American Civil Liberties Union Foundation Women’s Rights Fellowship 2013

The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation (ACLU), founded in 1920, is a nationwide, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with more than 500,000 members and is dedicated to the principles of liberty and equality embodied in the U.S. Constitution.The Women’s Rights Project of the ACLU’s National Office in New York City seeks applicants for sponsored fellowships, such as Skadden, Equal Justice Works, Liman and other public interest fellowships, beginning in the Fall of 2013. 

The Women’s Rights Project (WRP) is part of the ACLU’s Center forLiberty, which is dedicated to the principle that we are all entitled to determine the course of our lives based on who we are and what we believe free from unreasonable government constraint and baseless stereotypes. The Center for Liberty encompasses the ACLU’s work on women’s rights, reproductive freedom, LGBT rights, and freedom of religion and belief.

Founded in 1972 by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Women’s Rights Project has been a leader in the legal battles to ensure women’s full equality in American society. WRP is dedicated to the advancement of the rights and interests of women, with a particular emphasis on issues affecting low-income women, women of color, and immigrant women. WRP has overall responsibility for implementing ACLU policy in the area of gender discrimination. WRP conducts direct litigation, files amicus curiae briefs, provides support for ACLU affiliate litigation, serves as a resource for ACLU legislative work on women’s rights, and seeks to advance ACLU policy goals through public education, outreach, and participation in coalitions. WRP has been an active participant in virtually all of the major gender discrimination litigation in the Supreme Court, in Congressional efforts to promote gender equality, and in other significant public education on behalf of women and girls.

The Women’s Rights Project has three core priority areas of focus: education; violence against women and girls; and employment. Cutting across these priority areas, WRP seeks to incorporate an international human rights framework into its litigation and advocacy efforts.

WRP is particularly interested in sponsoring a candidate to work on a project advocating for the rights of survivors of domestic and gender-based violence. The project will combine litigation and advocacy with community outreach and public education. WRP staff will work with the chosen candidate to develop the fellowship proposal. 


The fellows will be participating in trial litigation at all levels of federal and state courts, including but not limited to:

  • Conducting legal and factual research;
  • Interviewing clients;
  • Drafting briefs and pleadings, and amicus curiae briefs;
  • Assisting in discovery and motion practice;
  • Providing support for ACLU affiliate litigation;
  • Serving as a resource for ACLU legislative and policy work;
  • Advancing ACLU policy goals through public education, organizing and participating in coalitions.

Experience and Qualifications:

  • J.D. degree or expect to receive one by the Fall of 2013;
  • Knowledge of legal issues involving women’s rights discrimination, violence against women, or housing is preferred but not required;
  • Skilled at complex legal analytical work;
  • Demonstrated commitment to public interest law;
  • Excellent research, writing and verbal communication skills;
  • Proven ability to work independently as well as within a team;
  • Self‑motivated and able to manage a variety of tasks;
  • Excellent computer skills including knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite
  • Commitment to the mission and goals of the ACLU and advancing women’s rights.

How to Apply:

Individuals interested in receiving WRP sponsorship should send a letter of interest describing relevant experience and interest in the potential project areas described above, a resume, an unofficial transcript, the names and telephone numbers of three legal references, and a legal writing sample to via e-mail. Reference [WRP-12/LS] in subject line.

Please indicate in your cover letter where you learned of this career opportunity.

Applicants are encouraged to send materials as soon as possible. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until a decision is made.