Policy and Legal Internships in Sacramento


The ACLU of California invites applications for internships for law and graduate students in the Center for Advocacy & Policy (CAP). Students willing to work with intensity and focus will find an internship at the CAP a rewarding learning experience. Internships are available year-round. Qualified applicants are enthusiastic, creative, and detail-oriented; have excellent research, writing, and oral communication skills; and can articulate a commitment to work for social justice and the ideals of the ACLU.

About the Center for Advocacy & Policy

The ACLU of California Center for Advocacy & Policy is responsible for advancing the ACLU’s civil liberties and civil rights policy goals in the State Capitol. The office advocates on a broad range of issues including criminal justice, education, freedom of expression, immigrants’ rights, LGBT rights, privacy, racial justice, reproductive justice, and voting rights. The ACLU of California is a collaboration of all the ACLU affiliates in California, with more than 100,000 members and supporters.

The office currently includes the center director, legislative director, five advocates, the legislative coordinator, and the voting rights attorney. The staff work closely with the ACLU of Northern California, ACLU of Southern California, and ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties affiliates.

Available Internships

CAP Interns work directly with one or more advocates and conduct research and writing in support of active and potential legislation that span the ACLU’s primary issue areas. Interns may be asked to draft legal memoranda, analyses, testimony to the legislature and regulatory agencies, legislative language and amendments, and bill position letters, as well as research and brief the ACLU of California staff on a variety of issues. Interns will have the opportunity to participate in strategy meetings with other ACLU staff and coalition partners.  When possible, interns attend meetings with legislators and staffers.

Internship applicants must have earned their undergraduate degree, though consideration will be granted to college juniors and seniors on a case-by-case basis.  Preference is given to students who will have completed their second year of law school when beginning the internship. The Center for Advocacy & Policy accepts one intern per term.

School year internships

School year internships are full- or part-time, requiring a minimum commitment of 16 hours per week. Students on the semester system must be able to commit to working 12 – 14 weeks. Students on the quarter system can serve shorter quarter-long internships. We greatly prefer that part-time interns commit to work full work days (i.e., two eight-hour days rather than four four-hour days) and recommend that students commit as many days a week as possible for the best internship experience. Semester interns may earn academic credit as determined by their law schools. Work-study funding may be available.

Summer internships

Summer internships are full-time for 10 – 12 weeks and usually begin the day after Memorial Day. Part-time internships are also available during the summer. For summer internships, students are encouraged to seek independent funding through their schools where available. The CAP will consider matching grants and may provide additional funding as available.

Application deadlines

Applicants are encouraged to apply early in the hiring cycle as decisions are made on a rolling basis.

  • Fall term: Applications will be accepted beginning March 1 for the following fall term.
  • Spring term: Applications will be accepted beginning October 1 for the following spring term.
  • Summer term: Applications will be accepted beginning December 1 for the following summer term.

How to apply

Applications from all interested students are welcome. The CAP is proud to be an affirmative action employer. All interested individuals, including people of color, women, persons with disabilities, and persons who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or intersex are particularly urged to apply.

Applications must include the following:

  • Cover Letter that includes a statement about when you would like to intern with the CAP, what issue area(s) you are particularly passionate or knowledgeable about, and a brief statement about why you want to work at the CAP;
  • Resume;
  • Writing Sample; and
  • List of References with contact information.

Please submit your application materials as a single PDF document with the following in the subject line: “Internship Application: [Last Name, Semester Year.]” For example, “Internship Application: Smith, Fall 2015.” Submit applications to via email to bcramer@acluca.org.

The ACLU of California is proud to be an affirmative action employer. All interested individuals, including people of color, women, persons with disabilities and persons who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex are particularly urged to apply.