1+ months

2021 Legal Fellow Sponsorship

New York Civil Liberties Union Foundation
New York, NY 10004
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Position: Legal Fellow Sponsorship

Terms of Employment: Full-Time/Temporary/Exempt

Location: New York Civil Liberties Union, 125 Broad Street, NY, NY

Salary: Subject to the NYCLU's attorney salary scale which is based on years of legal experience ($69,000 with 1 year of experience)

Application Deadline: Applications will be considered until the position is filled

The New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) is one of the nation's leading advocates on behalf of constitutional rights and liberties. Founded in 1951, as the New York affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union, the NYCLU is a not-for-profit, nonpartisan organization with more than 180,000 members and supporters, and eight offices statewide. We work in the courts, in the legislatures and on the streets to advocate for racial and economic justice, free speech, freedom of religion, privacy and equality before the law for all New Yorkers. For more information please visit our website: www.nyclu.org.

Summary Description

In the past, we have sponsored fellowship candidates to conduct litigation, research, and/or advocacy on a wide range of issues. We will review any project proposal relating to civil liberties and civil rights, though. To assist candidates in developing projects that best align with our current priorities, particularly racial justice, we provide the following list of examples, among the broad range of issues the NYCLU prioritizes, that may have potential to become fellowship projects for this coming funding cycle.

Roles & Responsibilities

  • Projects that evaluate the policing data that will be released as a result of the STAT Act, the POST Act, and 50-a repeal and develop data-driven legal and policy solutions, which may include efforts to divest from police departments and bolster systems for holding abusive departments and officers accountable.
  • Projects focused on advancing the equal rights and autonomy of pregnant people by challenging laws and policies that criminalize and punish people for conduct during pregnancy.
  • Projects that examine and challenge the due process issues and disproportionate impact on Black and brown families, especially on Black and brown mothers, of child protective services investigations and removal of children from their parents' care by local social services agencies in New York State.
  • Projects focused on indigenous communities' educational rights, more specifically the impacts of the school to prison pipeline on indigenous communities in and around the Onondaga Nation.
  • Projects focused on environmental justice, more specifically environmental racism and the impacts on community schools and school-age children.
  • Projects that build on our existing work challenging the immigration detention regimes for adults and children.
  • Projects focused on developing policies, legislation, and litigation to assist farmworkers seeking to enforce their rights under the Farm Laborers Fair Labor Practices Act, which New York enacted in 2019 guaranteeing farmworkers, for the first time, the right to organize, collective bargaining, overtime pay and a day of rest. In addition, we will seek to develop and analyze wage data to advocate for overtime pay equity for farmworkers.
  • Projects that advance policy, advocacy, and litigation efforts to disentangle state and local government from federal immigration enforcement, including projects that challenge the use of gang databases in New York to profile immigrant communities of color.
  • Projects focused on developing policies or litigation to advance prosecutorial accountability for misconduct, and practices that contribute to wrongful convictions and mass incarceration.


The ideal candidate should have a demonstrated commitment to public interest law and civil liberties, a commitment and ability to work with and support a wide range of communities and a diverse workplace, and a willingness to collaborate extensively with the NYCLU to shape the project proposal through the fall 2020 application process.

How to apply

If you would like to be considered for sponsorship, please send an application, including a resume, writing sample, a cover letter, and a brief description of a project proposal via https://recruiting.paylocity.com/recruiting/jobs/Details/305601/New-York-Civil-Liberties-Union-Foundation/2021-Legal-Fellow-Sponsorship. The brief project description can be as short as 1-2 paragraphs but should not exceed 2 pages; proposals of either length will be weighed equally. To the extent possible, briefly indicate in your proposal how your project would also advance racial justice (e.g., by identifying, challenging, and undoing the effects and ideologies of racism). Because we are still assessing which subject areas to submit proposals for, please include in your cover letter whether you only seek sponsorship for your proposed project or would be open to projects that we suggest. Though the NYCLU will consider applications submitted after July 31, 2020, but priority consideration will be given to those who submit applications by that date.

The NYCLU is an equal opportunity employer and encourages applications from all qualified individuals regardless of race, sex, gender identity or expression, age, disability, religion, national origin, citizenship, marital status, sexual orientation, veteran status, record of arrest or conviction or any other characteristic protected by applicable law. We are committed to diversity, equity and inclusion, and having a workforce that reflects the population that we serve.

The NYACLU is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities. If you are a qualified individual with a disability and need assistance applying online, please e-mail ldecicco@nyclu.org. If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.

Posted: 2020-08-20 Expires: 2020-09-20

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2021 Legal Fellow Sponsorship

New York Civil Liberties Union Foundation
New York, NY 10004

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