September 20, 2023


The ACLU-DC seeks second-year law students for full-time summer internships in the summer of 2024. (A posting for first-year law student internships, if available, will follow later in the fall semester.)

The ACLU-DC is an affiliate office of the American Civil Liberties Union, a national nonprofit organization devoted to promoting racial justice, civil rights, and civil liberties through litigation, legislation, and public education. The ACLU-DC works primarily on issues that directly impact people who live in, work in, and visit the District of Columbia, and also on challenges to certain federal government policies and practices where they fall within the jurisdiction of the D.C. federal courts.

Among the matters currently on our docket are:

  • Representing Black Lives Matter-DC and individual activists in challenging the June 1, 2020 attack by federal and local law enforcement on civil rights demonstrators in Lafayette Square;
  • Litigation against the United States Marshals Service for conducting unconstitutional searches of detained people;
  • A lawsuit challenging D.C.’s reliance on police as the default first responders for mental health emergencies;
  • A Fourth Amendment suit contesting D.C.’s practice of refusing to return cell phones it seizes from people whom it arrests;
  • A hostile work environment case on behalf of a D.C. employee subjected to harassment and abuse based on his sexual orientation; and
  • Suing the D.C. Jail for failing to give incarcerated people meals that comport the dietary rules of their religion.


Legal interns will be exposed to and participate in the process of developing and litigating impact cases to advance racial justice, civil rights, and civil 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. Legal interns also may interview potential clients and help investigate the facts of potential cases.

Depending on the state of our docket in summer 2024, interns are likely to have additional opportunities to become immersed in the work of the ACLU-DC’s Legal department, including legal strategy sessions and court proceedings, depositions, and client meetings. ACLU-DC staff believe strongly in mentorship and in thorough and timely feedback on all work product.

Financial stipends may be available for candidates not receiving summer funding from their law schools.


  • You are currently a second-year law student.
  • You are deeply committed to racial justice, civil rights, and civil liberties.
  • You have the ability to take ownership of projects and see projects through to completion in a fast-paced, collaborative environment.
  • You are receptive to feedback, enthusiastic about learning and professional growth, and eager to incorporate feedback into future work.
  • You have (or are well along in developing) strong legal research skills that allow you to identify the cases that are relevant to a particular research question and thoroughly answer the question asked.
  • You have (or are well along in developing) the capacity to engage in thoughtful legal analysis, including the ability to build a persuasive argument by applying legal authorities to new sets of facts.
  • You have (or are well along in developing) strong legal writing skills, including the ability to present ideas in a clear and organized manner and to write memos that teach the reader what you have learned through your research by synthesizing (rather than just summarizing) the relevant authorities.
  • You have the empathy and interpersonal skills necessary to connect with, listen to, and learn from clients and other community members.
  • You currently live in the District of Columbia, or will live in the District of Columbia during the internship.


The deadline for applying is 11:59pm Eastern time on Friday, October 20, 2023. To apply, complete the application available online at http::// If you have a disability and need any reasonable accommodations regarding any part of the application process, please email To complete the application, you will need to upload:

  1. A copy of your resume that lists relevant experience.
  2. A statement of interest of no more than 600 words that addresses the following three topics:
    1. What civil rights/liberties issue do you feel is most pressing right now and why?
    2. Describe why you want this internship and how it fits into your short- or long-term career goals.
    3. Describe a specific example of when you took ownership of (or primary responsibility for) a project or assignment. What did it mean to you to take ownership? What was the end result?
  3. A list of three references, including a sentence about each one identifying what information the person can provide. We find particularly helpful the perspective of a practicing attorney or clinical supervisor who has worked with you, but we are also interested in speaking with professors, community members, coworkers, or others who can speak to your relevant skills and experience.
  4. In place of a transcript, a list of all law school courses that you have taken, are currently taking, or (where available) are scheduled to take next semester.

The ACLU-DC is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU-DC encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status, or any other classification protected by the D.C. Human Rights Act or federal employment law. If you have a disability and need a reasonable accommodation, please email