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.
- 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).
Salary range is comparable to other public interest law firms in the area, with excellent benefits.
Send cover letter, resume, writing sample, and names and contact information of three professional references by email to firstname.lastname@example.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.