Jun 22, 2021

Americans United for Separation of Church and State is seeking legal interns who are committed to civil rights, impact litigation, and upholding core First Amendment protections. Full-time positions are available during the summer; both part-time and full-time positions are available during the fall and spring.

Your work will include defending the rights of women, LGBTQ people, and racial and religious minorities against religion-based discrimination. And you will fight to keep religion out of government—including through challenges to religious activities in public schools, public financing of religious institutions, and government-sponsored religion in the public square.

Americans United is the nation’s leading church-state advocacy organization. For the last 75 years we have litigated church-state issues in federal and state courts across the country, with a substantial practice before the federal courts of appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court. Most of our cases involve novel, cutting-edge First Amendment and other constitutional issues. In just the past few years, for example, we have litigated lawsuits and submitted amicus briefs challenging or opposing:

  • Religion-based refusals by businesses and government officials to provide services to LGBTQ individuals and same-sex couples.
  • Race-based and sex-based employment discrimination by religious employers.
  • Trump Administration regulations that permit religious objectors to deprive women of insurance coverage for contraceptives.
  • Trump Administration regulations that license healthcare workers to refuse care to women, LGBTQ people, and religious minorities.
  • The Trump Administration’s anti-Muslim travel and immigration ban.
  • Demands for exemptions for religious activities from COVID-19-related public-health orders.

Legal interns receive a substantive legal experience with in-depth exposure to some of the most important issues facing the nation. Interns assist with ongoing litigation by conducting legal and factual research and writing, analyze potential new litigation, and draft demand letters to resolve constitutional violations without filing suit. Interns may also draft pleadings, briefs, or discovery. Our attorneys endeavor to prepare interns for public-interest legal practice, including by providing training and practical experience, in house and in conjunction with partner organizations. Interns are also encouraged to take full advantage of the many events that take place in Washington, D.C., or are available virtually.

Eligibility and Requirements: Law students (any year) who are committed to advancing the public interest and the separation of religion and government are encouraged to apply. Americans United includes and welcomes people of all genders, races, ethnicities, religions or beliefs, gender identities, sexual orientations, ages, socio-economic backgrounds, and abilities. Because we work on a wide variety of issues and with many different communities, we value what diversity and diverse perspectives bring to our work.

Compensation: Academic credit may be arranged, and a stipend may be available. A commuter subsidy is also provided.

How to apply: Please email a cover letter, resume, law-school transcript, writing sample, and the names of three references to legaljobs@au.org. The cover letter should highlight why you want to work with us and what perspectives you would bring to strengthen our practice. The writing sample may be of any length; it should be your best example of comprehensive and detailed legal argument or analysis, should be your own work, and should not be substantially edited by anyone else.

Deadline: Positions will remain open until filled. Applicants for summer positions are encouraged to apply by January 15. Applicants for positions during the fall are encouraged to apply by September 1; applicants for positions during the spring are encouraged to apply by December 15.