The ACLU of Pennsylvania offers many opportunities for law students to delve into exciting and challenging work. Legal interns will be exposed to and participate in the process of developing and litigating impact cases to advance civil rights and liberties. The legal intern’s primary duties will be conducting legal research for current and potential cases and drafting memoranda, pleadings, motions, and/or discovery requests. Interns may also be asked to perform research regarding the civil liberties implications or impact of proposed or new legislation, to help with factual investigation, including court watching, or to assist with updating public education materials to reflect changes in the law. Legal interns have the opportunity to attend depositions, court proceedings, and case development meetings, and to meet leaders in the public interest community.
Applicants for internships should have an interest in civil liberties and civil rights, excellent writing and communication skills, and the initiative and energy to see projects to completion, and a commitment to racial justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace.
ACLU-PA cannot offer compensation to interns, but we are happy to provide documentation of employment so that students may obtain compensation through work-study or grant programs, or receive externship credit.
Current law students who are committed to and enthusiastic about the mission and goals of the ACLU can apply to work with us as term-time interns, working on the full range of our legal docket for a semester.
Term-time internships require a commitment of at least 12 hours a week for a semester. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. For fall internships, we begin reviewing applications in June. For spring internships, we begin reviewing applications in October. We extend offers on a rolling basis.
To apply, email your cover letter, resume, law school transcript, a writing sample that is at least 5-10 pages in length and reflects your own work (2Ls and 3Ls, please use a sample from your summer rather than a school assignment, if possible), and a list of 3 references to firstname.lastname@example.org with "Term-Time Legal Intern Application" in the subject line (very important!). Term-time internships are only available in the Philadelphia office.
Current law students who are committed to and enthusiastic about the mission and goals of the ACLU can apply to work with us as summer interns, working on the full range of our legal docket for the summer.
Summer internships generally require a full-time commitment for at least 10 weeks during the summer. We will discuss flexible hours for students who have other jobs.
We begin reviewing applications on October 1 on a rolling basis, and we generally complete hiring by early February. Although 2Ls and 3Ls generally apply in the fall, we welcome applications from 1Ls when they have finished their first semester of law school. We extend offers on a rolling basis.
To apply, email your cover letter, resume, law school transcript*, and a writing sample that is at least 5-10 pages in length and reflects your own work (2Ls and 3Ls, please use a sample from your summer rather than a school assignment, if possible), and a list of 3 references to email@example.com with "Summer Legal Intern Application" in the subject line (very important!). In the body of the email, please specify which ACLU-PA office you are applying to work in (Philadelphia or Pittsburgh).
Immigrants' Rights Internship
The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania is dedicated to enforcing and expanding the civil rights and civil liberties of noncitizens throughout the Commonwealth. We strive do so by centering the concerns and priorities of directly impacted communities and by working collaboratively with myriad allies and partners. Destructive immigration enforcement policies and practices are chief among the problems we are trying to combat, and our work takes many shapes, including:
- Reviewing incoming immigrants’ rights complaints and conducting follow-up factual investigation;
- Pursuing strategic litigation in federal and state courts to advance immigrants’ rights;
- Supporting strategic litigation for the advancement of immigrants’ rights through filings as amicus curiae;
- Coalition work geared towards policy and/or legislative objectives and centered around the concerns and voices of impacted communities; and
Public education about immigrants’ rights, including:
- The development and/or presentation of know-your-rights content and trainings, and
- Sharing information obtained through the Pennsylvania Right to Know Law and/or the federal Freedom of Information Act.
If you are interested in the Immigrants' Rights internship, please follow the same instructions listed under term-time and summer internships. All internship requirements are the same and internships are available year-round. In the subject line and the body of your email, please indicate that you are interested in the Immigrants' Rights Internship.
* 1L applicants should not wait for a final transcript to apply.
The ACLU is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and encourages women, people of color, persons with disabilities, and members of the LGBT community to apply.