September 21, 2023

The ACLU of Virginia seeks highly motivated students for internship positions throughout the year for work involving a wide range of civil liberties and civil rights issues.

Internships are available for undergraduate, graduate, or law students looking for valuable job experience, mentoring from supportive colleagues, and exposure to new ideas.  We are currently seeking applicants for the following internship opportunities:

Summer Legal Internship

Location: Richmond, VA


Position Overview:

At the ACLU of Virginia, law students gain exposure to a broad range of civil liberties and civil rights issues. Students will be fully embedded in the legal team and will actively work with staff attorneys to conduct legal research, write legal memoranda, and draft correspondence to potential clients in response to documented complaints of civil liberties and civil rights violations. Students may also assist ACLU attorneys in the development of cases for litigation, discovery, preparation of cases for trial, and submission of amicus briefs. Students may also have the opportunity to attend oral arguments or evidentiary hearings in state and federal court and participate in lobbying state and federal elected officials on civil rights and liberties matters.

The ACLU of Virginia’s current legal docket includes a wide range of active matters, including several class action cases, in the areas of prison conditions, criminal legal reform, First Amendment, voting rights, and other issues. The ACLU of Virginia also employs an integrated advocacy model, where the organization’s legal, policy, organizing, and communications departments work hand-in-hand to advance the affiliate’s priorities.

Educational benefits of the internship include obtaining hands-on experience in applying constitutional theories and case law to legal problems and learning how to conduct factual investigation of complaints in support of litigation or other advocacy strategies. Students may also develop experience in non-litigation advocacy work.

The ACLU of Virginia is an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to maximizing the diversity of our team and want to involve all those who can contribute to our inclusive culture.  We encourage applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, ability and veteran status.  Persons with a disability may request accommodation.

Skills & Qualifications

Applicants must be a rising 2nd or 3rd-year law student during the duration of the internship period.  Applicants should be able to articulate a commitment to work for civil rights, civil liberties, and the ideals of the ACLU.  Qualified applicants are enthusiastic, creative, proactive, and detail-oriented; have excellent research, writing, communication, and interpersonal skills; and can work independently.

Compensation & Schedule

This Summer Legal Internship position is a full-time, 10-week position (averaging 400 hours over the course of the summer). ACLU of Virginia policy states that summer internships must be no less than 300 and no more than 440 hours, and part-time internships are not available during the summer. 

ACLU-VA office hours are 9:00 am – 5:00 pm Monday - Friday.  Interns will be paid a rate of $18 per hour. Interns are encouraged to apply for academic credit and/or seek funds through public interest fellowships.

Application Process

Applicants are encouraged to apply early in the hiring cycle but no later than 11:59 p.m. December 5, 2023.

Applications from all interested students are welcome.  Applications must be in PDF format and include the following:

  1. Cover Letter that includes:

    • A statement describing why you want to work at the ACLU of Virginia, and

    • Any particular civil rights or civil liberties issues that interest you and why.

  2. Resume.

  3. Writing Sample.

    • Note: the writing sample should be no more than 10 pages and should demonstrate the applicant’s legal research and writing ability. The writing sample must reflect the applicant’s own abilities and should not have been substantially edited by another person.

How to Apply:

Visit our career job posting site and apply online here. Please have the above-mentioned pdf documents ready for upload before starting your application.  If problems are encountered with the Internship Application Form, please contact