The ACLU of Vermont is announcing a two-year Advocacy Fellowship to help advance policy advocacy in our priority areas, including winning racial and economic justice, reimagining public safety, spurring criminal law reform, and strengthening our democracy. The Fellow’s tasks will involve a range of policy advocacy, including researching, drafting, and providing testimony on bills in the legislature; drafting letters to and speaking before other public bodies; working with and supporting coalition partners; and giving presentations to community groups.
The ACLU of Vermont is committed to developing the next generation of civil rights leaders; recognizing that talent comes from a variety of backgrounds, we have created this position to develop the talent of that next generation. This fellowship is designed for recent law school graduates, those with some background in public policy or advocacy, and/or others with passion for and seeking direct experience in legislative advocacy. The Advocacy Fellowship will be for a two-year term to begin as soon as possible.
The ACLU of Vermont is simultaneously accepting applications for a Legal Fellow. Those interested in both positions are invited to submit a single application (detailed application instructions are below).
Please note that due to COVID-19, our organization is currently operating 100% remotely. This will continue until at least Sept. 1, 2021. Though we are likely to allow for remote work flexibility beyond that date, it is our expectation that the person hired to fill this position will eventually work from our Montpelier office and in the Vermont State House with occasional travel throughout Vermont.
About ACLU of Vermont
We are the Vermont affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union. We fight for equality, justice, and freedom for all Vermonters – in the statehouse, in the courthouse, and through public education and engagement. We are also committed to co-creating and fostering a strong internal culture of belonging, with an emphasis on inclusive and equitable policies and practices. We are a passionate, highly motivated group of lawyers, public policy experts, lobbyists, communications professionals, community organizers, and fundraisers, and we are looking for exceptional talent to join our team. To learn more about the ACLU of Vermont, visit our website.
The Advocacy Fellow will support the ACLU of Vermont’s integrated advocacy, with an emphasis on advancing legislation protecting and advancing civil rights and civil liberties. The Advocacy Fellow will participate in advocacy activities on a broad range of issues, including legal and factual research, legislative testimony, public speaking, and community engagement. The Fellow will work within the Advocacy Program under the direct supervision of the Advocacy Director in collaboration with our other programs.
Specific responsibilities include:
- Support the advocacy program in preparing for and during the legislative session and assist in day-to-day operations.
- Advocate for civil liberties and civil rights and represent the ACLU in the Vermont legislature, with administration officials, at events, and in coalitions as appropriate.
- Analyze proposed legislation; conduct legal and factual research; draft and present testimony on behalf of the organization to state and municipal policymakers.
- Review, comment on, and edit advocacy materials of other ACLU staff and partner organizations.
- Track legislation and help maintain legislative calendar.
- Develop equitable and reciprocal relationships with community organizations and networks – particularly community members impacted by policing and incarceration and racial justice initiatives led by people of color – and help advance the organization’s commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion in both its internal and external-facing work.
- Work with ACLU staff to implement integrated advocacy campaigns and high-impact strategies utilizing ACLU’s advocacy, communications, development, and legal programs.
- Develop campaign plans to advance policy priorities and to increase grassroots engagement.
- Organize community meetings and events; this includes logistics, outreach, developing the agendas, and facilitation.
- A law degree, a bachelor’s degree with three years of public policy advocacy, or other equivalent experience is preferred.
- Demonstrated interest and/or background in public policy, law, or politics. Demonstrated commitment to the cause of social justice, civil liberties, and civil rights; committed to advancing the ACLU’s values, mission, goals, and programs.
- Exceptional writing, legal and policy research, and analytical skills. Excellent communication skills to both legal and non-legal audiences.
- Commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion, both in the workplace and in collaboration with community partners and constituents. Proven ability to work with emotional intelligence, receive feedback, work through conflict with integrity, and operate within principles of solidarity when working in partnership with constituencies impacted by oppression. Proven ability to work in a manner that respects differences in race, ethnicity, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, religion, ability, and socio-economic circumstance. Demonstrated knowledge of – or commitment to building or deepening understanding of – racial equity.
- Ideal candidate is a creative, flexible, well-organized, and reliable person who can handle and prioritize multiple activities and responsibilities and manage a demanding schedule; a collaborative team player who is able to work independently, jointly, and under pressure; willing to learn; and a self-starter and finisher.
- Proficiency with computers: Windows and Microsoft Office Suite in particular.
- Willing to travel and to work irregular hours as needed, including evening and weekend meetings.
Commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
The ACLU of Vermont is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive office culture. We believe that having a board, staff, and volunteer base with diverse personal and professional backgrounds enhances our ability to meet our mission and creates an environment where all members of our community can thrive.
The ACLU of Vermont strongly encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status, or prior involvement in the criminal legal system. The ACLU of Vermont undertakes affirmative action strategies in its recruitment and employment efforts to assure that persons with disabilities have full opportunities for employment in all positions.
Compensation and Benefits
We are committed to creating and maintaining a diverse workforce through equity initiatives, which includes equitable pay practices. Competitive compensation is commensurate with experience. Starting salary range for this position is $50,000-$55,000 annually.
We understand how vital our work is and at the same time understand the toll engaged activism can take. Our goal is to retain staff and we believe that having a robust benefits offering is vital in meeting that goal. Our benefits include fully employer-paid medical, vision, and dental insurance for staff members, their dependents and spouse or domestic partner; life insurance and disability; defined contribution plan with employer match; and generous vacation, flex time, and sick leave, in addition to 14 paid holidays. This position is full-time, salaried, and exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
To apply, email a letter of interest, resume, and short writing sample to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include in the subject line of the email: your last name and “Advocacy Fellow.” For those also interested in the Legal Fellowship, please include “Legal and Advocacy Fellowships” in the subject line, and if applicable, rank any preference for one position over the other in your letter of interest.
The letter of interest should describe your qualifications, including your cultural competency to work with a diverse team and effectively partner with historically marginalized communities. In your letter, please also indicate where you learned of the posting.
We will begin reviewing applications the week of July 4, 2021, and will continue to consider them on a rolling basis until the position is filled, at which time the job announcement will be removed from our website at www.acluvt.org.