The ACLU Foundation of San Diego & Imperial Counties (ACLUF-SDIC) invites third-year law students, recent law graduates, and all qualified applicants to apply for a sponsorship opportunity to work with us a Legal Fellow to begin in the fall of 2021. We are specifically seeking a Legal Fellow to focus on education equity and students’ rights, though applicants are welcome to submit fellowship proposals on other issues.

The ACLUF-SDIC is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) civil liberties and civil rights organization working to advance equality, freedom, and justice, and while there are many ACLU offices around the country, our work covers the length of California’s border with Mexico. We work collaboratively with our sister affiliates in California, along the U.S-Mexico border, and with the National ACLU. In addition to our sister organizations, the ACLU values partnerships and collaboration with community organizations and groups across the state and along the border.

The ACLUF-SDIC has a proven track record of success combining litigation, policy advocacy, legislation, research and analysis, public education, strategic communications, and community organizing to achieve meaningful social change.

Fellowship Overview

ACLUF-SDIC seeks applicants to sponsor for public interest fellowships such as Skadden, Equal Justice Works, Soros, or law school fellowships to begin in the Fall of 2021. ACLUF-SDIC will be pursuing a fellowship to address education equity, more specifically racial disparities in public education and disparate disciplinary practices in schools, in San Diego and Imperial counties, though proposals in other areas related to the defense and expansion of civil rights may be considered. Our legal team staff will work with candidates on fellowship proposals and applications. Ideal proposed projects will focus on impact litigation and also include advocacy, community outreach, and public education components.

The Legal Fellow will work under the supervision of the Equity Staff Attorney and Legal Director and will have the opportunity to collaborate with other ACLU affiliates and statewide teams.


  • Must graduate law school in or before Summer of 2021.
  • Admitted to California bar or become admitted within six months of starting the position.
  • Excellent legal research and writing skills; and the ability to conduct complex legal analysis.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work with legal staff and people from a wide range of backgrounds.
  • Committed to advancing civil rights and civil liberties.
  • A commitment to diversity; a personal approach that values the individual regardless of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status, or record of arrest or conviction.


Benefits will be dependent, in part, on the grant provided by the sponsoring organization. ACLUF-SDIC may provide additional funding or benefits depending on the scope of the grant. Fellowships are limited-term positions. Fellows are expected to complete either a one or two-year term.

To Apply

Please send the following documents in PDF format:

  1. Resume;
  2. Letter of interest which describes your interest in working on education equity and your idea for a fellowship project, if applicable;
  3. Unofficial law school transcript;
  4. Writing sample no longer than five pages (excerpts from longer documents are fine); and
  5. Contact information for two professional references.

Email all documents in a single .pdf if possible with [Legal Fellowship Application] in the subject line to

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, although preferred before August 21, 2020, and we ask interested candidates to apply and/or contact us as soon as possible to discuss potential proposals.

The ACLUF-SDIC is an equal opportunity employer and does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of any status or condition protected by applicable federal or state law. We consider all qualified applicants. The ACLUF-SDIC values and seeks applications from people of all races, genders (including gender identity and expression), sexual orientations, disabilities, citizenships, ages, religions, and national origins, and those who have different marital statuses, pregnancy statuses, family caregiving responsibilities, lived experiences within the criminal system, and genetic information. The ACLUF-SDIC does not tolerate discrimination or harassment on the basis of any of these characteristics. Rather, we are committed to developing a culture of diversity, equity, respect, and inclusion and strive to maintain a workforce that reflects the communities we serve.