Fall 2021 Immigrants’ Rights Internship

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ACLU of Northern CA

Location: Position is expected to be remote.
Deadline: Open until filled.


The ACLU-NC’s Legal-Policy Department invites law students to apply for its Immigrants’ Rights Internship.  Students willing to work with intensity and focus will find an internship at the ACLU-NC 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 pursues cutting edge impact litigation and promotes policy change in order 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 the ACLU-NC, including Organizing, Communications, Development, Finance & Administration, as well as with ACLU of California Center for Advocacy and Policy in Sacramento.

Immigrant Rights Internship 

The Immigrant Rights Intern will assist with projects to ensure that the civil rights and civil liberties of immigrants, refugees, asylum-seekers, and other Californians are protected under federal, state, and local law.  Interns will have the opportunity to conduct legal and policy research, as well as draft memoranda, legal filings, policy reports and other materials that further the litigation and advocacy work of the Immigrant Rights team. Interns will participate in staff meetings and strategy meetings with coalition partners and assist in fact-gathering for local, state, and federal advocacy efforts through litigation, Freedom of Information Act and Public Records Act requests, field interviews, and other strategies.  Interns are encouraged to attend and participate in monthly program meetings, where prospective litigation and policy strategies are discussed.  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 Racial and Economic Justice, Criminal Justice, Technology and Civil Liberties, and Democracy & Civic Engagement. 

Applicants must currently be attending law school.  Applicants must demonstrate a passion for immigrants’ rights and a commitment to work for social justice and the ideals of the ACLU.  The Legal-Policy Department accepts 1-2 Immigrants’ Rights interns per term.

Application Process

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.  School year interns must earn academic credit as determined by their law or graduate schools.

Application deadlines

Applicants are encouraged to apply early in the hiring cycle. 

  • Spring term: Applications will be accepted beginning on or around September 15 for the following spring term.
  • Summer term: Applications will be accepted beginning on or around October 15 for the following summer term.  ACLU-NC staff will not begin to review applications from first year law students until December 2, 2020.
  • Fall term: Applications will be accepted beginning on or around March 22 for the following Fall term.

How to apply

Applications from all interested law and graduate students are welcome. Applications must include the following in PDF format:  (1) Cover Letter that includes (a) a brief statement about why you want to work in the particular Program area you’ve applied for, (b) whether you are interested in pursuing emergent regional work out of our Sacramento and/or Fresno offices, and (c) how you encountered the internship opening; (2) Resume; (3) Writing Sample; and, (4) List of References with contact information. Please submit your application online at: https://boards.greenhouse.io/aclunc/jobs/5154169002


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, arrest or conviction record, 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-NC strives to establish and maintain an equitable and accessible work environment that is supportive and free from discrimination.

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