Volunteer Civil Liberties Intake Counselor

39 Drumm Street, San Francisco, CA

Civil Liberties Intake Counselor

This is an undergraduate internship opportunity available in the ACLU of Northern California’s Legal-Policy Department.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California (ACLU-NC) seeks a bilingual undergraduate student to work as a Volunteer Civil Liberties Intake Counselor with the Legal-Policy Department.

About the organization and the department

The mission of the ACLU of Northern California (ACLU-NC) is to be an enduring guardian of justice, fairness, equality, and freedom, working to protect and advance civil liberties for all Californians. This position offers a unique opportunity to be at the heart of the Legal-Policy team which pursues cutting edge impact litigation and promotes policy change in order to defend and expand the civil liberties and civil rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights and the California Constitution. The team currently includes seventeen attorneys and policy directors, three fellows, and three assistants.

The position

The Volunteer Civil Liberties Counselor will support the Civil Liberties Intake Program and the litigation practice by supporting the Legal Assistant, responding to requests for assistance, updating the law library, etc.  The Volunteer Civil Liberties Intake Counselor position is supervised by the Legal Assistant.  

  1. Civil Liberties Intake Support

Responsibilities include:

  • Answering phone calls received through our English-language and Spanish-language Civil Liberties Hotline; 
  • Conducting initial interviews with the callers, including writing clear and complete notes during the call and presenting relevant matters in a concise manner to attorneys during a review meeting;
  • Reviewing and evaluating written requests for assistance, including mail and online complaints; 
  • Working with and regularly responding to the Civil Liberties Voicemail;
  • Assisting Legal Assistant with investigating civil liberties complaints; and,
  • Working within web-based database to enter data, as well as catalogue data within the system.
  1. Legal Program Support

Responsibilities include:  

  • Assisting Legal Assistant with administrative tasks, including discovery indexes, litigation binders, etc.;
  • Working with File Clerk to maintain organized paper files for active cases and maintaining the law library;
  • Helping to ensure that staff has access to up-to-date legal resources;
  • Monitoring and preparing indices for pleadings, discovery and evidence;
  • Preparing closed cases for storage and/or historical preservation;
  • Conducting research and proofreading as needed; and,
  • Other duties as assigned.


The ACLU-NC values equity and inclusion and encourages a diversity of candidates from various backgrounds to apply.

Individuals joining the Legal-Policy Department team as a Volunteer Civil Liberties Intake Counselor must have: an exceptional ability to stay organized and to manage their time effectively and competing priorities; a keen attention to detail; proficiency in working with spreadsheets, databases, or case management software; and, the willingness and flexibility to adapt in a fast-paced environment.

Additional required skills and qualifications include:

  • College student (3rd and 4th years preferred) with a strong commitment to and enthusiasm for the mission of the ACLU of Northern California;
  • Exceptional oral and written communication skills;
  • Ability to synthesize information concisely in written format and to orally present the information in organized, concise, and clear manner in meetings;
  • Bilingual in English and Spanish;
  • Strong computer proficiency, particularly in using Microsoft Word and Outlook, and demonstrated ability to learn web-based database; and,
  • Highly organized and careful attention to detail.

Helpful but not required skills and qualifications include:

  • Some familiarity with state and federal court systems and legal administration would be helpful; and,
  • Experience working with non-profit or advocacy group(s) is valuable;

Time commitment & benefits

We require a minimum semester-long (12-16 weeks) commitment of two to three days a week, a minimum of four hours per day. This is an unpaid position, although work-study funds or travel stipend may be available during a school semester. Summer internships are also available.

To apply

Send a cover letter explaining your interest in volunteering at the ACLU-NC, along with a brief resume or written description of relevant experience to Cecilia Bermudez at aclunc-clnc0672@applications.recruiterbox.com

The ACLU-NC is proud to be an affirmative action employer. All interested individuals, including people of color, women, persons with disabilities and persons who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex are particularly urged to apply.