ABOUT THE JOB
The ACLU seeks applicants for the full-time position of Senior Policy Counsel in the National Political Advocacy Department of the ACLU’s National office in Washington, DC or New York, NY.
The National Political Advocacy Department (NPAD) works to strengthen the efforts of the ACLU at the federal, state, and local levels of government. The department harnesses the political power that comes from having more than eight million members and supporters, as well as affiliates in every state. By organizing grassroots lobbying and issue campaigns using modern tactics, the ACLU seeks to achieve change as profound in the legislative, administrative and electoral arenas as it has accomplished through the courts.
Reporting to a Deputy Director of the Democracy Division, the Senior Policy Counsel will work with national staff and ACLU affiliates to protect and expand the First Amendment freedoms of speech, expression, assembly, association, and press, as part of the ACLU’s mission of protecting and advancing civil liberties and civil rights. The Senior Policy Counsel would work to further efforts connected to federal, state, and local legislation and administrative actions around First Amendment issues, and other issue areas covered by the Democracy Division.
- As advocate and policy and/or legal expert, identify opportunities to advance civil liberties and civil rights in complex policy areas through multiple methods at the federal, state, and local levels
- Develop strategic legislative and administrative policy options
- Independently develop novel ideas and approaches to solving problems, in addition to sourcing existing policy ideas and approaches to civil liberties challenges
- Independently draft bills and/or administrative rules/regulations at the state, local, or federal levels
- Provide content, policy, and legal expertise as well as legislative and regulatory drafting knowledge
- Prepare and provide expert-level guidance and testimony on pending legislation before federal, state, and local legislative committees and administrative agencies and other regulatory bodies
- Lobby elected officials, their staff, and other public officials to support ACLU positions on pending legislation and policy initiatives
- Provide legislative counseling, including policy, legislative or legal analysis, strategic planning guidance, and tactical suggestions, to ACLU affiliates to support state and/or locally-based efforts
- Coordinate and conduct in-depth civil liberties briefings for government officials as pertinent to advancing priority ACLU positions
- Help coordinate strategy designed to reach campaign goals or other policy/political outcomes across ACLU departments, ACLU affiliates, and coalition partners
- Work with campaign strategists and organizers in NPAD to advance campaign goals or other policy and political outcomes
- Work with ACLU affiliates, as relevant, in advocacy efforts in furtherance of policy outcomes
- Participate as the ACLU representative in meetings of ad hoc lobbying and policy and/or political coalitions
- In collaboration with ACLU Communications staff, provide expert commentary to media, participate in media briefings, and contribute to op-eds and other publications, as relevant
- Collaborate with other ACLU national and affiliate staff and representatives of coalition allies
- Organize, lead, and work with outside groups to bolster support for ACLU policy goals or to minimize opposition to those goals
- Coordinate efforts across the organization including legal staff, communications staff, strategists, and affiliates around the country to keep them abreast of and enlist their support for relevant portfolios of priority issues
- May provide senior-level guidance to other policy staff and interns
- Engage in special projects and other duties as assigned
- 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
- Law degree required
- Prior lobbying experience strongly preferred
- Significant experience working in political, policy, legal, or government settings; high degree of familiarity with public policy and legislative, administrative and/or electoral processes
- Sophisticated judgment; experience giving advice and counsel to a principal
- High level, substantive, and extensive experience in policy development
- Demonstrated expertise in constitutional law, preferably in First Amendment law
- Ability to work independently as well as within a team
- Experience with media and serving as a spokesperson for an issue, campaign, or cause; ability to communicate complex policy issues to a general public and government decision makers
- Excellent interpersonal, relationship building and communication skills, including at the highest levels of government and politics
- Excellent research, writing, analytical, and communication skills
- Ability to communicate complex legal and policy issues to government decision makers, and the general public; expertise in the field of policy
- Ability to work and communicate quickly and accurately, handling multiple projects and deliverables under pressure
The annual salary for this position is $135,795 (Level E). This salary is reflective of a position based in New York, NY. This 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.
The Department of Education has determined that employment in this position at the ACLU does not qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.