Fall 2021 Public Interest Fellowships

Notice to Third-Year Law Students & Recent Graduates

The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts (ACLUM) is accepting applications for sponsored public interest fellowships beginning in the fall of 2021, including those funded by Equal Justice Works, the Skadden Fellowship Foundation, Open Society Foundations, Justice Catalyst, law schools, and others. Third-year law students and attorneys seeking funding from outside sources and school-specific sources for work involving civil rights and civil liberties may apply. Please note that ACLUM does not have in-house funding for legal fellowships.  

ACLUM works on cutting-edge civil rights and civil liberties issues. We have undertaken groundbreaking litigation and advocacy on free speech, immigrants’ rights, reproductive rights, transgender rights, open government, police accountability, government surveillance, racial justice, and other issues.

Subject Area of the Fellowship

ACLUM welcomes applications on any significant issue involving civil rights or liberties. Recent ACLUM fellows have taken a leading role in key cases on wrongful convictions, the First Amendment right to record police officers and immigration detention. Areas of interest to ACLUM in 2021 might include immigrants’ rights, reproductive rights, criminal justice, racial justice, surveillance, and free speech. Our staff will work with candidates to develop their proposals for submission, helping tailor the proposal to address an important civil rights or civil liberties issue

Job Description

Fellows will work with ACLUM’s legal director and staff attorneys on trial-level and appellate work. Fellows may also work with staff members on non-litigation advocacy, such as public education, legislative work, public speaking, community organizing, and investigation. The fellowship’s length will be governed by the funding organization’s policy.


Applicants should have a commitment to civil rights and liberties, be self-motivated, and be able to work well with a wide range of people. Excellent research and writing skills are required. 

How to Apply

Please email a resume, list of references, and writing sample, along with a cover letter indicating specific interests and possible project proposal, to [email protected]. Please use the subject line “2021 Fellowship – [your name].”

Note: ACLUM prefers to receive applications by August for fellowships with fall deadlines.

ACLUM is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and encourages women, people of color, persons with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ community, and formerly incarcerated people to apply.