Legal Department Fellowship Opportunities (Fall 2021)
The ACLU of Illinois is currently accepting applications from qualified rising third-year law students and recent law graduates with a commitment to civil rights and civil liberties and strong legal research and writing skills, who seek a host organization for an externally-funded fellowship (e.g., Skadden, Equal Justice Works, Justice Catalyst, law school sponsored fellowships, etc.).
The Legal Department of the ACLU of Illinois works with colleagues across the organization to advance civil rights and civil liberties. Our work fights racism in the criminal and civil legal systems and in policing; protects democracy by advancing First Amendment rights, government transparency, and voting rights; promotes access to reproductive health care, the rights of LGBTQ+ communities, and gender equity; and addresses and prevents the harm experienced by children in the foster system, young people in juvenile detention, and people in prisons and jails.
We are currently accepting fellowship applications to support new and developing litigation to combat the following:
- conditions of confinement in prisons, jails, and juvenile detention facilities;
- excessive fines and fees that result in wealth-based punishments disproportionately impacting people of color, including young people;
- violation of the rights of protesters;
- inadequate indigent defense;
- traffic stops and searches, including racial profiling;
- issues relating to pre-trial detention and release, which disproportionately impact people of color;
- barriers to reentry for people with criminal records, who are disproportionately people of color;
- surveillance, including surveillance of activists and people of color; and
- violation of privacy rights.
Fellows will be supervised by managers in the ACLU of Illinois Legal Department to support new and ongoing impact litigation and non-litigation advocacy done in collaboration with other Departments. Previous fellows have had the opportunity to develop facts and research for new litigation; work with current and potential ACLU-IL clients; participate in discovery matters in pending litigation; conduct legal and policy research on a variety of issues; participate in settlement negotiations; draft sections of legal briefs and complaints; and collaborate with grassroots and community-based organizations.
Supervisors in the ACLU of Illinois Legal Department will work closely with selected applicants to develop project proposals. Our team is committed to supervising and mentoring up-and-coming public interest lawyers who are excited to work collaboratively in a multi-issue organization that advances civil rights and civil liberties.
Applicants should prepare the following materials:
- A current resume
- A cover letter
- clearly stating the academic year or other timeframe for which you seek a fellowship;
- specifying the name(s) and deadline(s) of the fellowship(s) for which you are applying;
- describing your commitment to civil rights and civil liberties, as well as efforts to transform the criminal legal system, to protect the rights of marginalized groups impacted by the criminal legal system, and to combat systemic racism; and
- identifying the area(s) for which you are interested in developing a fellowship project proposal.
HOW TO APPLY
Please fill out the fields below. Then, email the materials listed above to email@example.com and indicate “Fall 2021 Legal Fellowship Application” in the subject line.
Priority consideration will be given to those who contact us before August 4. Later applications will be considered.
We review submissions on a rolling basis. Any decision to support a candidate will be made considering the ACLU-IL Legal Department’s programmatic needs and supervision resources, and the applicant’s skills and qualifications.
The ACLU of Illinois is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and encourage applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, criminal record, or veteran status.
The ACLU makes every effort to assure that its recruitment and employment provide all qualified persons, including persons with disabilities, with full opportunities for employment in all positions. If you have a disability and need a reasonable accommodation regarding any part of the application process, please include your accommodation request(s) in your application email.
ACLU of Illinois staff are based in Chicago, IL, but are currently working remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. When conditions are safe to return to the office space, staff members will be expected to work out of our Chicago office.