Hong Kyung Lee (HK)
Company/Organization: American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey
Topic of Internship
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has been fighting for every individualís rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for nine decades. Founded in 1920 by Roger Baldwin, the ACLU has ballooned to over 50 offices and more than half a million members. As a non-profit organization, the ACLU provides its affiliates in each state, prisoners, and even regular citizens with information and legal assistance, pro bono. As an affiliate of the national office, the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey (ACLU) works to protect liberty specifically within the state of New Jersey. This organization has stood out by protecting civil liberties before the United States Supreme Court more often than anyone else, expect for the government itself.
Summary of Internship
As an intake intern at the ACLU-NJ, I have several responsibilities and tasks, which include reading and summarizing requests for assistance from various sources such as individuals and inmates. After establishing the plausibility of the complaint, I determine whether the complaint presents a civil liberties violation that the ACLU-NJ may pursue further. I then draft a response letter, in which I provide information, referrals, and suggestions. Although a vast majority of the complaints do not present a civil liberties violation, the ACLU always writes a response letter to everyone who has written to it. If the ACLU is unable to help, the response letters contain information regarding further actions complainants could take to resolve their issues. I try my best to refer the complainants to the proper channels where they can seek some counsel. If I have any questions whether the complaint presents a civil liberties violation, my kind and intelligent mentor is always there to answer my questions and guide me through the process of completing an intake. My role as an intern is vital to the ACLU because my work allows the ACLU to effectively find cases that involve a direct infraction on civil liberties, so that it can continue the fight to protect these rights.
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