We are no longer accepting applications for summer 2023 legal internships.


The ACLU of Pennsylvania invites all law students to apply to intern with our Legal Department. We are seeking inquisitive, engaged students with an interest in civil rights litigation and strong communication skills. We do not require any specific coursework and do not want transcripts. We offer full-time internships during the summer and have funding to ensure that all students can share in this opportunity. We also welcome second and third-year law students for semester-long term-time internships, and work with each student to ensure that they can receive law school credit. In addition, for students interested in an issue specific internship, we offer an immigrants’ rights track as well as a criminal law reform track. The internship program may be remote or in person or both.

For 100 years, the ACLU has worked in courts, legislatures, and communities to help ensure that all people have access to the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States. As an affiliate of the ACLU, the ACLU of Pennsylvania focuses its work on issues that directly impact people who live, work, or travel to/from Pennsylvania. We also work with the National ACLU on litigation and advocacy. Our current work includes: seeking to protect the right to vote; improving conditions and seeking release for incarcerated people during this pandemic; challenging racial profiling in Black and brown communities; and working to reduce pretrial and probation related detention.  

What we expect from interns

Interns will draft memoranda, affidavits, and motions; conduct legal and policy research; investigate the prospects of new litigation, including both factual and legal claims; and interview clients and witnesses. Interns attend litigation team meetings and, when possible, depositions and court proceedings. Interns may also have an opportunity to support community-led coalition work on a number of criminal legal system and immigrants’ rights issues. 

What interns can expect from us

The ACLU-PA believes strongly in mentorship and in thorough and timely feedback. Interns will meet weekly with a supervising staff attorney to help ensure that the internship provides a meaningful opportunity for each intern to develop their skills and explore what it means to be a civil rights litigator. Interns will also meet and network with ACLU-PA staff through planned programming. Summer interns will be able to participate in a weekly brown bag lunch series for public interest-minded law students. 

We ask that term-time interns commit at least 12 hours a week and that summer interns commit no fewer than eight weeks and prefer ten-week commitments (although exceptions can be made in certain circumstances). We expect summer interns to work full time (but can be flexible). We also ask summer interns to seek funding from their schools and networks, though we have funds to supplement those efforts up to $8,000 per summer intern for 10 weeks to ensure that lack of funding is not an obstacle to an internship with us. Please note that we are currently working partly remote and partly in person, due to COVID-19. We have a COVID-19 policy in place for in person work that is subject to variation depending on the state of the pandemic.

Applicants for internships should have an interest in civil liberties and civil rights, the initiative and energy to work in a faced-paced, collaborative environment, openness to growth and feedback, and a commitment to racial justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. The ACLU-PA recognizes that various backgrounds, identities, and past experiences may inform an individual’s commitment to this work, and values a diversity of experiences that interns may bring. 

Application Instructions and Process 

To apply, please send us an email at legalsearch@aclupa.org with the following materials: your resume and a brief writing sample (no longer than 10 pages). We will send all applicants a short written questionnaire once we receive their application materials.  

In the subject line of your email, please include the following information: your last name; the position for which you are applying; whether you are applying for the summer or an academic semester; and, if applicable, that you are seeking the immigrants’ rights internship. 

For example: 

Subject: "[Name] [Legal Intern Summer 2023] application” or “[Name] [Criminal Law Reform] [Immigration] [Legal Intern Summer 2023] application"  

For term-time internships, we review applicants 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. The number of students hired varies depending upon organizational needs.        

For summer internships, we begin reviewing applications on September 1, 2022, on a rolling basis. Interviews for 2L applicants will be held from mid to late November 2022 and 2L students will be informed by early December if we are extending an offer. Interviews for 1L applicants will be held in January 2023 and 1L students will be informed if we are extending an offer in February. A student’s need for funding will not affect their application process.

The ACLU-PA is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer committed to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging. We value a diverse and inclusive work environment where employees feel a sense of belonging and strongly encourage women, people of color, people who identify as LGBTQ, people with disabilities, people who have experienced poverty or houselessness, and people who have had prior contact with the criminal legal system to apply. ACLU-PA invites all applicants to include in your questionnaire how your particular background and/or experiences might contribute to the diversity, cultural vitality, and perspective of our staff and legal services practice.