Student Information

Student Name

Judith Parra




Internship Information

Company/Organization: American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey

Mentor(s):Adelina Herrarte

Topic of Internship

Constitutional Law

Background Information

The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey (ACLU-NJ) is a non-profit organization founded in 1960 that works to protect and educate Americans about their constitutional rights, specifically those contained in the Bill of Rights. The ACLU-NJ is a chapter of the national ACLU, which since its founding in 1920, has fought steadfastly to protect the civil liberties of all Americans. In the ongoing fight to protect civil liberties ACLU attorneys have stood before the United States Supreme Court more often than anyone, except the government itself. The year 2010 marks a historic year for the ACLU-NJ as it celebrates its fiftieth anniversary. The ACLU-NJ is involved in litigation and advocacy on behalf of individuals across the state, and also lobbies on numerous bills in both the state legislature and local councils. Several issues of importance to the ACLU-NJ include, but are not necessarily limited to, oneís right to make personal decisions about religion, political ideals, reproductive choice, and marriage. Police accountability, student rights, and privacy issues that emerge with the invention of new technology are also key issues that the ACLU-NJ supports.

Summary of Internship

As an intake/administrative intern, my tasks include stuffing envelopes with membership information, updating inventory counts, scanning and organizing PDF files, and updating contact information, among a variety of other duties that arise throughout the workday. A crucial part of my internship - as well as the daily operations of the organization - involves processing letters and emails from people requesting ACLU representation. Intake interns read, summarize, and enter these requests into the ACLU-NJís database, using a complex system of codes to classify each complaint. We then draft response letters to everyone who writes, reviewing applicable regulations and statues to determine whether the ACLU-NJ can offer help. My role in this process directly allows the ACLU to narrow down which civil liberties cases are dire enough to warrant the organizationís intervention.

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