These positions are generally held by retired people and people considering attending law school who have already graduated from college, although all are welcome to apply.  

Attorneys can apply to work as legal intake reviewers, after satisfactorily completing basic intake training. Intake reviewers are attorneys who are responsible for reviewing summaries of complaints and approving or correcting the intake volunteers’ recommendations as to the appropriate disposition of complaints.

A volunteer must be willing to commit to at least two half-days per week (at least two four-hour blocks) to work in the legal intake unit. Our Philadelphia legal intake office hours are:

  • Monday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Tuesday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m
  • Wednesday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Thursday  9 a.m. – 5 p.m


The responsibilities of an intake volunteer include:

  • Interviewing people who call the ACLU help-line and writing summaries of their civil rights complaints;
  • Reading and summarizing complaints received in writing;
  • Researching facts about complaints;
  • Making recommendations about complaints;
  • Reviewing complaint facts with legal staff; and
  • Filing and maintaining intake documents.

Additionally, volunteers willing to commit more than six hours per week may be assigned to special projects, including follow-up on promising civil rights complaints, performing preliminary research, drafting correspondence and memoranda related to civil rights issues, and occasionally legal observing.


  • A commitment to and enthusiasm for the mission and goals of the ACLU required.  (Law degree and license to practice in Pennsylvania if applying to be an intake reviewer.)
  • Superior oral and written communication skills.
  • Computer proficiency using Microsoft Word and/or demonstrated ability to learn computer applications.
  • Experience working with nonprofit or advocacy group(s) valuable.
  • Experience working with volunteers helpful.


Volunteers are not paid. They do, however, gain knowledge about working in a nonprofit advocacy office. Additionally, the ACLU staff is happy to write recommendations and otherwise support its volunteers, whenever appropriate.

To Apply

Send a cover letter explaining your interest in volunteering at the ACLU-PA and a resume to with "Intake Volunteer Application" in the subject line. 

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until positions are filled.

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.