For nearly 100 years, the ACLU has been our nation’s guardian of liberty, working in courts, legislatures, and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States.  Whether it’s achieving full equality for the LGBT community, establishing new privacy protections for our digital age, ending mass incarceration, or preserving the right to vote or the right to have an abortion, the ACLU takes up the toughest civil liberties cases and issues to defend all people from government abuse and overreach. With more than a million members, activists, and supporters, the ACLU is a nationwide organization that fights tirelessly in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C., for the principle that every individual’s rights must be protected equally under the law, regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability or national origin.

The Washington Legislative Office (WLO) of the ACLU seeks applicants for legal internships for the Summer of 2015 in Washington, D. C.  A stipend is available for those students who do not receive outside funding and/or course credit. Arrangements can also be made with the student’s law school for work/study stipends or course credit.


Founded in 1952, the Washington National Office is responsible for advancing the civil liberties agenda of the national organization before Congress and the Executive Branch, as well as working with ACLU affiliates on state legislatures.


The internship is full-time and typically requires a 10 week commitment with a preferred start date of May 26, 2015.


Legal interns will work on a wide variety of issues.  Interns will work closely with Legislative Counsels and Lobbyists, whose area of focus matches the intern’s specific area of civil liberties interest. Interns will assist in all aspects of legislative and policy work including but not limited to:

  • Researching and analyzing implications of legislative and policy proposals and tracking legislation, regulations, and policy drafts.
  • Assisting in drafting regulatory comments, and official communications to Congress or Executive Branch officials and testimony for Congressional hearings.
  • Attending hearings and coalition meetings and preparing written reports.
  • Researching and drafting issue statements for newsletters and/or action alerts and  the ACLU web page.
  • Other projects as assigned.


Second and third year law students are encouraged to apply.

  • Excellent research, writing, analytical and communication skills.
  • The ability to work independently.
  • Strong motivation and the initiative to see projects through to completion.
  • An understanding of constitutional law & legal research.
  • Completed course work in constitutional law desirable.
  • A commitment to the support of civil liberties or civil rights; demonstrated interest in a specific area of legislation or policy related to current issues in civil liberties or civil rights.


Applicants should send a cover letter explaining their interest in the internship, including a description of their interest in specific legislation, or a specific policy related to current issues in civil liberties; and any relevant life or work experience gained before or during law school,  a resume; and a legal writing sample of 5-7 pages to hrjobswlo@aclu.org  reference [Summer 2015 WLO Legal Internship ACLU-W] in the subject line.

As it’s late in the process for most students, please apply as soon as possible and copy Ms. Ruthie Epstein, repstein@aclu.org, on the email to  hrjobswlo@aclu.org.

Please indicate in your cover letter where you learned of this posting.

Students are encouraged to submit applications as early as possible, as decisions are made on a rolling basis.

This job description provides a general but not comprehensive list of the essential responsibilities and qualifications required. It does not represent a contract of employment. The ACLU reserves the right to change the job description and/or posting at any time without advance notice.

The ACLU is an equal opportunity employer.  We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture.    The ACLU encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, and veteran status.

The ACLU undertakes affirmative action strategies in its recruitment and employment efforts to assure that persons with disabilities have full opportunities for employment in all positions.

We encourage any applicants who need accommodations in the application process to contact: HRJobsINCLReq@aclu.org  Correspondence sent to this address that is not related to requests for accommodations will not be reviewed.  Applicants should follow the instructions above regarding how to apply.

The ACLU comprises two separate corporate entities, the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU Foundation. Both the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU Foundation are national organizations with the same overall mission, and share office space and employees. The ACLU has two separate corporate entities in order to do a broad range of work to protect civil liberties. This job posting refers collectively to the two organizations under the name “ACLU.”


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