Democracy & Civic Engagement Interns work directly with one or more attorneys in support of the Program’s litigation and policy work, which focuses on voting rights, the First Amendment, and open government. Interns are responsible for conducting legal research, as well as for drafting legal memoranda, court documents, pre-litigation demand letters, and public records act requests. Additionally, interns may be asked to investigate facts and possible legal claims arising from intakes received via the Civil Liberties Hotline. When possible, interns will attend appellate arguments, trial proceedings, and depositions. Interns are also encouraged to participate in regular meetings with team members and with Department staff to discuss litigation and policy strategies. At times, assignments may arise that provide 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 to two Democracy & Civic Engagement Interns per term.
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.
Funding and Scholarship Opportunities
For summer internship funding, students should seek funding through their institutions to the extent it is available. At ACLU NorCal, we strive to create equitable opportunities for student-applicants and recognize that not all institutions provide funding (or adequate funding) for students pursing public interest internships and career paths. As such, for students coming from schools that do not offer summer funding, ACLU NorCal will provide you with funding to compensate for you work with us over the summer.
Applicants are encouraged to apply early in the hiring cycle.
- Spring term: Applications will be accepted beginning on or around August 22 for the following spring term.
- Summer term: Applications will be accepted beginning on or around September 5 for the following summer term. ACLU NorCal staff will not begin to review applications from first year law students until December 2022.
- 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/Issue Area you’ve applied for, (b) your preference and willingness to be based in each of our three office locations for the summer (San Francisco, Sacramento, and Fresno), 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, ACLU NorCal strives to establish and maintain an equitable and accessible work environment that is supportive and free from discrimination