CLASSIFICATION: The Summer 2024 Policy Advocacy Summer Internship positions are non-exempt, full-time for a minimum of 10 weeks.  Non-exempt employees observe a 35-hour work week with a 1-hour lunch break.

OVERVIEW:  The American Civil Liberties Union of Washington (ACLU-WA) is pleased to offer internships to interested law school and graduate school students for the summer of 2024.

ACLU-WA advances liberty and justice in the courts, in the legislatures, in the streets, and at the ballot box. Our work is rooted in belief in a future where everyone in Washington, particularly those who have been historically and systematically denied full enjoyment of their promised civil rights and liberties, are finally free to do so without barriers.  Defending and advancing these fundamental rights and core values relies on the contributions of exceptional staff.

The Policy Advocacy Department (PAD) works on a variety of civil liberties issues. We promote and protect civil liberties by working with elected officials, government agencies, and coalition partners at the state and local levels. We achieve our goals through lobbying and policy advocacy, educating our members and other activists about our issues and encouraging them to act to support them.

The primary subject areas for the Policy Advocacy Department include Criminal Justice Reform, Education Equity and Juvenile Justice, Immigrant Rights, Policing Reform, Health Care and Liberty, and Technology and Liberty.

PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES:  An intern with the Policy Advocacy Department will work under the supervision of a policy lead and the policy advocacy associate to analyze and support proactive legislation, draft policy and legal memos, research legal and policy challenges to legislation introduced by others, create educational materials, and assist in the preparation of other advocacy documents. Interns will work across multiple Policy Advocacy Department issue areas.

QUALIFICATIONS: Ideal candidates will have…

  • The ability to input information into a computer for long periods of time.
  • The ability to assess information communicated through a computer.
  • The ability to use research and writing skills to develop an in-depth understanding of civil liberties issues, policy advocacy, the legislative process, and the art of messaging.
  • Excellent writing and communications skills, including proper citations, are required.
  • The ability to demonstrate in their application they have strong interests in civil liberties, constitutional law and policy advocacy. Experience in these areas is a plus.
  • A commitment to race equity and inclusion. This is essential. The ACLU of Washington is committed to ending racism in Washington State and throughout the country. We employ anti-racism practices with each other, and with our partners and allies in the communities we serve.
  • Successfully completed at least one year of law school or another graduate degree program in a relevant area.

WORKING CONDITIONS:  The position requires maintaining some physical file records and word processing and is expected to observe an in-person hybrid workstyle.

MENTAL DEMAND: Decision-making, high emotional intelligence, giving and receiving feedback and building trusting relationships.  The nature of this work can be emotionally demanding and requires thoughtful and clear communication and resilience.

WORK ENVIRONMENTThe ACLU-WA observes a hybrid workstyle, with some staff working primarily remotely while others work in the office several days a week. This position is required to work in the office a minimum of two (2) days per week. 

Our office is generally open between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. and is located in downtown Seattle. The physical demands and work environment described represent those required and encountered by an employee to perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

This job description provides a general but not comprehensive list of the essential responsibilities and qualifications required. The ACLU-WA reserves the right to change the content of this posting at any time without advance notice. This position is “non-exempt” under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS: Paid internships are compensated at $20/hourly.  ACLU-WA has a generous benefits package for interns which includes employer-paid medical, dental, and vision insurance and other wellness plans. Interns are not eligible for the employer-contributed retirement (401k) plan.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE: To apply, please submit a cover letter and résumé on our career portal. In your cover letter, please explain the ways in which you satisfy the skills and qualifications specified above. We also invite applicants to include in their letter information about how their background and/or experience could contribute to the diversity, cultural vitality, and perspective of our staff and work. No phone calls please.

This position is open until filled with the first review of candidates scheduled for May 2, 2024.   We will schedule interviews with qualified candidates after the first review of candidates.

Please note that there are multiple departments within the ACLU of Washington hiring for summer internships. Candidates who apply to multiple positions will be considered independently for each position.

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, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status, socio-economic circumstance, or record of arrest or conviction. We do not conduct criminal background checks on our candidates. People of color, women, LGBTQ people, and people with disabilities are especially encouraged to apply.



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