Paralegal (ACLU)

For nearly 100 years, the ACLU has been our nation’s guardian of liberty, working in courts, legislatures, and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States. Whether it’s protecting the rights of immigrants, ending mass incarceration, achieving full equality for the LGBT community, establishing new privacy protections for our digital age, or preserving the right to vote or the right to have an abortion, the ACLU takes up the toughest civil liberties cases and issues to defend all people from government abuse and overreach. With more than a million members, activists, and supporters, the ACLU is a nationwide organization that fights tirelessly in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C., for the principle that every individual’s rights must be protected equally under the law, regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, national origin, record of arrest or conviction.


The Center for Democracy of the ACLU seeks applicants for a Paralegal position for its Immigrants’ Rights Project. This position is based in the ACLU’s national headquarters in New York City. The position is for a duration of two years.

The Immigrants’ Rights Project is part of the ACLU’s Center for Democracy, which works to ensure that the functions of American democracy comport with the Constitution and the rule of law, and to protect and defend the central role of immigrants in our national community. The Center also includes the ACLU’s national security, human rights, voting rights, and speech/privacy/technology work. 

Using targeted impact litigation, advocacy and public outreach, IRP carries on the ACLU’s commitment to protecting the rights and liberties of immigrants. In federal district and appellate courts, including the Supreme Court, the Project conducts the nation’s largest impact litigation program dedicated to defending and expanding the rights of immigrants, enforcing the guarantees of the Constitution, and achieving equal justice under the law.

The Project is currently engaged in litigation and advocacy to challenge, among other things: the President’s Muslim ban; the unconstitutional use of mandatory and prolonged immigration detention; the lack of due process in the deportation system, including the lack of appointed counsel and federal court review of deportation orders; unconstitutional state anti-immigrant laws; abusive immigration detainer practices; federal and state anti-sanctuary measures; unjustified cross-border shootings by the U.S. Border Patrol; and violations of the rights of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients.

IRP has offices in New York City and San Francisco.


  • Prepare, file, review and organize litigation documents such as briefs, motions, declarations, deposition summaries, discovery requests and responses, and correspondence with co-counsel.
  • Maintain case files, attorneys’ correspondence files, and the litigation docket summary.
  • Assist with managing and coordinating the intake database.
  • Provide litigation support to attorneys.
  • Collect, analyze, and organize legal, factual, social science, and other non-legal research for use in litigation documents and policy presentations; conduct searches on internal and external document databases and systems, cull relevant information from a variety of resources such as newspapers, magazines, libraries, case documents and trade associations.
  • Prepare informational updates on issues for ACLU National and Affiliate staff.
  • Draft and/or revise public education materials.
  • Act as liaison among various internal departments as well as with co-counsel and partner organizations.
  • Act as liaison between staff attorneys and legal administrative assistant to disseminate work from assigned attorneys and provide routine and/or procedural guidance regarding work assignments.
  • Provide administrative support for manager review of applications for legal administrative assistant and intern positions.
  • Work jointly with interns and communicate routine and/or procedural guidance on projects assigned by managers.
  • Update IRP content on the ACLU website.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to diversity within the office using a personal approach that values all individuals and respects differences in regards to race, ethnicity, age, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, ability and socio-economic circumstance.
  • Commit to work collaboratively and respectfully toward resolving obstacles and/or conflicts.
  • Handle special projects and other duties as assigned. 


  • A Bachelor’s degree is required and one year of paralegal or related experience preferred.
  • Strong research skills, including internet research.
  • Outstanding written, verbal, and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to work independently as well as within a team.
  • Ability to work with a wide range of people and foster a team environment
  • Must be well organized, efficient, highly motivated, able to handle multiple tasks simultaneously and see them through to completion, work well under tight deadlines, and take initiative.
  • Strong computer skills with knowledge and experience in Microsoft Office; expertise creating tables of contents, tables of authorities, and mail merges, and maintaining information in databases or spreadsheets is a plus.


Salary for this position is $50,210.  Excellent benefits package provided.


Send a letter of interest, a resume, a transcript, the names and telephone numbers of two legal references, and a legal writing sample to [email protected].Reference [CD – 11] in the subject line. Please note that this is not the general ACLU applicant email address.  This email address is specific to Immigrants’ Rights Project Department. In order to ensure your application is received please make certain it is sent to the correct e-mail address. You can expect to receive an automatic response that acknowledges the submission of application materials.

Please indicate in your cover letter where you learned of this career opportunity.

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. 

This job description provides a general but not comprehensive list of the essential responsibilities and qualifications required. It does not represent a contract of employment. The ACLU reserves the right to change the job description and/or posting at any time without advance notice.

The ACLU is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU 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 and record of arrest or conviction.

The ACLU undertakes affirmative action strategies in its recruitment and employment efforts to assure that persons with disabilities have full opportunities for employment in all positions.

We encourage applicants with disabilities who may need accommodations in the application process to contact:[email protected]. Correspondence sent to this email address that is not related to requests for accommodations will not be reviewed. Applicants should follow the instructions above regarding how to apply.

The ACLU comprises two separate corporate entities, the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU Foundation. Both the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU Foundation are national organizations with the same overall mission, and share office space and employees. The ACLU has two separate corporate entities in order to do a broad range of work to protect civil liberties. This job posting refers collectively to the two organizations under the name “ACLU.”


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