It is our mission to protect and defend the constitutional rights and civil liberties of every individual in Kansas regardless of creed, race, religion, gender identification, or class. Our efforts are focused on serving and defending reproductive rights, racial justice, LGBTQ+ rights, First Amendment rights, immigrant rights, voting rights, criminal justice reform, and privacy rights.
The ACLU of Kansas protects the civil rights of segments of our population that have traditionally been marginalized, including women, people of color, lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people, prisoners, people with disabilities, immigrants, and the poor. We defend the freedoms of all residents of Kansas without consideration of political partisanship.
The Staff Attorney serves as a junior or mid-level associate for the legal department. Conducts legal research, document review, writing, and bluebook editing for briefs and filings. On assignment, the Staff Attorney will “first chair” non-complex litigation matters (open records request, state law appellate matters, and pure legal question state law litigation). Acts as second chair in all complex litigation matters managed by the legal director or senior staff attorney. Supports non-legal advocacy efforts and helps maintain relationships with regional and specialty professional associations.
REPORTING RELATIONSHIP AND ORGANIZATIONAL IMPACT
- Position reports to: Legal Director
- Manager or Non-Manager Role: Non-Manager
- Manages the following employees:
- Bargaining Unit Status: This position is part of the bargaining unit.
- Internal and External:
- Contact with other department staff and managers.
- Supervised and pre-approved contact and communications with clients and opposing counsel
- Contact with all Legal Department staff
- Occasional public facing presentations
- Budget Authority:
- Contributes to litigation and legal advocacy strategy
PROFESSIONAL AND PERSONAL COMPETENCIES
- Ability to write effectively for legal and non-legal audiences
- Ability to articulate legal theories for legal and non-legal audiences
- Able to exercise judgment on matters of professional ethics and responsibility
- Able to interact with people from a variety of backgrounds and establish trust with diverse group of clients
- Ability to carry out research and writing tasks as assigned
- Ability to respectfully communicate with co-workers.
- Ability to exercise judgment in matters of litigation strategy
- Able to understand campaign model
- Ability to work respectfully within integrated advocacy model
- Has the flexibility required to juggle many tasks
- Ability to produce results on short notice/in emergency situations.
- B.A. or BS
- Passage of Kansas State Bar Exam or ability to waive in
- 1-2 years post-JD
- 1-5 years of litigation experience, either at a law firm, in a legal fellowship, or in a clerkship, or a combination thereof.
- Kansas Rules of Professional Responsibility
- Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
- Pacer E-filing
- Federal rules of evidence
- Kansas Rules of Civil Procedure
- Substantive knowledge of key civil rights frameworks (e.g. Section 1983)
- Lexis Nexis
- Bluebook citation
- Client interviewing
- Legal research and writing skills
- Basic direct and cross-examination skills
- Motion practice skills
- Basic oral advocacy skills
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
· Assist with active litigation – 50%
o Participate directly in litigating civil liberties and civil rights cases in federal and state court, either as second chair or, when appropriate, as first chair.
o Monitor litigation tasks being handled by cooperating attorneys and providing assistance as needed.
o Handle discovery matters and depositions, including preparing discovery requests and responses, analyzing documents, and taking and defending depositions.
o Help write appellate and amicus briefs.
· Assist in the development of new litigation – 30%
o Conduct factual and legal research, prepare memoranda, draft Open Records Act requests, write demand letters, draft pleadings and briefs.
o Review, comment on, and edit letters and briefs of co-counsel and other ACLU-KS staff.
· Provide non-litigation legal advocacy assistance (advocacy letters, election – protection, know your rights materials, correspondence with commissions and taskforce) - 10%
o Work with ACLU-KS staff to implement integrated advocacy campaigns and high-impact strategies utilizing ACLU-KS’s communication, legislative, advocacy, and legal programs.
· Maintain relationships with regional and specialty professional groups. – 3%
o Wichita Bar Association
o KS Association for Criminal Defense Lawyers
o Local coalition partners
· Work with and supervise law student interns. – 2%
· Perform other duties as assigned by the Legal Director. – 5%
Physical Requirements: This job is primarily sedentary work which requires extended periods of sitting and/or standing in an office setting.
· Travel to and outside of Overland Park home office area but within the state of Kansas 3-4 times a month. Occasional travel outside Kansas but within the United States.
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.