Interview with the ACLU

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Interview with the ACLU

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 22, 2012 1:24 am

I have an interview with the ACLU next week for a summer program at one of their field offices. Has anyone had one of these?

What do they ask, what kind of work do they give summers (I'm a 2L), will they put me in a specific "practice area" (Crim Pro, 1st Amendment, abortion access, etc.)... what kind of work does the ACLU even do at the field office level? This is a major (albeit secondary) metropolitan area.

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Re: Interview with the ACLU

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 23, 2012 9:55 pm

When I applied, they asked me my interest area. Apparently each staffer at the ACLU needed their own intern. Thus, I was asked all stuff about this one particular area of law. But, I'm going to be working on the lobbying side, so, it might be different. Which also means this response probably isn't of any help.

My best advice: be prepared to talk about any area of law you expressed interest in or are interested in. Also look up what this particular office works on, and have something ready to say about that. Good luck!

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Re: Interview with the ACLU

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 23, 2012 11:05 pm

I worked last summer at a regional ACLU office. The office was really small (I can count the number of litigating attorneys on one hand), so there weren't really differentiated "practice areas"--everybody did everything. For my part, it was mostly the standard research and memo writing with some motion practice thrown in.

The work generally fell into two broad categories, often overlapping: 1st amendment (overbroad sign ordinance, police department harassing and arresting protesters, school district banning books/abusing internet filters, park denying a local KKK wacko a permit) and civil rights of prisoners (warden abusing inmates, prison denying inmates religious texts). They did some judicial overrides for abortions as well, but that was pretty routine and the summers weren't involved. My work was mostly free speech and general section 1983 research, with a smattering of standing/mootness/res judicata.

The one thing they emphasized in my interview was how despicable most of their clients are, and it's absolutely true: for every bullied gay highschooler they represent, there are ten rapists, neo-nazis and garden-variety nutjobs. As a law student I had almost no client contact, but it's still easy to lose sight of the bigger principles when you're helping the Westboro Baptists come to town. Come to the interview with one spiel on why you're interested in first amendment law, and another on how you're committed enough to the principles that even the most repugnant clients won't put you off it.

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Re: Interview with the ACLU

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:07 pm

Interviewed with a regional ACLU earlier this week. They seemed to be more concerned with why I was interested in their work and how skills from other jobs on my resume would transfer to their work.

HTH




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