The ACLU is the nation’s foremost defender of civil liberties and civil rights, dedicated to defending the Bill of Rights and advocating for marginalized communities through litigation, legislation and public education.  The ACLU of Texas, founded in 1938 and headquartered in Houston, is the one of the largest ACLU affiliates in the nation.  The ACLU of Texas has regional offices in Austin, Brownsville, Dallas, and El Paso. 

Whether it’s protecting the rights of immigrants and refugees, ending mass incarceration, achieving full equality for the LGBT community, combatting voter suppression, or preserving reproductive rights, the ACLU takes up the toughest civil rights and liberties cases to defend all people from government abuse and overreach.

Policy counsel at the ACLU of Texas will play a critical role in advancing the ACLU’s mission to uphold constitutional rights through integrated advocacy. Counsel will work collaboratively with the ACLU of Texas communications, political, development, legislative, and policy departments, as well as ACLU National legal and political projects. Counsel will be responsible for legal advocacy on civil rights and liberties arising in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Counsel will, for example, conduct legal analysis and make recommendations on local ordinances, draft language for policy proposals, assist in identifying litigation opportunities, engage in direct advocacy and public education efforts, produce know-your-rights materials, cultivate partner relationships, and execute demand letters to local jurisdictions. This position will report to the Legal Director.

Responsibilities & Expectations

  • Identify and develop new legal advocacy projects by conducting factual and legal analysis.
  • Engage in non-litigation advocacy, including preparing demand letters, advocacy materials, public testimony, and public education resources.
  • Participate in legislative and interim legislative activity, attend hearings and participate in policy-related workgroups, coalitions and meetings.
  • Work closely with and provide policy analysis and legal expertise to non-legal program staff at the ACLU of Texas and ACLU National.
  • Develop and strengthen relationships with community partners, coalitions, stakeholders, and affected communities.
  • Prepare and deliver up-to-date “know your rights” information to affected communities.
  • Respond to the legal needs of affected communities, potentially on an emergency and immediate basis.
  • Participate in legal and advocacy conferences and develop and provide CLE on pertinent topics.
  • Communicate ACLU views and positions to a variety of audiences, including community residents, and policymakers, through public speaking, traditional and social media, and other means. 
  • Prepare dockets, budgets, and reports for the Legal Director, the Board and the Executive Director.

Qualifications

  • JD with five years of policy or legal experience preferred; responsibilities will be adjusted based on experience. 
  • Broad substantive knowledge of constitutional law and a strong and demonstrated commitment to civil liberties and civil rights—with an emphasis on matters impacting voting, criminal justice, reproductive healthcare, the LGBTQ community, immigrants, and students.
  • Exceptional analytic, research, writing, and oral advocacy skills.
  • Demonstrated experience working in fast-paced environment with keen ability to simultaneously work on and manage multiple projects. Counsel should be able to set and meet deadlines while prioritizing tasks.
  • Enthusiasm, patience, and cultural competence to work cooperatively on a variety of projects with lawyers, organizers, other staff members, and with diverse community organizations and coalitions.
  • Experience working and communicating with marginalized or vulnerable communities.
  • A commitment to diversity; a personal approach that values the individual and respects differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, religion, ability, and socio-economic circumstance.
  • Ability and willingness to travel and work extended hours, including nights and weekends, as needed.
  • Licensed to practice law and a member of the State Bar of Texas (or eligible to waive into Texas Bar).

Compensation

Salary range is comparable to other public interest law firms in the area, with excellent benefits.

To Apply

Send cover letter, resume, writing sample, and names and contact information of three professional references by email to jobs@aclutx.org , and include “Dallas Policy Counsel” in the subject line.

This job description provides a general but not comprehensive list of the essential responsibilities and qualifications required. It does not represent a contract of employment. The ACLU of Texas reserves the right to change the job description and/or posting at any time without advance notice.

The ACLU of Texas is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU of Texas encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, or veteran status.

The ACLU of Texas undertakes affirmative action strategies in its recruitment and employment efforts to assure that persons with disabilities have full opportunities for employment in all positions.

Apply for this Job

* Required
  
  


U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Information (Completion is voluntary)

Individuals seeking employment at American Civil Liberties Union are considered without regards to race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, marital status, ancestry, physical or mental disability, veteran status, gender identity, or sexual orientation. You are being given the opportunity to provide the following information in order to help us comply with federal and state Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action record keeping, reporting, and other legal requirements.

Completion of the form is entirely voluntary. Whatever your decision, it will not be considered in the hiring process or thereafter. Any information that you do provide will be recorded and maintained in a confidential file.

Race & Ethnicity Definitions

If you believe you belong to any of the categories of protected veterans listed below, please indicate by making the appropriate selection. As a government contractor subject to Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA), we request this information in order to measure the effectiveness of the outreach and positive recruitment efforts we undertake pursuant to VEVRAA. Classification of protected categories is as follows:

A "disabled veteran" is one of the following: a veteran of the U.S. military, ground, naval or air service who is entitled to compensation (or who but for the receipt of military retired pay would be entitled to compensation) under laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs; or a person who was discharged or released from active duty because of a service-connected disability.

A "recently separated veteran" means any veteran during the three-year period beginning on the date of such veteran's discharge or release from active duty in the U.S. military, ground, naval, or air service.

An "active duty wartime or campaign badge veteran" means a veteran who served on active duty in the U.S. military, ground, naval or air service during a war, or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized under the laws administered by the Department of Defense.

An "Armed forces service medal veteran" means a veteran who, while serving on active duty in the U.S. military, ground, naval or air service, participated in a United States military operation for which an Armed Forces service medal was awarded pursuant to Executive Order 12985.


Form CC-305

OMB Control Number 1250-0005

Expires 1/31/2020

Voluntary Self-Identification of Disability

Why are you being asked to complete this form?

Because we do business with the government, we must reach out to, hire, and provide equal opportunity to qualified people with disabilities1. To help us measure how well we are doing, we are asking you to tell us if you have a disability or if you ever had a disability. Completing this form is voluntary, but we hope that you will choose to fill it out. If you are applying for a job, any answer you give will be kept private and will not be used against you in any way.

If you already work for us, your answer will not be used against you in any way. Because a person may become disabled at any time, we are required to ask all of our employees to update their information every five years. You may voluntarily self-identify as having a disability on this form without fear of any punishment because you did not identify as having a disability earlier.

How do I know if I have a disability?

You are considered to have a disability if you have a physical or mental impairment or medical condition that substantially limits a major life activity, or if you have a history or record of such an impairment or medical condition.

Disabilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Blindness
  • Deafness
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Autism
  • Cerebral palsy
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Schizophrenia
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Major depression
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Missing limbs or partially missing limbs
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Impairments requiring the use of a wheelchair
  • Intellectual disability (previously called mental retardation)
Reasonable Accommodation Notice

Federal law requires employers to provide reasonable accommodation to qualified individuals with disabilities. Please tell us if you require a reasonable accommodation to apply for a job or to perform your job. Examples of reasonable accommodation include making a change to the application process or work procedures, providing documents in an alternate format, using a sign language interpreter, or using specialized equipment.

1Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. For more information about this form or the equal employment obligations of Federal contractors, visit the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) website at www.dol.gov/ofccp.

PUBLIC BURDEN STATEMENT: According to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 no persons are required to respond to a collection of information unless such collection displays a valid OMB control number. This survey should take about 5 minutes to complete.