Volunteer Civil Liberties Intake Counselor

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This is a volunteer opportunity available in the ACLU Foundation of Northern California’s Legal-Policy Department.

About the organization and the department

The mission of the ACLU Foundation of Northern California (ACLU NorCal) is to be an enduring guardian of justice, fairness, equality, and freedom, working to protect and advance civil liberties for all Californians. This position offers a unique opportunity to be at the heart of the Legal-Policy team which 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 and the California Constitution. 

The position

Intake Counselors support the Civil Liberties Intake Program by processing requests for legal assistance, distributing know-your-rights materials, etc. The Intake Counselor position is supervised by the Intake Program Manager.  As of March 2020, the intake program operates remotely.

Responsibilities can include: 

  • Answering phone calls received through our Civil Liberties Hotline; 
  • Conducting initial interview questions with the callers, writing clear and complete notes during the call, and documenting relevant matters in a concise manner;
  • Reviewing, evaluating, and responding to written requests for assistance, including mail and online complaints; and
  • Working with a web-based database to enter and update information from the intake, as well as catalog that data within the system.
  • Weekly meetings with the Intake Program Manager to review open intakes, receive feedback, and continue individual training as needed.


The ACLU NorCal values equity and inclusion and encourages a diversity of candidates from various backgrounds to apply.

Individuals joining the Legal-Policy Department team as a Volunteer Civil Liberties Intake Counselor must have the following skills and qualifications: 

  • Strong commitment to and enthusiasm for the mission of the ACLU of Northern California (for examples of our work, see the ACLU NorCal's online legal docket: https://www.aclunc.org/our-work/legal-docket);
  • Ability to adhere to a strict code of confidentiality;
  • A dedication to ongoing learning on how to best perform intake volunteer duties;
  • Ability to work independently while maintaining consistent, weekly communication with the Intake Manager;
  • Strong oral and written communication skills;
  • Proficiency with or willingness to learn Outlook;
  • Proficiency with or willingness to learn a web-based database; and
  • Highly organized and careful attention to detail.

Helpful but not required skills and qualifications include

  • Advanced or higher proficiency in Spanish (reading, writing, listening, and speaking);
  • Familiarity with the Northern California region;
  • Experience in a customer service or client services role (or a similar role that requires establishing trust and safety through communicating with another person);
  • Experience with a web-based database.

Time commitment & benefits

We require a minimum 4-month commitment of at 6 least hours during the workweek (Monday - Friday). If interested in covering the hotline, please note that the hotline is open 10am – 12pm and 1pm – 3pm, Monday – Friday. This is an unpaid position. 

To apply

Send a resume and cover letter to https://boards.greenhouse.io/aclunc/jobs/4495783002

The cover letter should include why you are interested in this volunteer position and what your availability will be for the coming months. 

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).

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