ABOUT THE JOB
The Criminal Law Reform Project seeks an end to excessively harsh crime policies that result in mass incarceration and criminalization and stand in the way of a just, equal, and humane society. To reduce the number of people entering the criminal punishment system, CLRP focuses on preventing over-incarceration and over-criminalization at the “front end” of that system. We fulfill our mission through strategic litigation and advocacy that promotes reform. Key priorities are creating robust statewide indigent defense systems to ensure that people charged with a crime have access to effective assistance of counsel; ending unnecessary and unjust pretrial detention through bail reform and other abusive pretrial practices; reforming unconstitutional and racially biased police practices; challenging prosecutorial and judicial abuses of power that result in or enable regressive and unconstitutional practices; reforming our nation’s punitive drug policies, which have failed to achieve public safety and health while eroding constitutional rights and criminalizing unprecedented numbers of people, particularly people of color; and reclaiming equal protection of the laws and guaranteeing substantive and procedural due process protections at each stage of the arrest-to-sentencing process of criminal cases. CLRP works closely with the ACLU’s Campaign for Smart Justice, which collaborates with partners to build a movement for social change, promote racial justice, and win state-based reforms needed to cut the size of our nation’s incarcerated population by 50 percent.
The ACLU invites rising third-year law students and law graduates to apply for a sponsorship opportunity to work with us as a Legal Fellow for up to one year. The Criminal Law Reform Project of the National office in New York, NY seeks applicants to consider for a sponsored fellowship such as Equal Justice Works or other public interest fellowships to begin in the fall of 2022.
Reporting to the Project Director, Deputy Director, and/or Senior Staff Attorney the Fellow will be focused on three related issues: indefinite delays in bringing criminal charges against people who are detained pretrial, the right to a prompt initial appearance/bail hearing, and the right to counsel at a bail hearing.
- Litigating in state and federal courts, including appellate courts, throughout the country
- Drafting pleadings and briefs, engaging in discovery and motion practice, and conducting evidentiary hearings, oral arguments, and trials
- Developing litigation theories on a range of constitutional issues related to prolonged detention, prompt initial appearances and bail hearings, and access to counsel
- Conduct legal research and analysis and develop theories to support new litigation projects
- Draft legal memoranda, pleadings, affidavits, motions, and briefs
- Interview witnesses and potential clients
- Participate in discovery and trial practice
- Draft and edit public education and non-litigation advocacy materials
- Provide support and assistance to ACLU affiliates and cooperating attorneys
- Help manage summer legal internship program and supervise student interns
- Engage in public speaking and attend meetings and/or conferences as needed
- Center principles of equity, inclusion, and belonging in all work, embedding the values in program development, policy application, and organizational practices and processes
- Commitment to the mission of the ACLU
- Demonstrate a commitment to diversity within the office using a personal approach that values all individuals and respects differences in regards to race, ethnicity, age, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, disability and socio-economic circumstance
- Commitment to work collaboratively and respectfully toward resolving obstacles and/or conflicts
EXPERIENCE & QUALIFICATIONS
- J.D. or expected to receive a J.D by the spring of 2022
- Demonstrated commitment to public interest law, civil liberties, criminal justice, and racial justice
- Willingness to work closely with CLRP through the funding application process
- Excellent research, writing, and verbal communication skills
- Demonstrated ability to conduct complex legal analysis and fact-finding
- Excellent interpersonal skills and a proven ability to work independently as well as within a team
- Self-motivated with the ability to take initiative, manage a variety of tasks and see projects through to completion
The ACLU has a litigator scale that determines pay for attorneys in our Legal Department. The range of salaries are the following, based on year of law school graduation (please consult the hiring manager for specific salary details, based on individual circumstances):
- 0-2 years since law school graduation: $72,000-$82,818
- 3-5 years since law school graduation: $88,201-$98,635
- 6-10 years since law school graduation: $101,594-$114,345
- 11-15 years since law school graduation: $117,776-$132,558
- 16-20 years since law school graduation: $136,534-$153,671
- 21-25 years since law school graduation: $158,281-$178,146
- 26-30+ years since law school graduation: $183,491-$206,521
These salaries are reflective of positions based in New York, NY. The salary will be subject to a locality adjustment (according to a specific city and state), if an authorization is granted to work outside of the location listed in this posting. Note that most of the salaries listed on our job postings reflect New York, NY salaries, where our National offices are headquartered.
ABOUT THE ACLU
The ACLU dares to create a more perfect union – beyond one person, party, or side. Our mission is to realize this promise of the United States Constitution for all and expand the reach of its guarantees.
For over 100 years, the ACLU has worked to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States. Whether it’s ending mass incarceration, achieving full equality for the LGBTQ+ community, establishing new privacy protections for our digital age, or preserving the right to vote or the right to have an abortion, the ACLU takes up the toughest civil liberties cases and issues to defend all people from government abuse and overreach.
Equity, diversity, and inclusion are core values of the ACLU and central to our work to advance liberty, equality, and justice for all. We are a community committed to learning and growth, humility and grace, transparency and accountability. We believe in a collective responsibility to create a culture of belonging for all people within our organization – one that respects and embraces difference; treats everyone equitably; and empowers our colleagues to do the best work possible. We are as committed to anti-oppression and anti-racism internally as we are externally. Because whether we’re in the courts or in the office, we believe ‘We the People’ means all of us.
The ACLU is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU 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, veteran status and record of arrest or conviction, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law. Black people, Indigenous people, people of color; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex people; women; people with disabilities, protected veterans, and formerly incarcerated individuals are all strongly encouraged to apply.
The ACLU makes every effort to assure that its recruitment and employment provide all qualified persons, including persons with disabilities, with full opportunities for employment in all positions.
The ACLU is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities. If you are a qualified individual with a disability and need assistance applying online, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.