The ACLU seeks a full-time position of Deputy Project Director for Policing Litigation & Integrated Advocacy in the Criminal Law Reform Project (CLRP) of the ACLU’s National Legal Department in the National office in New York, NY/ Remote*. 

The mission of the ACLU’s Criminal Law Reform Project (CLRP) is to use litigation and integrated advocacy in the broader efforts to eradicate mass incarceration, over-criminalization, and structural racism. To these ends, CLRP focuses primarily on the “front end” of criminal enforcement systems, such as policing, pretrial practices, public defense, and prosecutorial misconduct. We fulfill our mission through strategic litigation and advocacy that promotes meaningful change for impacted communities. CLRP partners closely with our affiliates across the country and with other ACLU departments to build a movement for social change, promote racial justice, and win reforms needed to significantly reduce our nation’s incarcerated population.

CLRP’s policing litigation and integrated advocacy is integral to the ACLU’s effort to reduce our nation’s dependence on policing and other punitive approaches to community safety and to promote investments in community-based and non-law-enforcement approaches that will better achieve safe, thriving neighborhoods. A necessary component of this effort will be empowering the communities most impacted by policing to set public safety priorities based on more inclusive ideas of safety and community health. We also seek to combat the endemic violence and systemic oppression of marginalized groups that has defined the history of policing in this country.

Reporting to the Project Director, the Deputy Project Director for Policing Litigation & Integrated Advocacy will be a dynamic and visionary litigator leading the CLRP’s efforts to design, coordinate, and implement strategic litigation and integrated advocacy that challenges illegal police practices, expands protections against police power, and empowers local and national efforts to reimagine community safety. The Deputy Project Director for Policing Litigation & Integrated Advocacy will be one of two deputies in the Project also responsible for assisting the Project Director in: setting and leading the Project’s strategy; supervising staff; managing litigation; recruiting diverse and excellent job candidates; onboarding and mentoring staff; managing internship and fellowship programs; liaising with other departments, including National Policy and Advocacy Department (NPAD) and Communications; and other management and administrative duties as directed.

*Note: this position may be approved for remote work from a different U.S. location


Litigation and Advocacy

  • Lead CLRP’s policing litigation in state and federal courts across the country, including guiding our strategic planning process on policing litigation, developing novel legal claims to challenge police practices under state and federal law, investigating practices of police departments and other law enforcement agencies for potential litigation and/or advocacy work, and identifying opportunities to leverage impact litigation to catalyze policy efforts in local communities
    • Within individual cases, the role will include researching and drafting pleadings and briefs, engaging in discovery and motion practice, and conducting evidentiary hearings, oral arguments, trials and appeals
    • Docket will initially include stepping in as lead or co-counsel on 2-3 existing policing cases, with a likely focus on litigation under the Americans with Disabilities Act to require alternatives to police responses to people in mental health crisis
    • Develop a docket of policing cases
  • Continuing CLRP’s effort to use state law and constitutions to expand protections against police power, such as limitations on pretextual stops or raising the legal standard for use of force. This will include supervising a legal fellow, focused on developing potential claims and identifying target jurisdictions, and, if funding is secured, a second fellow focused on crafting an amicus or other legal strategy
  • Heading CLRP’s policing litigation practice group, a team of litigators in the Project who devote a significant proportion of their time to policing and are charged with implementing the strategic plan, tracking progress to goals, staying current on national trends on policing, and identifying new opportunities for our work
  • Collaborate with staff across the organization on the ACLU’s efforts to reimagine community safety and the role of police, including departments like Communications, Affiliate Support & Nationwide Initiatives (ASNI), National Political Advocacy (NPAD), Analytics, and state affiliates. More specifically, this will involve:
    • Coordinating CLRP’s policing litigation with Projects across the Legal Department, including, but not limited to our Racial Justice Program, Disability Rights Program, and Speech, Privacy, and Technology Projects
    • Integrating policing litigation and integrated advocacy with the ACLU’s Systemic Equality Campaign, a racial justice agenda that seeks to address America’s legacy of racism and systemic discrimination through advocacy efforts and litigation strategies that aim to ensure equal access and opportunity to all
  • Working with staff across the organization, including ASNI, NPAD, and Development, establish and manage programs through which the national office can support policing work by the affiliates, such as grant making, legal research and policy databases, and interactive networks and convenings
  • Engage national and local partners on emerging issues in the field, both informally and, where appropriate, through conferences and other gatherings
  • Serve as a resource for ACLU legislative and policy work and advance ACLU policy goals through public education, advocacy and participating in coalitions
  • Engage in communications and media expressing the ACLU’s positions on policing and racial justice to a variety of audiences

Strategy and Management 

  • Readiness to align with management including, collaborating with and sharing ownership of decisions made by the Project Director, Center Director, and Senior Staff 
  • Assist Project Director with development and implementation of annual strategic plan, including:
    • Setting short- and long-term goals and reviewing substantive filings and internal communications to ensure alignment with strategic priorities
    • Collaboration with NPAD and the Communications Department
    • Collaboration with state affiliates and other partners
    • Ensuring that Project staff maintain and foster relationships with media, coalition partners, impacted community groups, and other allies
  • Manage special projects, as directed
  • 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, ability and socioeconomic circumstance
  • Commitment to work collaboratively and respectfully toward resolving obstacles and/or conflicts 
  • 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

