Fall 2019 National Prison Project Legal Internship – NPP, DC

  • American Civil Liberties Union
  • Washington D.C., DC, USA
  • Aug 21, 2019
Intern Public Policy

Job Description

Fall 2019 National Prison Project Legal Internship – NPP, DC




Title:  Fall 2019 National Prison Project Legal Internship

Office:  National Offices

Location:  Washington, DC




Apply for this job

Job postings are hosted on Greenhouse.  See their privacy policy.






American Civil Liberties Union Foundation


National Prison Project, DC


For nearly 100 years, the ACLU has been our nation’s guardian of liberty, working in courts, legislatures, and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and the laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country. Whether it’s achieving full equality for the LGBT community, establishing new privacy protections for our digital age, ending mass incarceration, or preserving the right to vote or the right to have an abortion, the ACLU takes up the toughest civil liberties cases and issues to defend all people from government abuse and overreach. With more than a million members, activists, and supporters, the ACLU is a nationwide organization that fights tirelessly in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C., for the principle that every individual’s rights must be protected equally under the law, regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability or national origin.


The National Prison Project of the ACLU’s National Office in Washington, D.C. invites applicants for Fall 2019 Legal Internships.  Stipends will be offered to interns who do not receive course credit and/or outside funding.  Arrangements can be made with educational institutions for work/study or course credit.



Founded in 1972 by the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Prison Project (NPP) seeks to ensure constitutional conditions of confinement in prisons, jails, juvenile facilities, and immigration detention facilities. The Project seeks to promote prisoners’ rights through class action litigation and public education. Its priorities include reducing prison overcrowding, improving prisoner medical care, eliminating violence and maltreatment, and increasing oversight and accountability in prisons, jails, and other places of detention.


The Project also works to challenge the policies of over-incarceration that have led the United States to imprison more people than any other country in the world. This is an opportune moment to reform those policies. There is a growing consensus among criminal justice experts and policymakers that America’s criminal justice system has relied too heavily on incarceration as the first and often only response for non-violent behavior that could better be addressed through other means. The population in American prisons and jails has tripled in the past 15 years and now approaches two and a half million. Facilities are overcrowded; medical systems are overwhelmed; work, education, and treatment programs are inadequate; and prison violence has increased. This failed experiment does not make us safer, it is not affordable, and it exacerbates the racial disparities that have long plagued the criminal justice system.


The Project, with a staff of six lawyers, has fought and continues to fight unlawful prison conditions and practices through successful litigation on behalf of prisoners in more than 25 states. Since 1991, the Project has represented prisoners in five cases before the United States Supreme Court. The ACLU is the only organization litigating prison conditions of confinement nationwide on behalf of men, women, and children.



Interns will have the opportunity to work on a variety of litigation projects and learn about current issues facing the National Prison Project. The internships require a semester-long commitment, and can be a full time position or a part time position with a minimum of 12 hours per week.




Interns will have the opportunity to gain valuable experience by working alongside the National Prison Project team on the following:

  • Work closely with staff lawyers on major class action civil rights lawsuits in federal court.
  • Draft pleadings and briefs, discovery and motion practices, and assist with trials and appeals.
  • Provide technical assistance to ACLU local affiliates, cooperating lawyers, and other lawyers who seek assistance from the Project.




This internship is open to all students who are enrolled into law school before the internship commences. Interns should possess the following:

  • Must have strong analytical skills. an ability to write clearly, and a commitment to civil liberties and public interest law.
  • A familiarity with criminal justice issues is highly desirable.
  • The initiative to see projects through to completion.
  • A commitment to civil liberties, civil rights, and social and racial justice.
  • The ability to work collaboratively and respectfully toward resolving obstacles and/or conflicts.
  • A commitment to diversity within the office using a personal approach that values all individuals and respects differences in regards to race, ethnicity, age, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, ability and socio-economic circumstance.
  • Commitment to the mission of the ACLU



Applications will be considered on a rolling basis and accepted until the position is filled.


This posting provides a general but not comprehensive list of the opportunities of the internship. It does not represent a contract of employment. The ACLU reserves the right to change the posting at any time without advance notice.


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





A stipend is available for those students who do not receive outside funding and/or course credit. Arrangements can be made with the student’s school for a work/study stipend or course credit.