FALL 2021 LEGAL INTERNSHIP OPPORTUNITY
AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION FOUNDATION
Please Note: This internship can be fully remote (no travel to our office or to New York would be necessary).
The ACLU invites second or third-year law students and LLM students to apply for a Fall 2021 Legal Internship with our Voting Rights Project (VRP).
VOTING RIGHTS PROJECT, NY
The Voting Rights Project of the National ACLU has an opening for a Legal Intern in New York City. Interns will have the opportunity to gain valuable experience by working alongside the team assisting in all aspects of litigation.
For 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, advancing racial justice, 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 and civil rights cases and issues to defend all people from government abuse and overreach. With nearly two 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, national origin, and record of arrest or conviction.
OVERVIEW OF THE VOTING RIGHTS PROJECT
The ACLU Voting Rights Project was established in 1965 – the same year that the historic Voting Rights Act (VRA) was enacted – and has litigated more than 300 cases since that time. Its mission is to build and defend an accessible, inclusive, and equitable democracy free from racial discrimination. We have three principles: (1) all Americans should be eligible to vote; (2) voting should be free and easy; and (3) all people should count equally. The Project is litigation-focused, with active cases across the country, though it helps support legislative advocacy work and public education. The Voting Rights Project’s recent docket has included more than 30 lawsuits last year alone to protect voters during the 2020 election; a pair of recent cases in the Supreme Court challenging the last administration’s discriminatory census policies: Department of Commerce v. New York (successfully challenging an attempt to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census) and Trump v. New York (challenging the exclusion of undocumented immigrants from the population count used to apportion the House of Representatives) challenging voter purges and documentary proof of citizenship laws; and challenging other new legislation restricting voting rights in states like Georgia.
Interns provide critical support to our team in litigation and other forms of advocacy. In the recent past, interns have served as integral members on our teams doing election protection work and litigating several of our COVID-19 cases, pushing back against the addition of a citizenship question on the 2020 Census, and working to prevent the Florida legislature from imposing financial barriers that would undermine voter-approved Amendment 4, which re-enfranchised many citizens with felony convictions.
- Time Commitment: A term-time internship requires a commitment of at least 15 hours per week. Interns may also work with us full-time, up to 35 hours per week. Internship hours may be 15, 20, or 35 hours per week.
- Internship Duration: Full-time internships are a 10-week period. Part-time internships are a 12-week period. Fall 2021 interns are expected to start on September 7 or September 20.
- Stipend: A stipend is available for those students who do not receive course credit. Students who receive outside funding are eligible for a partial stipend to bring their total funding up to the level of ACLU’s stipend amount for that term, if applicable.
Arrangements can be made with educational institutions for work/study or course credit. Stipends are calculated on the number of hours and weeks worked. The hourly rate is $21.42 for law students.
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Interns will gain valuable experience by working with the team on a wide variety of issues. Responsibilities may include, but are not limited to the following:
- Conduct legal research and analysis to support new and active litigation projects
- Aid in drafting of legal memoranda, pleadings, affidavits, motions, and briefs
- Draft and edit public education and non-litigation advocacy materials
- Provide support and assistance to ACLU affiliates and cooperating attorneys
- Potential to work closely with clients and participate in discovery and trial practice
- Other projects as assigned
EXPERIENCE AND QUALIFICATIONS
The internship is open to students who are in law school who have completed their 1L year or are in an LLM program. Interns should possess the following:
- Completion of 1L year of law school by summer 2021 or enrollment in an LLM program
- Excellent research skills, including conducting internet and legal database research
- Excellent communication skills, both verbal and writing
- Attention to detail, excellent organizing and time-management skills
- Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite
- The initiative to see projects through to completion
- Demonstrated commitment to public interest law, civil liberties, and racial justice
- Demonstrated ability to conduct complex legal analysis and fact finding
- Demonstrate a commitment to diversity within the office using a personal approach that values all individuals and respects differences in regards to race, ethnicity, age, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, disability and socio-economic circumstance
- Commitment to work collaboratively and respectfully toward resolving obstacles and/or conflicts
- A commitment to civil liberties, civil rights, and social justice
- Commitment to the mission of the ACLU
- Demonstrated interest in voting rights work
- Familiarity with or previous experience working on voting rights issues
We ask candidates to submit their applications via our Greenhouse portal (accessible by clicking “Apply for this job” at top right of this job description). Applications should include:
- Cover letter discussing your qualifications and your commitment to racial and social justice; and
- Current resume
If selected for an interview, we may request a legal writing sample.
Applications will be considered on a rolling basis and accepted until the position is filled.
This posting provides a general but not comprehensive list of the opportunities of the internship. It does not represent a contract of employment. The ACLU reserves the right to change the posting at any time without advance notice.
The ACLU 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 email@example.com. If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.