American Civil Liberties Union Foundation, San Diego & Imperial Counties



The ACLU Foundation of San Diego & Imperial Counties (ACLUF-SDIC) invites rising third-year law students, recent law graduates, and all qualified applicants to apply for a sponsorship opportunity to work with us as a Legal Fellow to begin in the fall of 2022. We seek a Legal Fellow to focus on protecting and advancing immigrants’ rights in our region, 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 2022.  ACLUF-SDIC will be pursuing a fellowship to protect and advance immigrants’ rights in our region, more specifically limiting entanglement between local law enforcement and federal immigration agencies, 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 potential litigation and also include advocacy, community outreach, and public education components. The Legal Fellow will work collaboratively with other team members, under the supervision of the Immigrants’ Rights Staff Attorney and Legal Director. The Legal Fellow will have the opportunity to collaborate with other ACLU affiliates and statewide teams.


  • Must graduate law school in or before Summer of 2022. 
  • Must sit for the California State Bar Exam prior to starting the position, and become admitted to the California State Bar 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 affiliate 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 scope of the grant. Fellowships are limited term positions. Fellows are expected to complete either a one or two-year term, depending on the length provided for by the grant funding.

To Apply

Please send the following documents in PDF format:

  1. Resume;
  2. Letter of interest which describes your interest in working on immigrants’ rights 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 to Legal Program Manager Linda Naters at lnaters@aclusandiego.org with the subject line “Legal Fellowship Application” and your name.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, although preferred before June 15, 2021. We will begin considering applications on June 15, 2021.   

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.