep them apprised of the status of the initiative.
  • Identifying salient and viable intake.
  • Communicating with prospective plaintiffs and Justice Lab volunteers, including conducting intake interviews that memorialize prospective clients’ experiences with law enforcement.


If students must fulfill a writing requirement to earn school credit, they will be responsible for keeping track of their memoranda in a Word document.

Externs will meet weekly for roughly one hour to discuss work progress.


Extern Expectations

  • Summer externs are expected to work full-time for at least 10 weeks.
    • Full-time externs are expected to commit all weekdays (9am-5pm CT) to the program.
  • Full-year externs are expected to work part-time for both the fall and spring semesters.
  • Part-time externs are expected to commit at least two full weekdays (9am-5pm CT) per week to the program.

Desired Experience and Qualifications 

  • A second- or third-year law student
  • Excellent writing, research, and communication skills
  • A deep interest in issues related to civil rights and civil liberties, police practices, constitutional and criminal law, access to justice, and diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Ability to efficiently handle multiple projects


Our externship positions are for academic or pro bono credit and are unpaid. Externs selected for the program must register with their law schools for academic or pro bono credit.

How to Apply

Applicants should submit a cover letter, resume, law school transcript, and a writing sample to Application materials must be compiled and submitted in a single .pdf file. In the subject line of the email, applicants should include their full name, whether they are seeking a full-time or part-time externship, and which term they are applying for (e.g., Jane Doe Full-Time Summer 2021 Externship). Part-time externs will be considered for a full-year externship and should indicate in the email which days of the week they would be devoting to Justice Lab.

Positions will be filled on a rolling basis.

The ACLU of Louisiana values diversity and inclusivity and 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 or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.

The ACLU of Louisiana is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities. If you are a qualified individual with a disability and need assistance applying online, please e-mail If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.


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