American Civil Liberties Union Foundation National Security Project, NY – Fall 2013 Nadine Strossen Fellowship

The National Security Project of the ACLU National office in New York City invites applications for the Nadine Strossen Fellowship, which will last for a two-year period beginning in September 2013.

The National Security Project is part of the ACLU’s Center for Democracy, which works to strengthen democratic institutions and values, and advocates for government transparency and accountability, and to reinforce the United States’ commitment to human rights and the rule of law. The Center for Democracy includes, in addition to the National Security Project, the Human Rights Program and the Project on Speech, Privacy, and Technology.

The National Security Project’s litigation and advocacy focuses on issues including: targeted killing, detention, torture, discrimination, government surveillance, censorship, and secrecy. The active and diverse docket includes: a lawsuit challenging the government’s “targeted killing” of three U.S. citizens in drone strikes far from any armed conflict zone; a suit on behalf of a number of U.S. citizens and residents who are prohibited from flying to or from the United States or over U.S. airspace because they are on the government’s “No Fly List”; a challenge to the indefinite detention without charge or trial of a prisoner held at Guantánamo Bay; a suit on behalf of a broad coalition of human rights, media, and legal organizations challenging the constitutionality of dragnet wiretapping conducted under the amended Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act; and numerous suits under the Freedom of Information Act for information about a variety of related issues including the legal and factual basis for the government’s “targeted killing” policy, the treatment of prisoners held by the United States in detention centers overseas, and federal law enforcement’s discriminatory surveillance of religious and racial minorities.

The Nadine Strossen National Security Fellowship was established in recognition of Nadine Strossen’s outstanding leadership as ACLU President for over 18 years. As the first woman to lead the ACLU, Nadine Strossen has been an important trailblazer for the ACLU and civil liberties. The Fellowship was established through special gifts from longtime civil liberties activist and ACLU National and Affiliate Board leader H. Stewart Dunn, Jr. and other donors.


The Nadine Strossen Fellow functions as an integral part of the ACLU’s National Security Project.

Responsibilities will include but are not limited to the following:

  • Conduct legal research and analysis and develop theories to support new litigation projects.
  • Draft legal memoranda, pleadings, affidavits, motions, and briefs.
  • Interview witnesses and potential clients.
  • Participate in discovery and trial practice.
  • Draft and edit public education and non-litigation advocacy materials.
  • Provide support to ACLU affiliates.
  • Help manage summer legal internship program and supervise student interns.
  • Engage in public speaking and attend meetings and/or conferences as needed.


The Fellow is selected from third-year law students or recent graduates and will serve for a two-year period starting September 2013.

Applicants must possess:

  • J.D. degree or expected to receive one by the Spring of 2013.
  • A demonstrated commitment to public interest law.
  • Excellent research, writing, and verbal communication skills.
  • A demonstrated ability to conduct complex legal analysis and fact-finding.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and a proven ability to work independently as well as within a team.
  • The initiative to see projects through to completion and be self-starters.
  • Knowledge of and interest in civil liberties issues related to national security is preferred, but not required.


Applicants should send a cover letter, resume, two letters of recommendation and at least one legal writing sample (preferably unedited) via email – reference [LGLF-61/LS] in subject line.

The application deadline is November 1, 2012. Please indicate in your cover letter where you learned of this opportunity.