The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of the Nation’s Capital (ACLU-NCA) invites applications for the position of staff attorney, who will focus primarily on advancing criminal and racial justice in the District of Columbia, and legislative advocacy. This new position provides a unique opportunity for candidates who are committed to impact-oriented civil rights work and are passionate about equal protection under the law, racial justice, and the full range of ACLU issues.
ACLU-NCA is the Washington, D.C. based affiliate of a nationwide non-profit, non-partisan organization devoted to working daily in the courts, legislatures and communities to defend individual rights and personal freedoms guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. With over 50 years of service to Washingtonians, the ACLU-NCA combines litigation, legislative advocacy, public education and organizing to advance the cause of civil liberties and civil rights in the District of Columbia.
Under the direction of the Legal Director, the staff attorney is expected to further the affiliate’s litigation program and legislative advocacy. In addition, the staff attorney will develop and execute an integrated advocacy approach combining litigation, legislative advocacy and public education in protecting and advancing civil liberties and civil rights, including racial justice and criminal law reform. The staff attorney will be encouraged to identify, lead, and carry out program activities and strategies to address discrimination, racial profiling, police practices, the problems of incarceration, and the over-discipline of public school children.
Specific duties and responsibilities include:
• Litigation of ACLU cases in a broad range of areas in federal and D.C. trial and appellate courts (including the typical activities of research and writing on factual and legal issues, preparing memoranda of findings and recommendations, drafting briefs and other pleadings, engaging in discovery and motions practice, and appearing in court for all purposes);
• Working with pro bono co-counsel from private law firms;
• Working with senior management to create a strategic work plan to advance criminal and racial justice;
• Serving as a resource in the affiliates’ legislative and policy work including legal analysis of proposed legislation and government policies and practice, and providing testimony;
• Advancing racial justice in the District of Columbia through administrative and legislative forums, including partnering and advising the local bar, other organizations and advocates;
• Developing new cases and non-litigation advocacy projects;
• Working closely with the public outreach and education staff on civil liberties issues;
• Supervising entry-level attorneys, legal fellows, paralegals and student interns.
• J.D. required
• Federal judicial clerkship and/or significant federal court litigation experience strongly preferred
• Minimum of 3 years of litigation experience
• Active membership in the District of Columbia bar (or within one year of hire)
• Substantive knowledge and understanding of constitutional law and civil liberties issues
• Commitment to equal protection under the law and racial justice, as demonstrated by prior engagement in relevant litigation and advocacy
• Excellent legal research, writing and analytical skills are essential
• Ability to work independently and with a team internally on a variety of projects
• Excellent oral communication skills in legal and non-legal settings
• Ability to work on multiple time-sensitive projects effectively and efficiently, meeting strict deadlines under pressure with close attention to detail
• Experience working with diverse communities, clients, and coalition partners
• Fluency in Spanish is a plus
The ACLU-NCA offers a generous, comprehensive compensation and benefits package, commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits include 10 days paid vacation; health, dental and vision insurance including family and domestic partner coverage, life and long-term disability insurance, 401k plan, and twelve (12) paid holidays.
Applications will be accepted until position is filled, however initial applications will be reviewed no earlier than January 15, 2013. Interested persons should submit a cover letter, résumé, law school transcript, three (3) references, and a legal writing sample to:
Staff Attorney Vacancy
ACLU of the Nation’s Capital
4301 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 434
Washington DC 20008
or via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please put position title in the subject line of your email or cover letter.
Please indicate in your cover letter where you learned of this career opportunity.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is a national 501(c) (4) public interest organization devoted to the defense of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The ACLU of the Nation’s Capital is the Washington, DC affiliate of the ACLU. The ACLU of the Nation’s Capital is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and encourages employment of women, people of color, persons with disabilities and lesbians, bisexual, transgender, and gay men.
This job description provides general but not comprehensive list of the essential responsibilities and qualifications required. It does not represent a contract of employment. The ACLU-NCA reserves the right to change the description and/or positing at any time without advance notice.