Location: We expect our Summer 2024 internships will proceed in-person at our offices in San Francisco, Sacramento, and Fresno. In your application materials please include your preference and willingness to be based in each of these locations and indicate whether you are applying for the Racial & Economic Justice Internship or the Indigenous Justice Policy Internship.
Deadline: Open until filled.
The ACLU of Northern California’s Legal-Policy Department invites law and graduate students to apply for two exciting opportunities: the Racial & Economic Justice Program Internship and the Indigenous Justice Policy 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. 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 & Indigenous Justice Policy 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. 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 will likely have work that span the four aforementioned Racial & Economic Justice programmatic areas. We also intend to hire an Indigenous Justice Policy Intern to specifically concentrate on policy advocacy and research to advance Indigenous Justice priorities. 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 Policy 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 two to three Racial & Economic Justice Interns per term and one Indigenous Justice Policy intern per term.
The ACLU NorCal physical offices are open. Vaccination against COVID-19 is strongly encouraged for on-site participation. Masking is required for in-person participation at this time.
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 2023.
- 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; and (3) Writing Sample.
Please submit your online application at: https://boards.greenhouse.io/aclunc/jobs/6931774002
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.