ABOUT THE JOB
The ACLU seeks a full-time position of Staff Attorney or Senior Staff Attorney in the National Security Project of the ACLU’s National office in New York, NY.
The National Security Project fights for people and communities harmed by the government in the name of national security, particularly people of color and other marginalized communities who are disproportionately targeted. Through litigation, advocacy, and public education, the Project strives to ensure that people are able to participate fully in civic life and are free from discrimination, unwarranted suspicion and surveillance, unlawful force and detention, and the injustices and stigma that result from these abuses of national security policy. Recognizing the danger of expansive claims of state power, the Project advocates for a robust system of checks and balances, and policies that comply with the Constitution, civil liberties, and human rights.
Reporting to the Project Director, the Staff Attorney or Senior Staff Attorney will be responsible for conducting strategic impact litigation and advocacy to advance rights and challenge harms in the national security context.
- Engage in litigation through: legal research; fact development; working with clients and witnesses; drafting pleadings, briefs, and legal memoranda; discovery and motion practice; and conducting oral arguments in the trial and appellate courts
- Identify, develop, and lead new litigation, amicus, and other advocacy projects by conducting factual, legal, and strategic analysis, and devising relevant advocacy strategies, theories, and materials
- Policy advocacy to effect change reflecting Project priorities with federal and/or state agencies and Congress, in conjunction with the ACLU’s National Political Advocacy Department and state affiliates
- Advance Project priorities through public education, organizing and participating in coalitions, and developing relationships with partner organizations, other advocates, lawyers, academics, and potential clients
- Develop and maintain relationships with marginalized communities whose civil rights and liberties are harmed by discriminatory or abusive national security policies, and outside organizations advocating for or representing these communities
- Collaborate closely with staff across the organization to advance Project priorities
- Engage in public speaking, including at conferences and with the media
- Travel as required for litigation, conferences, and case and strategy development
In addition to:
- 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 regard 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
- A J.D. degree from a U.S. law school is required
- Admission to the New York State Bar is required. If not currently admitted to the New York Bar, admission to the bar of another state and agreement to become admitted to the New York Bar within one year of hire
- Excellent analytical, research, writing, and verbal communication skills
- Ability to engage in complex legal analysis and fact investigation in impact litigation and policy advocacy settings
- Demonstrated project management and organizational skills, including the ability to work independently, pay attention to detail, and meet deadlines while under pressure
- Ability to foster and contribute to a collaborative team environment is essential
- A minimum of five years of legal experience is preferred
- Familiarity with constitutional litigation and statutory matters involving national security, civil liberties, and racial and social justice is preferred; commitment to these issues is essential
- Familiarity with criminal defense and/or immigration law is preferred but not required
- Experience, through personal connection or employment, working with marginalized communities whose civil rights and liberties are harmed by discriminatory or abusive national security policies is preferred
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 email@example.com. If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.