The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Florida (ACLU‐FL) invites first and second‐year law students to apply to ACLU‐FL’s 2021 Summer Legal Clerkship Program with our Miami or Tampa regional offices. The deadline for submission of applications is February 28, 2021, but applications will be considered—and offers may be made—on a rolling basis. All available slots may be filled before the deadline passes. Therefore, applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as they are able. The clerkship requires a commitment for a minimum of 10 weeks.
The ACLU‐FL, Florida’s largest legal and public advocacy organization, is a not‐for‐profit, nonpartisan organization employing litigation, public advocacy, public education, and communication to protect and promote a broad range of constitutional issues and individual rights. The ACLU‐FL is an affiliate of the national ACLU, which implements its vital civil liberties mission in all 50 states in large part through affiliate entities such as the ACLU‐FL. Operating out of four offices in Miami (main), Tampa, Pensacola, and Jacksonville, the Florida affiliate is among the larger ACLU affiliates in the nation. Our work ranges from educating the public to representing individual and organizational clients in state and federal courts including the Florida Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court. From protecting individuals’ civil rights to keeping Floridian’s safe from violence and unconstitutional government practices, the ACLU‐FL remains committed to serving the people of Florida.
The ACLU‐FL endeavors to attract diverse students who demonstrate a strong commitment to social justice and exceptional leadership potential, and to further provide enhanced opportunities for law students within the ACLU of Florida’s Legal Department.
Acceptance to the summer clerkship program is highly‐competitive and seeks to place law students from historically under‐represented populations within the ACLU of Florida’s Legal Department to work on pressing legal issues involving—among other things—voting rights, criminal justice reform, and immigration. A summer law clerk’s work may include a particular focus on criminal justice, immigrants’ rights, and voting rights, but students should anticipate their assignments will include experience in other areas as well.
The ACLU‐FL litigates a broad range of complex constitutional cases in federal and state courts through direct representation, filing amicus briefs, and submitting administrative complaints to state and federal agencies. ACLU law clerks work closely with staff attorneys and have the unique opportunity to research and apply constitutional legal theories to real‐world problems and gain a practical understanding of constitutional issues.
2021 Summer Clerks will be primarily responsible for:
- Conducting factual, legal, and policy research
- Researching prospects for new litigation, including factual and legal claims
- Drafting pleadings, briefs, and other litigation documents
DESIRED EXPERIENCE AND QUALIFICATIONS
- Excellent legal‐writing, research, and communication skills
- Ability to analyze complex legal issues
- Self‐motivation and demonstrated initiative to see projects through to completion
- Ability to handle multiple projects and meet deadlines
- Experience with policy advocacy and/or public education preferred
- A demonstrated commitment to civil rights and civil liberties issues
Special consideration is given to first generation law students, scholarship recipients, students with unique educational or familial circumstances, students with unique personal histories, students with demonstrated service to others, students who have overcome obstacles, students with leadership experience and potential, and students who engage in extracurricular activities, or have received honors and awards.
Summer clerkship positions are generally unpaid, and students are strongly encouraged to seek funding from their law schools or other foundations to sustain them financially during the summer.
Although there is no guarantee, there may ultimately be funding to financially support one or more summer law clerks for whom there is a demonstrated financial need. If you have such a need, please include a paragraph in your application setting out your financial need and your commitment to public‐interest work (if that commitment is not elsewhere reflected in your application.
Because of the uncertainty created by COVID‐19, we do not know if our summer law clerks will be in‐person clerkships or virtual ones. If you prefer to work remotely and participate in a virtual clerkship, please let us know in your cover letter.
HOW TO APPLY
Applicants should send a cover letter, résumé, law school transcript, original legal writing sample, and contact information for three references to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please indicate “Summer 2021 Legal Clerkship” in the subject line of your email and indicate the office in which you would like to work (Miami, Tampa, or Remote) and where you learned of this job posting.
The ACLU of Florida is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU of Florida encourages 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, or veteran status. We encourage formerly incarcerated individuals to apply. If selected for an interview, please advise if financial assistance is needed to participate in ACLU‐FL’s summer clerkship program.
The ACLU of Florida undertakes affirmative action strategies in its recruitment and employment efforts to ensure that persons with disabilities have full opportunities for employment in all positions. Fluency in Spanish or Creole is desired but not required.