The Roger Baldwin Foundation of ACLU, Inc. (“ACLU of Illinois”) seeks a Senior Supervising Attorney to build and lead litigation and, in collaboration with other Departments, non-litigation advocacy to promote transformational changes in the criminal legal system and policing in Illinois.


The Legal Department of the ACLU of Illinois works with colleagues across the organization to advance civil rights and civil liberties throughout Illinois using strategic litigation, legislative and other advocacy with governmental officials, and public education. Our work focuses on fighting the institutional and structural racism that undermines civil rights and civil liberties, including in the criminal and civil legal systems and immigration; protecting democracy by advancing First Amendment rights, government transparency, and voting rights; promoting access to reproductive health care, the rights of LGBTQ+ communities, and gender equity; and addressing and preventing the harm experienced by people in government care, including in the foster system, prisons, jails, and juvenile detention facilities. 

A core priority of our work is to combat criminal legal system practices that are unlawful, harmful, and disproportionately impact communities of color. We challenge policing that wrongfully criminalizes poverty, mental health challenges, and addiction and that harms and stigmatizes marginalized communities, including Black and Brown people, people with disabilities, immigrants, and LGBTQ+ communities. We advocate for policing that is transparent, accountable, and equitable and promote non-police responses that foster health and human dignity. We work in partnership with impacted communities and seek to promote and expand transformational criminal legal system changes, dramatically reduce interactions between police and members of the public, and hold police and other legal system entities accountable when they cause harm. We also protect the rights of protesters and those who record police because of the importance of defending dissent, including dissent against racial injustice in the criminal legal system. In the Legal Department, we recognize that litigation is only one tool in a broader social movement to promote community safety and racial justice.


The Senior Supervising Attorney is a highly collaborative, team player who will develop and litigate cases in state and federal court; create, implement, and participate, in collaboration with staff throughout the ACLU of Illinois and community partners, in non-litigation efforts to combat harmful policing and criminal legal system practices that disproportionately impact communities of color; supervise and mentor junior attorneys; engage in public education; and advance the mission and work of the ACLU of Illinois’ legal work as a whole.

The Senior Supervising Attorney may advocate on a range of issues on which the ACLU-IL engages locally and statewide including: litigation to combat policing that disproportionately harms Black and Brown communities, such as excessive force, unlawful police stops, abuse of protesters, and inequitable police response to calls for service by communities of color; the development of creative litigation and non-legislative advocacy approaches to combat mass incarceration, reduce police encounters with members of the public, advance government transparency over harmful criminal legal system and policing practices, combat surveillance and violation of privacy rights, and promote non-police responses to community needs; and serve as counsel to a coalition enforcing a consent decree against the Chicago Police Department. As a member of the Legal Department, the Senior Supervising Attorney will serve as a team player and may contribute to litigation in other areas as needed to advance the ACLU-IL’s legal docket.

The Senior Supervising Attorney will report to the Legal Director and will initially supervise two staff attorneys in the Legal Department.

ACLU of Illinois staff are based in Chicago, IL, but are currently working remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. When conditions are safe to return to the office space, staff members will be expected to work out of our Chicago office.


  • Investigate, develop and litigate high-impact cases at the trial and appellate level in federal and state courts.
  • Investigate, develop and advance, in coordination with other Departments, non-litigation strategies for advancing civil rights and civil liberties.
  • Lead and manage teams that conduct investigations, impact litigation, and/or non-legislative advocacy, either independently or in effective collaboration with the Legal Director.
  • Develop and maintain strong, collaborative relationships with leaders and organizations in the field, community-based organizations, allies, stakeholders, communities affected by our work, and ACLU-IL members.
  • Serve as an ACLU-IL spokesperson with the media and external partners on identified issues.
  • Assist with the development of funding proposals.
  • Conduct outreach, recruitment, and hiring for diverse and excellent staff and legal interns.
  • Effectively supervise, manage, and mentor early-career and mid-career attorneys with an eye toward their professional development.


  • Highly collaborative with the desire to consult and share information with colleagues and to respectfully resolve differences.
  • Strong legal aptitude, including thoughtful engagement with legal principles and precedents and facility applying law to facts.
  • Ability to produce exceptionally clear and persuasive written legal and non-legal documents.
  • Ability to write and speak clearly and persuasively in legal (court) and non-legal settings, and with a wide range of individuals and organizations.
  • Experience in federal or state court litigation and ability to develop and execute litigation and non-litigation advocacy strategies.
  • Ability to take initiative, multi-task, identify priorities amidst competing demands, and lead projects to completion with strong strategic thinking, problem-solving, and relationship-building skills.
  • Ability to effectively manage attorneys to consistently produce high-quality results while developing knowledge, skills, and abilities.
  • Excellent track record of working with individuals and communities with diverse identities.
  • Consistently integrates deep understanding of key racial equity concepts into work projects and interactions by addressing structural implications and disproportionate impacts of policies, activities, and decisions on race, class and other group identities within the context of job responsibilities and projects.
  • Demonstrates an ongoing commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion within the office, using an approach that values all individuals and respects differences in regards to race, ethnicity, age, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, ability, socio-economic circumstance, and other factors.
  • D. degree.
  • Admitted to practice in Illinois, can waive into the Illinois bar, or is willing to take the Illinois bar exam no later than summer of 2021.
  • Highly qualified applicants will generally have at least 8 years of legal experience.


The salary will be $85,000 to $140,000 in accordance with the ACLU of Illinois salary scale and commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits include four weeks paid vacation; 100% employer-paid medical, vision, and dental insurance for staff and eligible dependents; a 403(b) retirement benefits plan with employer match; life insurance; and long-term disability insurance.


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The ACLU of Illinois is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and encourage 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, criminal record, or veteran status.


For nearly 100 years, the American Civil Liberties Union and its affiliates in all 50 states and Puerto Rico have been at the forefront of many major fights for civil rights, civil liberties, and equal justice. With a staff of 45 and over 75,000 members, the ACLU of Illinois is one of the largest state affiliates of the ACLU.

The ACLU of Illinois takes up tough civil rights and civil liberties issues to defend people from government abuse and overreach, including by fighting unjust practices in the criminal and juvenile legal systems, promoting full equality for LGBTQ+ people, challenging dangerous detention conditions, battling racially biased and abusive policing, advancing reproductive rights and gender justice, and advocating for children in foster care and people with disabilities. We are a passionate and highly motivated group of lawyers, public policy experts, lobbyists, fundraisers, engagement and communication professionals, and administrative staff. 


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