The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey (ACLU-NJ) seeks highly motivated law students and undergraduate students for internships throughout the year. 

For over 60 years, the ACLU-NJ has defended liberty and justice guided by the vision of a fair and equitable New Jersey for all. Our mission is to preserve, advance, and extend the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every New Jerseyan by the state and federal constitutions in courts, in the legislature, and in our communities.  

In every facet of our work, we strive to be anti-racist and are actively committed to advancing racial justice in the institutions of New Jersey, for the people of New Jersey. We aim to center the voices and lived experiences of those who historically have not been fully protected by government systems or laws.   

Founded in 1960 and based in Newark, we are a non-partisan organization that operates on several fronts — political, legal, cultural — to bring about systemic change and build a more equitable society. You can learn more about our strategic approach here

The ACLU-NJ 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 careers@aclu-nj.org. If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.
 

1. Summer Legal Internships (Law Students)

A.Summer Legal Internships (Law Students)

A.

The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey (ACLU-NJ) seeks highly motivated law students for summer internships. Summer internships are full-time and require a 10-week commitment. The office is on a hybrid work schedule, working in the office on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and remotely on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays.

At the ACLU-NJ, law students have the opportunity to contribute to a broad range of cutting-edge civil rights and liberties work on a variety of issues

Students work closely with staff members to conduct legal research, write legal memoranda, and may have opportunities to draft legal or advocacy correspondence, and analyze pending state and local legislative or regulatory proposals that impact civil rights and liberties in New Jersey. Students may also have opportunities to attend oral arguments in state and federal court, or participate in advocacy meetings and events involving clients, community partners and/or government officials.

The ACLU-NJ is committed to working with law students to secure academic credit and/or school or outside funding for those who spend the full summer with us. We are committed to providing at minimum partial stipends for students regardless of outside funding availability. 

How & When to Apply

All applicants are required to submit a cover letter, resume, unofficial transcript (if available) and a writing sample of 5 to 10 pages double-spaced. We invite applicants to include in their cover letter information about how their background and/or experiences could contribute to the diversity, cultural vitality, and perspective of our staff and advocacy work. Applications should be emailed as a single pdf to careers@aclu-nj.org with the subject line “Legal Internship Application [Term and Year]. For instance, “Legal Internship Application Summer 2024.”   

For 1Ls who do not yet have a writing sample, please upload another piece of writing (e.g., from a college course) as well as a separate document explaining in one or two sentences when you expect to have a legal writing sample available (e.g., at the end of the fall semester). 

Deadline: The deadline to apply was January 22, 2024, for Summer 2024 internships.

2. Civil Liberties Internships (Undergraduate)

A.Civil Liberties Internships (Undergraduate)

A.

The ACLU-NJ seeks highly motivated college students for Civil Liberties internships throughout the year. Civil Liberties interns help screen and document requests for assistance from individuals and organizations, assist complainants in resolving disputes, provide information, referrals and suggestions, identify community resources, analyze written complaints, conduct factual investigations, review applicable regulations and statutes, and draft responsive letters. Through this experience students will develop a practical understanding of constitutional law, develop skills to spot, analyze, and summarize complex legal issues, and gain communication. 

The selected candidates are expected to commit to 10 hours per week. The ACLU-NJ is committed to working with law students to secure academic credit and/or school or outside funding for those who spend the full summer with us. We are committed to providing at minimum partial stipends for students regardless of outside funding availability. 

How & When to Apply  

All applicants are required to submit a cover letter and resume. We invite applicants to include in their cover letter information about how their background and/or experiences could contribute to the diversity, cultural vitality, and perspective of our staff and advocacy work. If the candidate is selected for an interview, a writing sample, unofficial transcript, and references may be requested work. Applications should be emailed as a single pdf to careers@aclu-nj.org with the subject line “Civil Liberties Internship Application [Term and Year]. For instance, “Civil Liberties Internship Application Summer 2024.”  

Application acceptance periods are as follows:

  • Summer Internships: Applications considered February 1 to March 15 (or until filled) of the year of the internship. For instance, for summer 2024: Feb. 1 – March 15 of 2024.
  • Fall Internships: Applications considered May 1 to May 31 (or until filled) of the year of the internship. For instance, for fall 2024: May 1 – May 31 of 2024.
  • Spring Internships: Applications considered October 1 to November 15 (or until filled) of the prior year. For instance, for spring 2025: Nov. 1 – Nov. 30, 2024. 

3. The Marsha Wenk Fellowship in Public Interest Law in Partnership with Rutgers Law School

A.The Marsha Wenk Fellowship in Public Interest Law in Partnership with Rutgers Law School

A.

The Marsha Wenk Fellowship was established at Rutgers Law School and funded by the family, friends, and colleagues of Marsha Wenk, who served as the Legal Director of the ACLU of New Jersey and left a legacy as a devoted, creative, and accomplished advocate despite her untimely death at age 37 in 1996. 

The fellowship aims to acknowledge, support, and sustain the public interest work by Rutgers Law students. Fellows are awarded stipends to serve as leaders in the Rutgers public interest legal community. As part of their fellowship responsibilities, they serve as legal interns at the ACLU of New Jersey for 100 hours (usually 10 hours for 10 weeks) during one semester of their second year. 

Rutgers Law Students are eligible to apply for the fellowship in the spring of their first year and should contact law school public interest administrators for details about the timing of the application and interviews. In a typical year, two students are selected each spring for the fellowship after completing applications and interviews. The Wenk selection committee may include representatives from Rutgers, the ACLU-NJ, former Wenk fellows, and members of the Wenk family. The selection committee evaluates candidates based on their strengths and commitment to serve as a leader and advocate for social justice in the Rutgers community and in their career. 

Wenk devoted her life to social justice. Prior to attending Rutgers Law, she served as a union organizer and activist. While a student, she was instrumental in creating the Public Interest Law Foundation, a public interest summer funding program for Rutgers Law students who pursued public interest summer internships. Following her graduation from Rutgers, Wenk served as a public defender and then joined the ACLU of New Jersey. As legal director, she fiercely defended civil rights, whether popular or not. Under her leadership, the ACLU-NJ challenged a school district’s graduation prayer practices and helped expand the parental rights of same-sex couples. As a lawyer, Wenk remained devoted to supporting public interest law community at the law school, volunteering to mentor students and developing programs for them.