Supervision and Staffing 

  • Directly supervise Legal Fellows and support staff, including regular check-ins and approval of expense reports and time off
  • Assist Project Director in:
    • Supporting staff retention, feedback, and professional development efforts for all project staff
    • Making staffing decisions by ensuring balance of work across project staff, including opportunities for writing, discovery, witness examinations, arguments, and other professional growth
  • With a focus on developing and maintaining an excellent and diverse staff, undertake the following responsibilities: 
    • Managing processes for hiring and onboarding new staff, fellows, and interns, which includes recruiting excellent candidates and furthering our board-mandated goal to increase the percentage of staff with disabilities and significant disabilities and working in furtherance of our other announced diversity hiring initiatives
    • Lead sustained efforts to create and nurture pools of diverse candidates from which to recruit 


  • Assume responsibility for ongoing administrative functions such as maintenance of the case docket and legal database, completion of the time survey, and recruitment of pro bono firms, among other work, as directed
  • Assist the Project Director and Development Department with fundraising and donor cultivation as directed
  • Assist the Project Director with expense tracking and budgeting as directed 


  • J.D. degree and significant civil rights and liberties litigation experience
  • Demonstrated expertise in policing litigation and policy, including the influence of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, and disability status
  • If not currently admitted to the New York Bar, candidate must be admitted to the bar of another state and agree to become admitted to the New York Bar within one year of hire, unless approved for remote work from a different U.S. location
  • Seven or more years of litigation experience, drafting complaints and briefs, and conducting discovery preferred
  • Strong leadership skills, for instance serving as lead counsel on litigation or project teams; skilled in working with litigation and/or project teams, including development of clear goals, strategy, team processes and communication, and accountability
  • Ability to develop novel litigation theories to challenge criminal legal abuses
  • Demonstrated ability to conduct thorough and goal-oriented investigations
  • Excellent legal analytical, research, and oral skills
  • Experience and demonstrated aptitude for supervising staff
  • Value and excel at working with a wide range of people while fostering a collaborative, respectful team environment
  • Demonstrated ability to write and communicate clearly and persuasively for non-legal audiences, including television, print, and digital media, preferred
  • Thrive in a complex, cross-departmental structure, particularly with respect to identifying and leveraging organizational resources
  • Deep familiarity with and commitment to criminal and racial justice (e.g., as a criminal defense lawyer, formerly incarcerated person, civil rights litigator, etc.)
  • Experience with strategic planning, preferred
  • Travel as required for litigation, conferences, and case and strategy development


The annual salary for this position is $196,797 (Level C2). 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.


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 benefits.hrdept@aclu.org. If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.



Apply for this Job

* Required
resume chosen  
(File types: pdf, doc, docx, txt, rtf)
cover_letter chosen  
(File types: pdf, doc, docx, txt, rtf)

Voluntary Self-Identification

For government reporting purposes, we ask candidates to respond to the below self-identification survey. Completion of the form is entirely voluntary. Whatever your decision, it will not be considered in the hiring process or thereafter. Any information that you do provide will be recorded and maintained in a confidential file.

As set forth in ACLU - National Office’s Equal Employment Opportunity policy, we do not discriminate on the basis of any protected group status under any applicable law.

Race & Ethnicity Definitions

If you believe you belong to any of the categories of protected veterans listed below, please indicate by making the appropriate selection. As a government contractor subject to the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA), we request this information in order to measure the effectiveness of the outreach and positive recruitment efforts we undertake pursuant to VEVRAA. Classification of protected categories is as follows:

A "disabled veteran" is one of the following: a veteran of the U.S. military, ground, naval or air service who is entitled to compensation (or who but for the receipt of military retired pay would be entitled to compensation) under laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs; or a person who was discharged or released from active duty because of a service-connected disability.

A "recently separated veteran" means any veteran during the three-year period beginning on the date of such veteran's discharge or release from active duty in the U.S. military, ground, naval, or air service.

An "active duty wartime or campaign badge veteran" means a veteran who served on active duty in the U.S. military, ground, naval or air service during a war, or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized under the laws administered by the Department of Defense.

An "Armed forces service medal veteran" means a veteran who, while serving on active duty in the U.S. military, ground, naval or air service, participated in a United States military operation for which an Armed Forces service medal was awarded pursuant to Executive Order 12985.

Form CC-305

OMB Control Number 1250-0005

Expires 05/31/2023

Voluntary Self-Identification of Disability

Why are you being asked to complete this form?

We are a federal contractor or subcontractor required by law to provide equal employment opportunity to qualified people with disabilities. We are also required to measure our progress toward having at least 7% of our workforce be individuals with disabilities. To do this, we must ask applicants and employees if they have a disability or have ever had a disability. Because a person may become disabled at any time, we ask all of our employees to update their information at least every five years.

Identifying yourself as an individual with a disability is voluntary, and we hope that you will choose to do so. Your answer will be maintained confidentially and not be seen by selecting officials or anyone else involved in making personnel decisions. Completing the form will not negatively impact you in any way, regardless of whether you have self-identified in the past. For more information about this form or the equal employment obligations of federal contractors under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, visit the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) website at www.dol.gov/ofccp.

How do you know if you have a disability?

You are considered to have a disability if you have a physical or mental impairment or medical condition that substantially limits a major life activity, or if you have a history or record of such an impairment or medical condition.

Disabilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Autism
  • Autoimmune disorder, for example, lupus, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, or HIV/AIDS
  • Blind or low vision
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular or heart disease
  • Celiac disease
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Deaf or hard of hearing
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Gastrointestinal disorders, for example, Crohn's Disease, or irritable bowel syndrome
  • Intellectual disability
  • Missing limbs or partially missing limbs
  • Nervous system condition for example, migraine headaches, Parkinson’s disease, or Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Psychiatric condition, for example, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, PTSD, or major depression

PUBLIC BURDEN STATEMENT: According to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 no persons are required to respond to a collection of information unless such collection displays a valid OMB control number. This survey should take about 5 minutes to complete.