Summer 2021 Democratic & Civic Engagement Internship (Remote)

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ACLU of Northern CA

Summer 2021 Democratic & Civic Engagement Internship

Location: Position is expected to be remote.
Deadline: January 25th, 2021

The ACLU-NC’s Legal-Policy Department invites law students to apply for its Democratic & Civic Engagement 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.

Democratic & Civic Engagement Internship

Democratic & Civic Engagement Interns work directly with one or more attorneys and conduct legal research and writing in support of policy work and active and potential impact litigation that spans the Program area, including:  voting rights, First Amendment speech and association, open government, and other work that intersects with NorCal program areas and advances civil rights and liberties.  Interns may be asked to draft legal memoranda, portions of court documents, and pre-litigation demand letters. When possible, interns attend appellate arguments, trial proceedings, 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.  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, Technology and Civil Liberties, Criminal Justice, and Immigrants’ Rights. 

Applicants must currently be attending law school.  The Legal-Policy Department accepts one Democratic & Civic Engagement Intern per term.  

Application Process

Summer internships are full-time for 10 – 12 weeks and usually begin the day after Memorial Day. “Split” summers may be considered where the intern is available for a minimum of 10 weeks. Part-time internships are not available during the summer.

For summer internship funding, students should seek available funding through their schools. For students coming from schools that do not offer summer funding or who do not obtain adequate school funding, the ACLU-NC will consider providing funding to students, as available.


Application Deadlines

Applicants are encouraged to apply early in the hiring cycle.  Note that ACLU-NC staff will not begin to review applications from first year law students until December 2, 2020.

  • Spring term: Applications will be accepted beginning September 15 for the following spring term.
  • Summer term: Applications will be accepted beginning 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 March 5 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 apply here:


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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