2023 William J. Brennan Fellowship, Speech, Privacy & Technology Project

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The ACLU is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, legal and advocacy 501(c)(4) organization.


The ACLU seeks applicants for a full-time two-year Fellowship position in the Speech, Privacy and Technology Project of the ACLU’s National office in New York, NY. 

The Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project is dedicated to protecting and expanding the First Amendment freedoms of expression, association, and inquiry; expanding the right to privacy and increasing the control that individuals have over their personal information; and ensuring that civil liberties are enhanced rather than compromised by new advances in science and technology. The project is currently litigating cases and conducting other advocacy efforts on a variety of issues, including political protest, freedom of expression online, privacy of electronic information, journalists’ rights, scientific and academic freedom, openness in the courts, privacy rights at the border, and the impact of big data and algorithmic decision-making. 

The Brennan Fellowship, established by a special gift from author Tom Peters and poet Catherine Abbe and named after retired Supreme Court Justice William Brennan, was created to give people just starting their careers an opportunity to receive training and experience in First Amendment advocacy, and to help the ACLU advance its First Amendment goals. The Brennan Fellow will function as an integral part of the Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, and will work on our extensive docket of First and Fourth Amendment cases. This is a two-year fellowship position, and starts in Fall 2023. 

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, but priority consideration will be given to applications submitted by October 1, 2022.  


The Brennan Fellow’s responsibilities will include, but will not be limited to, the following: 

  • Participating in litigation at all levels of federal and state courts, including conducting legal and factual research, interviewing clients, drafting briefs and pleadings, and assisting in discovery and motion practice
  • Assisting in drafting amicus curiae briefs
  • Providing support for ACLU affiliate litigation
  • Serving as a resource for ACLU legislative and policy work
  • Advancing ACLU policy goals through public education and through organizing and participating in coalitions
  • Helping manage summer legal internship program and supervising student interns 
  • Engage in special projects and other duties as assigned
  • Center principles of equity, inclusion, and belonging in all work, embedding the values in program development, policy application, and organizational practices and processes
  • Commitment to the mission of the ACLU
  • Demonstrate a commitment to diversity within the office using a personal approach that values all individuals and respects differences in regards to race, ethnicity, age, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, disability and socio-economic circumstance
  • Commitment to work collaboratively and respectfully toward resolving obstacles and/or conflicts


  • J.D. (or an expectation of receiving one by the Spring of 2023) 
  • Excellent legal research, writing, and communication skills 


  • Skill at performing complex legal analytical work 
  • Demonstrated commitment to public-interest law
  • Proven ability to work independently as well as within a team
  • Ability to self-start and excellent interpersonal skills
  • Knowledge of First and/or Fourth Amendment issues is preferred, but not required 


The ACLU has a litigator scale that determines pay for attorneys in our Legal Department. The range of salaries are the following, based on year of law school graduation (please consult the hiring manager for specific salary details, based on individual circumstances):

  • 0-2 years since law school graduation: $76,320- $87,787
  • 3-5 years since law school graduation: $93,493-$104,553
  • 6-10 years since law school graduation: $107,690- $121,206
  • 11-15 years since law school graduation: $124,843-$140,511
  • 16-20 years since law school graduation: $144,726-$162,891
  • 21-25 years since law school graduation: $167,778-$188,835
  • 26-30+ years since law school graduation: $194,500- $218,912

These salaries are reflective of positions based in New York, NY. The salary will be subject to a locality adjustment (according to a specific city and state), if an authorization is granted to work outside of the location listed in this posting. Note that most of the salaries listed on our job postings reflect New York, NY salaries, where our National offices are headquartered.


The ACLU dares to create a more perfect union – beyond one person, party, or side. Our mission is to realize this promise of the United States Constitution for all and expand the reach of its guarantees.

For over 100 years, the ACLU has worked 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 LGBTQ+ community, 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 cases and issues to defend all people from government abuse and overreach.

Equity, diversity, and inclusion are core values of the ACLU and central to our work to advance liberty, equality, and justice for all. We are a community committed to learning and growth, humility and grace, transparency and accountability. We believe in a collective responsibility to create a culture of belonging for all people within our organization – one that respects and embraces difference; treats everyone equitably; and empowers our colleagues to do the best work possible. We are as committed to anti-oppression and anti-racism internally as we are externally. Because whether we’re in the courts or in the office, we believe ‘We the People’ means all of us.

The 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, veteran status and record of arrest or conviction, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law. Black people, Indigenous people, people of color; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex people; women; people with disabilities, protected veterans, and formerly incarcerated individuals are all strongly encouraged to apply.

The ACLU makes every effort to assure that its recruitment and employment provide all qualified persons, including persons with disabilities, with full opportunities for employment in all positions.

The ACLU is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities. If you are a qualified individual with a disability and need assistance applying online, please email [email protected]. If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.

To apply for this job please visit www.aclu.org.