Since 1965, the ACLU of North Carolina has been our state’s guardian of liberty – working in courts, the General Assembly, and communities to protect and advance civil rights and civil liberties for all North Carolinians. A nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with more than 30,000 members and supporters across the state, the ACLU of North Carolina is a state affiliate of the national American Civil Liberties Union.

Whether it’s achieving full equality for LGBTQ people, reforming our racially-biased criminal legal system, defending freedom of speech and assembly, or preserving the right to have an abortion, the ACLU takes up the toughest civil liberties case and issues to defend all people.  

Internship goals:

The ACLU of North Carolina's policy and advocacy department is seeking applicants for its 2021 summer internship program. The internship will run for a period of 6 - 8 weeks, within the months of June through August, 2021. The advocacy and policy intern will work in our Raleigh office (if ACLU-NC’s current COVID-19 precautions persist, however, this position may be remote). 

By the end of the internship, the intern will have gained experience engaging public officials, lawyers, lobbyists, and directly-impacted people in their own communities. Additionally, the intern would have developed the skill of working within a model of integrated advocacy, which we know is critical to managing and executing winning advocacy programs and influencing public policy. The intern will build their foundational skills as a community organizer while also gaining experience tracking issues and lobbying in the NC General Assembly. Lastly, the intern will have a deeper understanding of how a well thought out communication strategy can help lead to high impact wins.

Intern duties:

  • Assist with direct community engagement through leafleting and canvassing
  • Participate in coalition meetings
  • Conduct legal or policy research and prepare research memos 
  • Plan and execute creative political action events
  • Design and lead a community and popular education workshop, in partnership with the ACLU of NC’s legal and communications departments, on an issue of their choice under the auspices of the Field Manager
  • Work with the communications department to share updates from the Policy and Advocacy Team, communicate the needs of the team, and help develop outreach literature and social media content, especially during the legislative session
  • Assist Policy Counsel in tracking and analyzing bills filed in the NC General Assembly

Intern Qualifications:

  • Clear, direct writing and oral communication style
  • Initiative to trouble-shoot issues promptly in collaboration with your supervisor and team members, and ability to reliably see projects through to timely completion
  • Ability to take direction well and work collaboratively with staff members, students, coalition partners, and community members
  • A deep respect for others’ lived experiences, humility, and ability to work with, learn from, and interact respectfully with people from backgrounds different from your own
  • Commitment to civil rights and civil liberties issues and the mission of the ACLU, especially if coupled with a desire to work in public interest 


During the duration of the internship, the intern will have an opportunity to spend time in three critical areas of the ACLU-NC’s work:


Political power begins with the people. As such, the people must be organized, educated, and engaged. Along with working in the legislature and in the courts, the ACLU of NC intentionally works in the field, engaging communities directly as we work together to protect civil liberties. Through its fieldwork, the ACLU organizes and mobilizes its membership base and directly-impacted community members through community events, direct action campaigns, political education sessions, and more. The intern will play an active role in our campaign to divest from police and invest in communities, as well as our efforts to replace cops with counselors in public schools. 

Reproductive Justice

Reproductive Justice is about more than the legal right to an abortion -- it is about meaningful access and choice for all people. The ACLU of NC fights to improve access in North Carolina, not only through legal action but also through education, organizing, and pushing for policy change. Recent areas of focus include young people’s access to abortion (with and without parental consent) and the intersections of pregnancy and the carceral state.

Legislative Advocacy

Our policy work focuses on re-thinking the criminal legal system, expanding reproductive freedom and LGBTQ equality, and promoting racial justice and immigrants' rights.  During the NC General Assembly's legislative session, we engage with legislators to promote positive change and stop harmful bills from passing. We track bills, research policy impact, draft talking points, monitor hearings, and coordinate with legislators and partners. We also work with local government officials and government agencies to push for change outside of the legislative process.  


How to Apply:

Interested applicants should send (1) a cover letter describing why you want to work with the ACLU of NC, and your commitment to the social justice movement, including any relevant life or work experience gained before or during college; (2) a current resume; and (3) a list of at least two references to by Friday, February 27th, 2021. 

Please Include “ACLU-NC 2021 Policy and Advocacy Internship” in the subject line of the email.  

We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive and equitable workplace.  The ACLU of NC 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, veteran status, or record of arrest or conviction.

Undergraduate interns will receive a stipend of $3,600 - $4,800. Graduate interns will receive a stipend of $4,320 - $5,760 (based on the duration of the internship).