ABOUT THE JOB

The ACLU seeks applicants for the full-time position of Staff Attorney/Senior Staff Attorney, State Supreme Court Initiative in the Legal Department of the ACLU’s National office in New York, NY/Remote*.

For decades, the ACLU’s National Office, in conjunction with ACLU affiliates, has been litigating in state courts, using state constitutions, to advance civil liberties and civil rights.  Now, in light of the federal courts’ increasing hostility to civil rights and civil liberties, the ACLU is expanding its state constitutional program by focusing on appellate litigation in state courts of last resort.   

Reporting directly to the National Legal Director, the Staff Attorney/Senior Staff Attorney will develop a strategy to strengthen and expand the ACLU’s voice in state supreme courts.  The Staff Attorney/Senior Staff Attorney will also work in conjunction with affiliate legal directors and Project Directors in the National Office engaged in state constitutional litigation.   

The Staff Attorney/Senior Staff Attorney will identify cutting-edge cases of constitutional import in state supreme courts, and file briefs in those cases, either as amicus curiae or co-counsel.  In addition, the Staff Attorney/Senior Staff Attorney will help develop strategies in conjunction with the ACLU’s state affiliates to build doctrine, and support interested affiliates in the development of their state supreme court practice. The position is new and the Staff Attorney/Senior Staff Attorney will report directly to the Legal Director.   

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

RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Develop a plan for the national office’s engagement in state constitutional cases in state supreme courts, in consultation with the Legal Director, affiliate Legal Directors, and Project Directors
  • File briefs in state supreme courts on cutting-edge constitutional issues, either as amicus or as co-counsel, and participate in oral argument as appropriate
  • Develop criteria to select cases for engagement; identify trends in state constitutional litigation
  • Support affiliates interested in developing their state constitutional practice in state supreme courts 
  • Facilitate strategic collaboration among affiliates engaged in state constitutional litigation
  • Support development of civil liberties and civil rights doctrine across states 
  • Supervise fellow and interns
  • Engage in public speaking and articulating ACLU views to a variety of audiences
  • Collaborate with staff across the organization, including in the subject-matter Projects within the ACLU’s Legal Department, Communications, Affiliate Support and Nationwide Initiatives, the National Political Advocacy Department, and state affiliates
  • Engage in special projects and other duties as assigned

In addition to: 

  • 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
  • Commit to work collaboratively and respectfully toward resolving obstacles and/or conflicts 

EXPERIENCE & QUALIFICATIONS

  • J.D. degree required, at least eight years of legal experience strongly preferred
  • Experience and demonstrated skill in appellate and constitutional litigation  
  • Supervisory experience
  • Excellent research, writing and oral advocacy skills
  • Excellent people and organizational skills
  • Admission to a state bar required
  • Strong strategic skills
  • Demonstrated ability to lead mission-focused teams and collaborate with partners, both internal and external 
  • Ability to work with a wide range of people and foster a team environment
  • Commitment to the mission of the ACLU
  • Willingness to travel 

COMPENSATION

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: $85,000-$106,182
  • 3-5 years since law school graduation: $118,927-$140,309
  • 6-10 years since law school graduation: $146,732- $165,531
  • 11-15 years since law school graduation: $168,627-$178,198
  • 16-20 years since law school graduation: $179,880-$184,512
  • 21-25 years since law school graduation: $185,447-$189,246
  • 26-30+ years since law school graduation: $190,158- $193,860

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 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.

 

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