Technology and Civil Liberties Fellowship - Fall 2019

San Francisco, California, United States Full-time

The Opportunity

The ACLU of Northern California (ACLU-NC) seeks applicants for a full-time, one-year Technology & Civil Liberties Fellowship to begin no later than October 2019 with a focus on work at the intersection of government surveillance, immigrants’ rights, and racial justice. Applicants are urged to seek school-sponsored fellowship support as available, but applicants without access to school funding support are also strongly encouraged to apply.


This position joins our statewide Technology and Civil Liberties team, nationally recognized for its use of cutting-edge legal, policy, and technology strategies, in the San Francisco office. The Fellow reports to the Technology and Civil Liberties Director for the ACLU of California, also based in San Francisco.


The Approach

You bring experience, enthusiasm and passion to your work on issues at the intersection of technology and civil liberties. You are a creative thinker who can help identify and implement diverse legal and policy strategies. You are a relationship-builder and willing collaborator with demonstrated success maintaining key relationships with diverse community groups and leaders. You excel at time-management and are able to keep a disciplined focus on your priorities while balancing emerging opportunities. You are thorough while also efficient and always produce top-notch work product that is tailored to Project goals. You have a growth-mindset and always seek to learn and improve the quality of your practice.


The Position

Your job is to defend and promote civil rights and civil liberties in the digital age, with a focus on work at the intersection of government surveillance, immigrants’ rights, and racial justice. This Fellowship serves a critical, immediate need. Advances in surveillance technology and the current administration’s policies combine to severely threaten the safety of communities of color and undermine civil rights. 


As the Technology and Civil Liberties Fellow, you will help investigate surveillance technologies that pose a threat to civil liberties and civil rights. You will be responsible for helping to develop and implement multi-disciplinary, proactive strategies to stop the use of powerful surveillance technologies, such as face surveillance, to track and target communities of color.


Working on the Technology and Civil Liberties team and with ACLU experts on immigrants’ rights, border surveillance, national security, policing, and racial justice, you will integrate a range of legal and policy strategies into your work. These may include, but are not limited to: legal, policy, and technical research; legislative and agency lawyering; litigation and legal analysis; civic engagement; coalition development; public education; and strategic communications.


About the Organization

The ACLU-NC is an affiliate of a nationwide, non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to the defense and expansion of civil liberties and civil rights. For most of the last century, it has been at the heart of many of the most major – and sometimes controversial – struggles for civil liberties and civil rights in our state. Our mission is to ensure that Constitutional rights don’t just exist on paper, but are protected in practice. As we move into a new era and face dangerous policies that threaten our civil rights and civil liberties, we remain dedicated to confronting these issues and defending the progress we have made. We must use our decades of experience in impact litigation, legislative advocacy, and fearless organizing to fight these un-American policies and protect our most cherished rights and freedoms. We are the resistance. Join us.


Duties & Responsibilities

  • Conduct legal, policy, and technical research about technology and civil liberties issues, with a focus on the civil liberties and civil rights impact of surveillance on immigrant communities and other communities of color.
  • Manage public records request projects.
  • Participate in litigation, including via preparation of amicus briefs.
  • Help to implement local, state and company campaigns to defend and promote civil rights, including legal and policy research and working on civic engagement, public education, and strategic communication materials.
  • Engage in legislative, agency, corporate and political process lawyering, and support legal and policy efforts, including evaluating local and state legislation, helping to develop new legislation and policy models, drafting local and state advocacy letters, and providing expertise to policymakers.
  • Forge and maintain relationships with technology experts, public interest groups, government officials, community stakeholders, and academics to engage them in our work, implement collaborative projects, and foster positive working relationships and opportunities to collaborate with state and national ACLU staff.
  • Engage in other activities to advance the work of the Technology and Civil Liberties Project.



  • J.D. or graduate degree by June 2019 in a field such as public policy, political science, or information science.
  • Relevant legal, policy or technical experience related to technology and privacy, free speech, immigrants’ rights, racial justice, national security, police practices, or broader civil rights.
  • Excellent analysis, research, and writing skills, including the ability to translate complex legal and technology issues for diverse audiences.
  • Strong time and project management skills, including a high level of organization, attention to detail, and follow-through, while balancing and prioritizing multiple activities and responsibilities.
  • Excellent relationship-building and collaboration skills, including success working as a member of a team and/or with community organizations.
  • Demonstrated experience engaging in creative problem solving and taking initiative, while utilizing a solutions-oriented approach and exhibiting flexibility and good judgement.
  • Demonstrated experience engaging and working with and/or on behalf of communities of color. Applicants with personal experience related to immigrants’ rights, racial justice, policing, or government surveillance are encouraged to apply for this position.
  • Willingness to travel within California, and occasionally to other parts of the country for speaking events, meetings, and conferences.
  • Spanish, Arabic, or other relevant language skills preferred, but not required.
  • A commitment to diversity; a personal approach that values the individual and respects differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, ability, and socio-economic circumstance.



Competitive salary depending on experience. Starting salary range is $70,000. Excellent benefits include four weeks paid vacation in addition to 14 office holidays; medical, vision and dental insurance for staff members, their dependents and spouse/domestic partner; life and long-term disability insurance; and 401(k) plan with employer match.


To Apply

Applications will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. on December 7, 2018. We encourage you to apply as soon as possible as we will be evaluating applications on a rolling basis.  Applications must include (1) a cover letter explaining why you are interested in this position and the ways in which you satisfy the qualifications specified above, (2) resume, and (3) a list of four references.


Cover letters should include the following additional information: (1) if seeking school-sponsored support and if so, the timeline for that process; (2) if concurrently applying to any other position with the ACLU and if so, which positions; (3) the month you would be able to begin the Fellowship (no later than October 2019).


Applicants concurrently applying to any other position with the ACLU should state what other position they are applying for in the cover letter. Please submit your application materials online at:


The ACLU of Northern California advances equity and inclusion in the workplace by providing equal employment opportunity to support a work environment free from discrimination on the basis of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age (over 40), sexual orientation, military and veteran status, and any other basis prohibited by law. The organization also provides reasonable accommodations for qualified applicants and employees with disabilities. This equal employment opportunity policy applies to all aspects of employment, including recruitment, selection, advancement, training, problem resolution, and separation from employment. Through this policy, the ACLU-NC strives to establish and maintain an equitable and accessible work environment that is free from discrimination and supportive of a workforce that reflects the rich diversity of our communities and the people we serve.