Summer 2019 Legal Internship - Campaign for Smart Justice, NY

  • American Civil Liberties Union
  • Nov 07, 2018
Intern Legal

Job Description

Summer 2019 Legal Internship - Campaign for Smart Justice, NY


Office:  Legal Internships

Location:  New York

NOVEMBER 6, 2018



American Civil Liberties Union Foundation

Campaign for Smart Justice, NY


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 ending mass incarceration, achieving full equality for the LGBT community, advancing racial justice, establishing new privacy protections for our digital age, or preserving the right to vote or the right to have an abortion, the ACLU takes up the toughest civil liberties and civil rights cases and issues to defend all people from government abuse and overreach. With more than one 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, gender identity or expression, age, disability, national origin, and record of arrest or conviction.

The Campaign for Smart Justice of the ACLU’s National Office in New York, NY seeks applicants for its Summer 2019 Legal Internship.  A stipend is available for those students who do not receive outside funding and/or course credit. Arrangements can be made with the student’s school for a work/study stipend or course credit.



With 2.3 million people behind bars in this country, the United States has earned the disgraceful distinction of being the world’s largest jailer. The nation’s machine of mass incarceration severely limits the ability of people, disproportionately people of color, from participating in the social, political and economic life of this country.

The ACLU’s Campaign for Smart Justice is committed to realizing a new criminal justice system – one that is substantially smaller than its current size while also keeping communities safe, advancing racial justice, treating people fairly, and using fiscal resources wisely. The ACLU’s Campaign for Smart Justice works with partners to build a movement for social change and win state-based reforms needed to cut the size of our nation’s incarcerated population by 50 percent. The Campaign is committed to advancing both decarceration and racial justice.  The issue of mass incarceration is ripe for bipartisan involvement, and the ACLU works collaboratively with groups across the political spectrum to achieve our goal of ending mass incarceration.



Interns will have the opportunity to support the Campaign’s efforts in researching and analyzing state legislation and legislative amendments, preparing advocacy and public education materials, and researching legal and policy issues related to state legislation. There will be opportunities to attend and observe substantive meetings, events, and conversations on Campaign for Smart Justice program and broader ACLU work. The internship position is based in the Campaign for Smart Justice’s New York City headquarters and is supervised by the Advocacy & Policy Counsel of the Campaign.  The Internship is typically full-time and requires a ten-week commitment with a start date in June 2019.



Interns will have the opportunity to gain valuable experience by working alongside the Campaign for Smart Justice team on the following:

  • Conducting research and analyzing state legislation and advocacy efforts, and related legal and policy issues
  • Preparing advocacy and public education materials; drafting memorandum and affiliate correspondence
  • Providing research and drafting support for national criminal justice reform reports
  • Monitoring legal and legislative developments on the prosecutorial, bail, sentencing, and reentry  reforms in the states
  • Commitment to work collaboratively and respectfully toward resolving obstacles and/or conflicts
  • Other duties as assigned



This Internship is open to legal students who will have completed their first semester of law school before the internship commences. Interns should possess the following:

  • Excellent research, writing and communication skills
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite, and conducting internet research
  • The initiative to see projects through to completion
  • Ability to handle multiple projects and meet deadlines in a fast-paced working environment
  • The ideal candidates are independent, detail-oriented, and highly organized
  • A commitment to civil liberties, civil rights and social justice



Please send a cover letter describing your interest in criminal justice reform and civil liberties, including any relevant life or work experience gained before or during law school; a current resume; and a list of three references to  Reference  [Campaign for Smart Justice Summer 2019 Legal Internship/W]  in the subject line.

Please note that this is not the general ACLU applicant email address.  This email address is specific to Campaign for Smart Justice postings.  In order to ensure your application is received please make certain it is sent to the correct e-mail address.


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

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis and accepted until the position is filled.


This posting provides a general but not comprehensive list of the opportunities of the internship. It does not represent a contract of employment. The ACLU reserves the right to change the 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, veteran status, and record of arrest or conviction.

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 applicants with disabilities who may need accommodations in the application process to contact:  hrjobsincl@aclu.orgCorrespondence 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.”




A stipend is available for those students who do not receive outside funding and/or course credit. Arrangements can be made with the student’s school for a work/study stipend or course credit.