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Fall 2021 Legal Fellowship Sponsorship, Capital Punishment Project

Posted by
American Civil Liberties Union | Durham, NC

American Civil Liberties Union

Published 11 days ago

July 30, 2020


The ACLU invites rising third-year law students and recent law graduates to apply for a sponsorship opportunity to work with us as a Legal Fellow. The Capital Punishment Project of the National office in Durham, North Carolina seeks applicants to consider for a sponsored fellowship such as Equal Justice Works or other public interest fellowships to begin in the fall of 2021.

The Capital Punishment Project, part of the ACLU's Center for Justice, challenges the unfairness and arbitrariness of capital punishment while working toward the ultimate goal of abolishing the death penalty. The Project engages in public advocacy and strategic litigation, including direct representation of capital defendants, challenges to systemic problems in the administration of capital punishment, and amicus briefing. The Project's litigation is conducted throughout the country, with a particular focus on the South.

The Capital Punishment Project is interested in sponsoring a candidate to work on a project addressing the issue of racial discrimination and the death penalty. The Project welcomes additional suggestions from prospective fellow applicants. Our staff will work with candidates to develop their proposals for submission, helping tailor the proposal to address an important civil liberties issue while satisfying the funding organization's requirements. Proposed projects often combine litigation and advocacy with community outreach and public education.


  • Conduct legal research and analysis and develop theories to support new litigation projects
  • Draft legal memoranda, pleadings, affidavits, motions, and briefs
  • Interview witnesses and potential clients
  • Participate in discovery, brief writing, and trial practice
  • Draft and edit public education and non-litigation advocacy materials
  • Provide support and assistance to ACLU affiliates and cooperating attorneys
  • Help manage summer legal internship program and supervise student interns
  • Engage in public speaking and attend meetings and/or conferences as needed


  • J.D. or expected to receive a J.D. by the spring of 2021
  • Demonstrated ability to conduct complex legal analysis and fact-finding
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and a proven ability to work independently as well as within a team
  • Self-motivated with the ability to take initiative, manage a variety of tasks and see projects through to completion
  • Demonstrated commitment to public interest law, civil liberties, and criminal justice, including opposition to the death penalty
  • Commitment to the mission of the ACLU
  • 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, disability and socio-economic circumstance
  • Commitment to work collaboratively and respectfully toward resolving obstacles and/or conflicts


  • Excellent research, writing, and verbal communication skills


For 100 years, the ACLU has worked to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States. Whether it's 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.

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 all qualified persons, including persons with disabilities, have full opportunities for employment in all positions.

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


The ACLU invites rising third-year law students and recent law graduates to apply for a sponsorship opportunity to work with us as a Legal Fellow. The Capital Punishment Project of the National office in Durham, North Carolina…

Details at a glance

  • On-site Location
  • Full Time Schedule


Durham, NC

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