Location: We expect our Spring 2022 internships will proceed remotely. In the event our offices return to in-person work before or during the Spring term, students local to our offices may opt to work in-office.
Deadline: Open until filled.
The ACLU of Northern California’s Legal-Policy Department invites law and graduate students to apply for its Racial & Economic Justice Internship and its Indigenous Justice Project Internship. Students willing to work with intensity and focus will find an internship at ACLU NorCal a rewarding learning experience. Qualified applicants are enthusiastic, creative, and detail-oriented; have strong research, writing, and oral communication skills; and can articulate a commitment to work for social justice and the ideals of the ACLU.
About the Legal-Policy Department
The Legal-Policy Department promotes policy change and pursues cutting edge impact litigation to defend and expand the civil liberties and civil rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. The Department’s work focuses on six broad program areas: Criminal Justice; Democracy & Civic Engagement; Gender, Sexuality & Reproductive Justice; Immigrants’ Rights; Racial & Economic Justice; and Technology & Civil Liberties. The Department’s staff is based in San Francisco, Sacramento, and Fresno, although staff is currently carrying out our work remotely due to Covid-19. Department staff work closely with other departments within ACLU NorCal, including Organizing, Communications, Development, Finance & Administration, as well as with ACLU California Action.
Racial & Economic Justice Internship
Racial & Economic Justice Interns will participate in legal and policy work to advance the goals of the Program, including: Education Equity, Housing and Homelessness, Indigenous Justice, and Assets and Income. The Indigenous Justice Project Intern will focus on policy and research work to advance our Indigenous Justice priorities. At times, work may arise that gives interns the opportunity to work across the Department’s six broad program areas, including in the areas of Criminal Justice, Immigrants’ Rights, and Democracy & Civic Engagement. Interns will conduct legal and factual research and may be asked to draft legal memoranda, portions of court documents, advocacy letters, analyses and articles, and pre-litigation demand letters. When possible and as applicable, interns attend appellate and trial court arguments, case management meetings, and depositions. Additionally, interns may be asked to investigate facts and possible legal claims arising from intakes received via the Civil Liberties Hotline. Interns are encouraged to attend and participate in monthly program meetings, where prospective litigation and policy strategies are discussed.
Applicants must currently be enrolled in law school or a graduate program in Public Policy, Political Science, Journalism, or a related field, and must demonstrate a strong interest in issues related to Racial & Economic Justice. Applicants to the Indigenous Justice Project Internship should have experience working with or in allyship with Indigenous communities, Tribes, and/or Native-led organizations or movements. The Legal-Policy Department accepts 1-2 Racial & Economic Justice Interns per term.
School Year Internships (Spring and Fall Terms)
School year internships are full- or part-time, generally requiring a 16 hours per week minimum commitment. Students on the semester system must be able to commit to working 12 – 14 weeks. Students on the quarter system can serve shorter quarter-long internships. We greatly prefer that part-time interns commit to work full days (i.e., two eight-hour days rather than four four-hour days) and recommend that students commit as many days a week as possible for the best internship experience. Please note: School year interns must earn academic credit, as determined by their institution, for their participation in our Spring/Fall internship programs.
Applicants are encouraged to apply early in the hiring cycle.
- Spring term: Applications will be accepted beginning on or around September 24 for the following spring term.
- Summer term: Applications will be accepted beginning on or around October 5 for the following summer term. ACLU NorCal staff will not begin to review applications from first year law students until December 2, 2021.
- Fall term: Applications will be accepted beginning on or around March 15 for the following Fall term.
How to apply
Applications from all interested law and graduate students are welcome. (Please note that ACLU NorCal does not consider applications from undergraduate students.) Applications must include the following in PDF format: (1) Cover Letter that includes (a) a brief statement about why you want to work on the particular Program Team you’ve applied for, (b) whether, in the event our offices return to in-person work before or during the Spring term, you would be interested in in-office work, and (c) how you encountered the internship opening; (2) Resume; (3) Writing Sample; and, (4) List of References with contact information.
The ACLU of Northern California advances equity and inclusion in the workplace by providing equal employment opportunity to support a work environment free from discrimination on the basis of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age (over 40), sexual orientation, military and veteran status, and any other basis prohibited by law. The organization also provides reasonable accommodations for qualified applicants and employees with disabilities. This equal employment opportunity policy applies to all aspects of employment, including recruitment, selection, advancement, training, problem resolution, and separation from employment. Through this policy, the ACLU NorCal strives to establish and maintain an equitable and accessible work environment that is free from discrimination and supportive of a workforce that reflects the rich diversity of our communities and the people we serve. ACLU NorCal will consider for employment all qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the requirements of the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance (SF Police Code, Article 49).