The ACLUF-SDIC is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) civil liberties and civil rights organization. Working to advance equality, freedom and justice through public education, community organizing, policy advocacy, and litigation. Together with the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties, the 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization that does our legislative lobbying work, we are a prominent force for the protection and expansion of fundamental rights in California’s second-most populous county (San Diego) and the county with the highest per capita Latina/o population (Imperial).

With affiliate offices in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, the ACLU fights tirelessly in courts, in legislatures, and in communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the United States Constitution and U.S. laws to everyone in this country. The work of the ACLU Foundation of San Diego & Imperial Counties and ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties (known collectively as ACLU-SDIC) encompasses the length of California’s border with Mexico. We collaborate with the National ACLU and with ACLU affiliates in California, on the U.S-Mexico border and throughout the United States. We strive to partner with community organizations and groups across the state and throughout the binational border region.

San Diego and Imperial Counties

Note: Hybrid and Remote opportunities are available upon request and approval. Must reside in California from start of hire.


ACLUF-SDIC seeks applicants to pursue legal fellowships. Specifically, ACLUF-SDIC intends on applying for Skadden, Equal Justice Works, Justice Catalyst, Soros, schoolbased, and other fellowships for the 2025-26 term. Once ACLUF-SDIC 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. ACLUF-SDIC will be pursuing fellowships to address some, or all, of the following areas:

  • Advancing Equity: We fight for education equity, housing equity, LGBTQ rights and reproductive justice. We work every day to challenge and eradicate systemic racism, white supremacy, bigotry, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism. And we work to vigorously protect and advance for all people the freedom of speech and expression, and the freedom to peacefully assemble and to protest.
  • Immigrants’ Rights: We litigate, advocate, educate, organize and agitate to protect immigrants from unconstitutional, discriminatory actions by the federal government and local municipalities and agencies. We hold government agencies accountable for the unjust and inhumane treatment of undocumented immigrants in their custody. We fight to protect the rights of people seeking asylum and to ensure them basic humanitarian assistance. We partner with community and faithbased organizations to optimize our collective capacities to defend immigrant communities. We challenge unlawful immigration enforcement policies and practices, and we champion legislation to protect people’s civil rights for the benefit of all Californians.
  • Police Practices: ACLUF-SDIC advocates for law enforcement accountability and transparency. We advocate to end to racial profiling, selective enforcement, and the criminalization of young people of color. Working in coalition with community partners as well as with individuals and families affected by police misconduct, we champion legislation and policies that seek to reduce the presence of police in communities in favor of non-law enforcement solutions.

Full-time, Exempt; Term Limited, One- or two-year position. Fellowships are limited term positions. Fellows are expected to complete either a one or two-year term.


  • Must graduate law school in or before Summer of 2024.
  • Must sit for the California State Bar Exam prior to starting the position, and become admitted to the California State Bar within six months of starting the position.
  • Excellent legal research and writing skills; and the ability to conduct complex legal analysis.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work with affiliate staff and people from a wide range of backgrounds.
  • Committed to advancing civil rights and civil liberties.
  • A commitment to diversity; a personal approach that values the individual regardless of 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.


  • Understanding and Applying Racial Equity
  • Demonstrate commitment to building or deepening understanding of racial equity:
  • Core terms and concepts such as structural racism, white privilege, and anti-Blackness.
  • The role that racial inequity has played and continues to play in our society.
  • How race impacts supervisory relationships, team dynamics, and organizational culture.
  • Personal/implicit/unconscious bias.

Working for Racial Equity
Consistently assess structural implications and racially disproportionate impacts of policies, activities, and decisions within the context of their job responsibilities; race/ethnicity, intersection of race/ethnicity, gender, identity, and/or sexual orientation. Consistently adhere to organization’s racial equity policies and procedures, including those that relate to hiring, retention, and promotion. Consistently identify and disrupt ways in which bias plays out in work and/or team.


  • The Fellow will be paid pursuant to the ACLUF-SDIC’s salary scale, with the salary dependent on bar passage and years of experience: $75,000 - $80,000. Benefits include medical, vision, and dental insurance for staff members and their eligible dependents; life and long- term disability insurance; 401(k) plan with employer match; ample vacation and sick leave and twenty paid holidays.

Candidates are strongly encouraged to highlight their experience, skills, and demonstrated commitment and enthusiasm to work at ACLUF-SDIC 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 ACLU-SDIC’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.

Please include a detailed cover letter describing your interest in working with ACLUFSDIC, 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 (within San Diego or Imperial County).

Please also attach your resume, list of three references, a writing sample, and school transcript. Please send the documents in PDF format to with the subject line “Legal Fellowship Application” and your name.

Applicants interested in applying for a Skadden, Equal Justice Works, Justice Catalyst, or Soros fellowship must apply on or before July 15, 2024

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 ACLU-SDIC will be making its selections on a rolling basis, applicants are strongly encouraged to submit materials as soon as possible.

ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties 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-SDIC 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. ACLU-SDIC does not tolerate discrimination or harassment on the basis of any of these characteristics.