Colorado Rights Blog


  • Anthony Martinez is 84-years-old and suffering from renal failure, as well as other serious medical conditions including dementia. He is currently incarcerated in the Sterling Correctional Facility, site of one of Colorado’s largest COVID-19 outbreaks with almost 600 active COVID-19 cases. He and his family are understandably terrified that he will catch the virus and die.

    In the midst of this public health crisis, incarcerated people as vulnerable as Anthony, could and should be immediately released to safely live out their remaining years with family.

    Read more about Anthony Martinez and other at-risk incarcerated people. 

  • Ronald Johnson is pre-diabetic, suffers from asthma and high blood pressure, and regularly uses an inhaler to breathe. His age and respiratory ailments put him at risk of serious illness and death if he contracts COVID-19. With over hundreds of active cases in Colorado’s prisons, his family fears he will not make it out alive. His daughter, Amber, says, “In prison, he can’t protect himself and he can’t social distance. My deep fear is that my dad will die in prison. That is an awful, traumatic reality to consider. My chest is tight just thinking about how quickly it spreads and how vulnerable he is.”

    Governor Hickenlooper shortened his sentence following testimony from family, friends and correctional officers advocating for his early release. Yet, he is still eight years away from parole. While he remains in prison, COVID-19 continues to spread. Ronald’s three siblings, four children and four grandchildren are desperate for his release.

    Read more about Ronald Johnson and other at-risk incarcerated people.

  • Tuesday Olson knew her pregnancy was in trouble and tried to access hospital care as soon as possible. But there was a problem: she was in jail. This is her story.
  • It’s time to end the death penalty in Colorado. Family members who lost loved ones to murder speak out against an unjust and broken system.

Fall/Spring Internships and Externships

Law students interested in public interest work are encouraged to apply for full and part-time fall and spring internships with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Colorado in Denver. Full-time externship positions are also available.

Law students working at the ACLU of Colorado will gain valuable experience working under the supervision of ACLU attorneys on the wide variety of civil liberties issues that comprise the ACLU’s docket. Visit for descriptions of recent ACLU of Colorado cases, and for descriptions of recent ACLU of Colorado advocacy.

Students interning or participating in externships with the ACLU of Colorado participate in many aspects of litigation and legal advocacy including legal research, legal writing, interviewing witnesses, and other factual and legal investigation. Students will also participate in meetings with staff and co-counsel discussing case selection and trial strategy.

Students will be working with an enthusiastic group of over-qualified and underpaid individuals who are committed to their work and the organization. There are currently twelve full-time staff members, including three attorneys, who work with numerous volunteers.

Students are encouraged to seek grants or fellowships from public interest fellowship funds through their law school or other funders. Arrangements can also be made with the student’s law school for work/study stipends. Some students have received law school credit for their work. Unfortunately, the ACLU of Colorado must rely on students’ ability to obtain their own funding for the internship.

The ACLU prefers students who will have completed two years of law school, have a demonstrated interest in civil rights, civil liberties and social justice, and possess excellent writing, communication and organizational skills. Exceptional first-year students are also encouraged to apply. The ACLU is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and encourages applications from women, people of color, persons with disabilities, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals.

Applicants for fall and spring semester positions are accepted on a rolling basis and will be reviewed until the positions are filled. Interested applicants for the fall and spring semesters are encouraged to submit their applications no later than two months before the beginning of the semester.

Students interested in internships or externships with the ACLU of Colorado should send a cover letter, resume, transcript, list of three references (including email address and phone number), and short writing sample (5-10 pages). Applications can be sent by email to ACLU of Colorado Legal Assistant Jessica Howard at, with “Law Student Internship/Externship” in the subject line. Applications may also be sent by mail to:

Mark Silverstein, Legal Director
Attn: Law Student Internship Application
ACLU of Colorado
303 E. 17th Avenue, Suite 350
Denver, CO 80203

The ACLU of Colorado will confirm the receipt of applications by email. No phone calls please. Qualified applicants will be contacted directly by an ACLU of Colorado representative to schedule an interview. Any questions regarding whether the application has been received or is complete should be directed to ACLU of Colorado Legal Assistant Jessica Howard at