American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) – 2024 ACLU NATIONAL ADVOCACY INSTITUTE

Space for 2024 is expected to sell out soon! Submit applications ASAP. For more information, please visit

Who We Are:
The ACLU today is the nation’s largest public interest law firm, with a 50-state network of staffed, autonomous affiliate offices. We appear before the United States Supreme Court more than any other organization except the U.S. Department of Justice. About 100 ACLU staff attorneys collaborate with about 2,000 volunteer attorneys in handling close to 2,000 cases annually.

The ACLU is non-profit and non-partisan. We do not receive any government funding. Member dues and contributions and grants from private foundations and individuals pay for the work we do. The ACLU, with headquarters in New York City, litigates across the nation and all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Our Washington, D.C., legislative office lobbies the U.S. Congress. We use strategic communications to educate the public about issues. And the ACLU has expanded its reach by applying international human rights standards in our complex Post 9/11 world. A number of national projects address specific civil liberties issues: AIDS, capital punishment, lesbian and gay rights, immigrants’ rights, prisoners’ rights, reproductive freedom, voting rights, women’s rights and workplace rights.

Program Overview:
This summer, the ACLU is hosting National Advocacy Institute in New York, NY (ages 18-24). This event will convene hundreds of college-aged advocates to connect with ACLU lawyers, lobbyists, organizers, and other experts working to defend civil liberties. Through classroom sessions, lectures, and policy discussions, participants will explore the complex nature of issue advocacy, legal strategy, and real-world political decision making. Participants will also engage in career development, including a Career Day, to explore professions in law, advocacy, and non-profit management and will return home with advocacy tools to make change in their communities. Join us!  

National Advocacy Institute – College and Community (post-high school program), at NYU Law School in New York, NY. 
Ages: 18-24 (must have graduated high school in 2023 or earlier) 
Dates: August 2-5 

This ACLU program will bring together a diverse group of students for intensive multi-day events that all include:  

  • Lectures and seminars from a wide array of civil liberties and political experts and practitioners  
  • Workshops on how to build effective advocacy strategies – for every community and against great odds 
  • Lobby days and/or days of collective action for issue-based advocacy on public policy and the biggest threats to our freedoms 
  • Program-related and social events in and around the event location 

Financial aid is available for students who qualify – including travel stipends! 

This is an incredibly important time to mobilize — across the country, opponents of civil liberties are coming after our most fundamental freedoms — and, while the challenges are big, the activist community is bigger and stronger. The ACLU is going to keep showing up with the next generation of advocates fighting for our civil liberties, whenever and wherever we need to. Students are invited to join us to commit to: developing strong leadership skills, building relationships with fellow activists, and advancing their advocacy abilities to fight on behalf of liberty, justice, and equality.  

Application Timeline:
All applications are considered on a rolling-basis. Applicants can expect to receive a notification of admissions roughly 3 weeks after submitting. Once students are accepted, they will be required to complete a registration form and submit a non-refundable deposit approximately two weeks after notification of the admissions decision (students receiving scholarships must complete the enrollment form within this two week period).

Space for 2024 is expected to sell out soon! Submit applications ASAP. For more information, please visit

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By Lori Ferrara
Lori Ferrara Senior Administrative Assistant