ABOUT THE JOB
The ACLU seeks applicants for the full-time position of Staff Attorney for its newly launched Abortion Criminal Defense Initiative. The Abortion Criminal Defense Initiative is a first-of-its-kind program of the ACLU to confront the criminalization of abortion care in the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade, including the criminalization of health care providers, patients, abortion funds and others who assist people obtaining clinical care. This position is two years with a possibility of renewal with secured funding and will be housed in the Legal Department of the ACLU’s National office in New York, NY/Remote*.
The Abortion Criminal Defense Initiative will be situated between the ACLU’s Trone Center for Justice & Equality – which encompasses the ACLU’s legal work on criminal law reform, with a mission to eradicate mass incarceration, over-criminalization, and structural racism – and the Reproductive Freedom Project – which encompasses the ACLU’s legal work on reproductive freedom, with a focus on securing access to abortion without stigma or political interference, regardless of where we live, our income, race, age, gender identity, disability, or immigration status or whom we love.
Reporting to the Director of the Abortion Criminal Defense Initiative, the Staff Attorney will assist the Director in creating and running a system to ensure that those who are prosecuted for providing or assisting with abortion care, as well as patients, have access to high-quality criminal defense representation. Review of applications for this position will begin early January 2023.
*Note: this position may be approved for remote work from a different U.S. location
- Assist the Director in developing and maintaining a network of criminal defense lawyers to represent individuals who are investigated and charged with crimes related to abortion care
- Develop and provide training for attorneys who have agreed to provide criminal defense representation
- Identify and perform research needed to support the stable of criminal defense lawyers providing direct representation
- Develop arguments and model papers for lawyers providing direct criminal defense representation, including pleadings addressing novel questions of constitutional law and statutory law
- Provide legal, strategic, and technical assistance to criminal defense lawyers providing direct representation
- Appear as appropriate in select cases
- Identify opportunities for amicus work and amicus briefing strategies in cases presenting cutting-edge legal issues, such as extraterritorial jurisdiction, right to travel, and accessory liability
- Evaluate opportunities for affirmative litigation
- Engage and coordinate with ACLU affiliates as to cases in their jurisdictions
- Coordinate with other organizations in the criminal defense and reproductive health, rights, and justice spaces
- Provide technical assistance and legal advice to ACLU affiliates, cooperating attorneys, and others who seek assistance from the Initiative
- Travel as required
- 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
- J.D. degree and at least seven years of criminal law experience preferred
- Commitment to protecting access to abortion and either significant understanding of the field or commitment to learning
- Excellent people management and organizational skills
- Excellent research, writing and verbal communication skills; demonstrated ability to write and to speak clearly and persuasively
- Strong strategic skills, particularly in the context of an uncertain and rapidly developing landscape
- Ability to engage in complex legal analysis and fact finding
- Ability to develop and present effective training programs
- Self-motivated with the ability to take initiative, manage a variety of tasks and see projects through to completion
- Ability to work with a wide range of people and foster a team environment
- Willingness to travel
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 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.