Los Angeles, Santa Ana, San Bernardino, and Bakersfield



Deadline date

See below.

Founded in 1923, the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Southern California (ACLU SoCal) has been at the forefront of many major efforts to protect civil liberties, civil rights, and equal justice in California. Principled and nonpartisan, the ACLU SoCal has offices in Los Angeles, Orange County (Santa Ana), the Inland Empire (San Bernardino), and Kern (Bakersfield). The ACLU SoCal tackles a vast array of issues, including criminal justice, police practices, First Amendment rights, voting rights, gender equity and reproductive justice, LGBTQ rights, immigrants’ rights, education equity, and economic justice.

ACLU SoCal comprises two organizations: the ACLU of Southern California and the ACLU Foundation of Southern California. These two entities operate jointly as non-profit public interest organizations.  The ACLU SoCal staff of more than 90 works in a fast-paced, friendly, and professional office environment.


The ACLU SoCal seeks applicants to pursue fellowships (both legal and non-legal).  Specifically, the ACLU SoCal intends on applying for Skadden, Equal Justice Works, Justice Catalyst, Soros, school-based, and other fellowships for the 2022-23 term.  Once the ACLU SoCal selects its candidates, the organization will work with the candidates to craft a fellowship proposal and submit a joint application to the sponsoring school or organization.

The ACLU SoCal will be pursuing fellowships to address some, or all, of the following areas:

  • Alternatives to policing, with a focus on racial and economic justice in traffic and transit enforcement
  • Immigrants’ Rights
  • Jails conditions and decarceration (seeking non-attorneys)
  • LGBTQ, Gender Equity, and Reproductive Justice, with a focus on birth justice and the policing, surveillance, and punishment of BIPOC parents and their families via the child welfare system
  • Voting Rights and First Amendment


Candidates are strongly encouraged to highlight their experience, skills, and demonstrated commitment and enthusiasm to work at the ACLU SoCal in any of the identified issue areas. Candidates are also welcome, but not required, to include their own ideas for focusing their fellowship projects in any of the identified issue areas in their application. Compelling projects build on the ACLU SoCal’s and the applicant’s experience and skills, and generally combine impact litigation and/or policy advocacy with community partnerships through activities such as coalition-building, outreach, public education, and/or technical assistance to community organizations.


Applicants interested in applying for a Skadden, Equal Justice Works, Justice Catalyst, or Soros fellowship must apply on or before July 2, 2021.

Applicants interested in school-based or other fellowships should apply on a rolling basis.  Note that, because there are a limited number of positions and the ACLU SoCal will be making its selections on a rolling basis, applicants are strongly encouraged to submit materials as soon as possible.


Please include a detailed cover letter describing your interest in working with the ACLU SoCal, your interest in working on any of the identified issue areas, and your ideas for a fellowship project if applicable.  Please also clearly identify:

  • Which fellowship(s) you would like to apply for (e.g., Skadden, Equal Justice Works, particular law school fellowship, etc.).  Applicants are encouraged to seek out any available sources of funding.
  • Which issue area(s) you are interested in pursuing.
  • Any geographic preferences (Los Angeles, Inland Empire, Kern, and/or Orange County).

Please also attach your resume, list of three references, a writing sample, and school transcript.


Salary and benefits will be dependent, in part, on the grant provided by the sponsoring organization. The ACLU SoCal may provide additional funding or benefits depending on scope of the grant.  Fellowships are limited term positions.  Fellows are expected to complete either a one or two-year term


Please submit the documents listed above to fellowships@aclusocal.org or mail to:

HR Department, Fellowships
ACLU of Southern California
1313 W. 8th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90017

ACLU of Southern California is committed to developing a culture of diversity, equity, respect, and inclusion and to strive to maintain a workforce that reflects the communities that we serve. The ACLU SoCal is an equal opportunity employer that does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of any status or condition protected by applicable law.  We encourage all qualified individuals to apply and value people of all races, genders (including gender identity or expression), sexual orientations, disabilities, citizenships, ages, religions, and national origins and who have different marital statuses, family caregiving responsibilities, lived experiences with the criminal justice systems, and genetic information.  The ACLU SoCal does not tolerate discrimination or harassment on the basis of any of these characteristics. 

The ACLU SoCal 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 hrsupport@aclusocal.org. If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.