Paralegal [NPP-14 / NPP-03]

Job Type

Full Time




District of Columbia
United States


Paralegal [NPP-14/ NPP-03]

American Civil Liberties Union Foundation

 National Prison Project, Washington, D.C.


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 ending mass incarceration, achieving full equality for the LGBT community, advancing racial justice, 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 and civil rights cases and issues to defend all people from government abuse and overreach. With more than one 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 National Prison Project of the ACLU’s National office in Washington, D.C. seeks applications for a full-time Paralegal



Founded in 1972 by the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Prison Project (NPP) seeks to ensure constitutional conditions of confinement in prisons, jails, juvenile facilities, and immigration detention facilities. The Project has successfully litigated on behalf of prisoners in more than 25 states. Since 1991 it has represented prisoners in five cases before the United States Supreme Court. The Project is the only organization litigating conditions of confinement cases nationwide on behalf of men, women, and children. 

NPP policy priorities include reducing prison overcrowding, improving prisoner health care, eliminating violence and maltreatment, and increasing oversight and accountability in prisons, jails, and other places of detention. The Project leads the nationwide Stop Solitary campaign, which works to end the abusive use of solitary confinement. The Project also coordinates a nationwide network of litigators, conducts training and public education conferences, and provides expert advice and technical assistance to activists and lawyers throughout the country. 

NPP also works to challenge the policies of over-incarceration that have led the United States to imprison more people than any other country in the world. This is an opportune moment to reform those policies. There is a growing consensus among criminal justice experts, policymakers, and the public that America’s criminal justice system has relied too heavily on incarceration as the first and often only response to behavior that could be more effectively addressed through other means. The population in American prisons and jails has tripled in the past 15 years and now approaches two and a half million. Facilities are overcrowded; medical systems are overwhelmed; and work, education, and treatment programs are inadequate. This failed experiment does not make us safer, it is not affordable, and it exacerbates the racial disparities that have long plagued the criminal justice system and the country.



  • Produce, edit and format court pleadings, discovery and other legal documents. Handle paper and electronic court filings.
  • Collect data, perform analysis and conduct other non-legal research used in litigation and policy presentations.
  • Perform cite checking and assist with legal research, including internet research.
  • Respond to intake calls, emails and letters from individuals seeking assistance; manage client correspondence.
  • Provide litigation support for attorneys.
  • Serve as liaison with co-counsel, experts and clients.
  • Manage and coordinate databases, case files, attorney correspondence files and litigation docket.
  • Support advocacy campaigns, including research, writing, and event planning.
  • Help recruit and manage undergraduate interns.
  • Other duties and responsibilities as assigned.



  • A minimum of two years of paralegal or related experience preferred.
  • Ability to work independently as well as within a team.
  • Exceptional organizational skills, including the ability to handle multiple tasks, prioritize work, and meet deadlines under pressure.
  • Strong interpersonal skills.
  • Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written, including the ability to compose, proof and edit correspondence and documents.
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office (including Word, Outlook, Excel, and Access).
  • Strong research skills, including internet research.
  • Commitment to civil liberties and prisoners’ rights is highly desirable.



The ACLU offers a generous and comprehensive compensation and benefits package, commensurate with experience and within parameters of the ACLU compensation scale.



Please send a cover letter (include salary requirements), a current resume, the names and phone numbers of three references, and at least one writing sample by email to reference [NPP-14] in the subject line.


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 description and/or posting at any time without advance notice.

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, and veteran status.

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 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.”

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

No requirement