Summer 2020 Undergraduate Intern, National Security Project

  • American Civil Liberties Union
  • New York, NY, USA
  • Nov 14, 2019
Intern Legal

Job Description

The National Security Project of the National ACLU has an opening for an Undergraduate Intern in New York City. Interns will have the opportunity to gain valuable experience by working alongside the team assisting in all aspects of litigation, policy advocacy and communications campaigns.

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 National Security Project is part of the ACLU’s Center for Democracy, which works to strengthen democratic institutions and values, including the values of government transparency and accountability, and to reinforce the United States’ commitment to human rights and the rule of law. The Center for Democracy includes, in addition to the National Security Project, the Human Rights Program, the Project on Speech, Privacy, and Technology, the Immigrants’ Rights Project, and the Voting Rights Project.

The National Security Project is dedicated to ensuring that U.S. national security policies and practices are consistent with the Constitution, civil liberties, and human rights. The Project seeks to ensure that our nation’s core democratic values are the foundation of its strength and security, and that the government’s response to national security concerns comports with fundamental principles of transparency, accountability, equality, and due process. Through litigation and advocacy, the National Security Project responds to government measures, defends impacted communities, and strives to educate the public and shape the law so that the courts, Congress, and citizenry can serve as an enduring check against abuse.

The National Security Project’s litigation and advocacy focuses on issues including: national security programs or policies that discriminate against racial and religious minorities, activists, and those who dissent; government surveillance; unlawful killing and detention; censorship; and, secrecy.

  • Time Commitment: The internship requires a full-time commitment of 35 hours per week
  • Internship Duration: Internships are a 10-week period. Summer interns are expected to start on June 1st, 2020 or June 22nd, 2020
  • Stipend: A stipend is available for those students who do not receive outside funding and/or course credit. Arrangements can be made with educational institutions for work/study or course credit


Interns will gain valuable experience by working with the team on a wide variety of issues. Responsibilities may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Reviewing and logging government documents in National Security Project online databases
  • Organizing and archiving case files
  • Conducting factual research
  • Other projects as assigned


The internship is open to undergraduates who will have completed their first college semester before the internship commences. Interns should possess the following:

  • A strong interest in human rights and civil liberties issues
  • Excellent research, writing and communication skills
  • Strong computer and web-based research skills
  • Strong organizational skills
  • The initiative to see projects through to completion
  • A commitment to civil liberties, civil rights, and social justice
  • Commitment to the mission of the ACLU


  • Experience, through personal connection or work experience, working with marginalized communities whose civil rights and liberties are harmed by discriminatory or abusive national security policies


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 committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities. If you are a qualified individual with a disability and need assistance applying online, please e-mail  If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.


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A stipend is available for those students who do not receive outside funding and/or course credit. Arrangements can be made with educational institutions for work/study or course credit.