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American Civil Liberties Union
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About American Civil Liberties Union


The American Civil Liberties Union, or the ACLU, began in the wake of World War I. The United States feared a Communist Revolution similar to what had occurred in Russia. Spurred by this fear, unlawful and unjust policies began to take form in what are known as the “Palmer Raids.” Attorney General Mitchell Palmer began the raids to “deport so-called radicals.” The abuse against civil liberties resulted in thousands of unlawful arrests, brutal treatment of innocent individuals, and a major civil liberties crisis in the United States. The ACLU was formed to take a stand.

Today, the group has over one million members and 500 staff attorneys that do work defending the Bill of Rights through education, court cases, and federal advocacy. The ACLU works on issues ranging from criminal law reform, disability rights, LGBTQ rights, reproductive freedom, immigrants’ rights, free speech, racial justice, and more. Since its formation in defense of Americans harmed by the unjust Palmer Raids, the ACLU has stood firmly in defense of human rights in the United States. In 1942, it denounced the government internment of Japanese Americans in concentration camps after Pearl Harbor. In 1969, the group fought for free speech for protesters of the Vietnam War in Tinker v. Des Moines and won the case. It has fought for integral reproductive freedoms, immigrant protections, marriage equality and race equity.

Work at the ACLU takes many forms, from legal staff to communications and analytics experts. Every employee position is critical to the efficiency of the highly important work done by the ACLU. The legal and advocacy teams take the lead on fighting human rights battles on behalf of impacted groups and communities. Communications, development, digital technology analytics, and operations and management teams work together to help the ACLU function internally, allowing for the most impact and change to be made and supported by the non-profit.

The ACLU is a nonprofit organization, meaning it relies on donations and volunteer work. Some of the organization’s most critical work is led and bolstered by volunteer attorneys, advocates, and other folks who help in various capacities. Whether joining the team as a volunteer or an employee, the work done by this organization is meaningful and integral to the protection of human rights in the United States.

American Civil Liberties Union

125 Broad Street
18th Floor
New York, NY 10004
Phone: (212) 549-2500

Firm Stats

Executive Director: Anthony D. Romero

Major Office Locations

New York, NY

Major Departments & Practices

Tech and Analytics
Operations and Management