Spring 2013 Undergraduate Internship
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National Security Project, NY

The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation (ACLU), founded in 1920, is a nationwide, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with more than 500,000 members dedicated to the principles of liberty and equality embodied in the U.S. Constitution. The National Security Project in the ACLU’s National Office in New York City invites applicants for the Spring 2013 Undergraduate Internship starting in January 2013.


The National Security Project is part of the ACLU’s Center for Democracy, which works to strengthen democratic institutions and values, and advocates for government transparency and accountability, and to reinforce the United States’ commitment to human rights and the rule of law. The Center for Democracy includes, in addition to the National Security Project, the Human Rights Program, and the Project on Speech, Privacy, and Technology.

The National Security Project is dedicated to ensuring that U.S. national security policies and practices are consistent with the Constitution, civil liberties, and human rights. We believe that our nation’s core democratic values are the foundation of its strength and security, and that our government’s response to national security concerns must comport with those values. Through our litigation and advocacy strategies, we not only respond to specific government measures, but strive also to educate the public and shape the law so that the courts, Congress, and citizenry can serve as an enduring check against abuse. The National Security Project’s litigation and advocacy focuses on issues including: targeted killing, detention, torture, discrimination, government surveillance, censorship, and secrecy.


The Spring 2013 Undergraduate Internship requires an 8 - 12 week commitment. The internship is part-time, with weekly hours that are negotiable. The number of interns accepted for the position may vary. Interns are highly encouraged to obtain funding from outside sources, as the internship is unpaid. Arrangements can be made for work/study or course credit.


The undergraduate internship is designed to provide interns with the opportunity to learn about public interest work. Interns will work under the direct supervision of the Project’s Paralegal, and will learn from and interact with other members of the Project’s staff. Interns will gain experience by:
  • Conducting factual research on issues relating to civil liberties and national security.
  • Assisting with the production of litigation and advocacy materials.
  • Assisting with the review of government documents obtained through Freedom of Information Act litigation.
  • Maintaining case files.
  • Working on other projects as assigned.


The internship is open to students who are currently enrolled in an undergraduate program and have completed their first year of college. Applicants must possess:
  • A commitment to civil liberties and a strong interest in social justice and legal issues.
  • Excellent research, writing, and communications skills.
  • Strong computer skills, particularly web-based research and proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite.
  • Demonstrated initiative to see projects through to completion.

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The philosopher Socrates once said, "I am that gadfly which God has given the state." While the American Civil Liberties Union...