Staff Attorney, Equality Center – Voting Rights Program [CE-04]
American Civil Liberties Union Foundation
Legal Department, New York
The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation (ACLU), with now more than 500,000 members, was founded in 1920 and is a nationwide, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to the principles of liberty and equality embodied in the U.S. Constitution. The ACLU’s Equality Center seeks applicants for a full-time Staff Attorney position, largely focused on Voting Rights. The position will be in the ACLU’s New York office.
The ACLU has a long history of defending the right to vote, which it believes is the backbone of democracy. The ACLU played a critical role in convincing the U.S. Supreme Court to establish the “one person, one vote” rule and in strengthening the Voting Rights Act in 1982. Through persistent litigation, voter empowerment, and fighting efforts to restrict the vote in state legislatures, the ACLU helped make it possible for minority voters all over America to participate in the electoral process, and through that, to change the face of government.
Today, the ACLU’s voting rights work includes litigation and working for strong federal and state legislation and policy. The work is carried out through the Legal and Advocacy Departments of the national ACLU, its Washington Legislative Office, and by the ACLU’s 53 affiliate offices around the country. The voting rights work is part of the ACLU’s Center for Equality which works to uphold the federal constitution’s promise that all Americans will receive equal protection of the law. The Equality Center also includes the ACLU’s work on racial justice, immigrant’s rights and disability.
The ACLU’s work has been devoted to: 1) leveling the playing field for racial and language minorities; 2) making one person, one vote a reality; and 3) reforming the electoral process so that it is easy for everyone to vote. Currently, the ACLU is helping to fight back against a flood of state laws aimed at making it more difficult to register and vote. The ACLU is also helping to resist constitutional attacks on the Voting Rights Act, which more than any other law, has made it possible for minorities in America to exercise real political power.
The Staff Attorney’s job will be to litigate cases and work on legislation and policy change, using both legal tools and public education in an integrated effort to bring about change. The Staff Attorney will report to the Managing Attorney, Voting Rights Program.
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Applicants should be prepared to contribute to all aspects of the ACLU’s litigation and non-litigation work. Although the job will focus on voting rights, it may include work on other issues, and the focus could change over time. The work will include:
- Creating multi-pronged strategies utilizing litigation, legislative and policy advocacy and public education to further the ACLU’s voting rights goals;
- Litigation, both trial and appellate, including drafting pleadings and briefs, discovery and depositions, motion practice, interviewing witnesses, working with expert witnesses, trials, and appellate briefs and arguments;
- Drafting legislation, regulations and policy, preparing legislative and policy analyses and arguments, and working to get them adopted and implemented;
- Providing technical assistance and advice to ACLU affiliates, cooperating attorneys and others;
- Collaborating with other advocates and other allies;
- Working in collaboration with other staff working on voting rights, including other lawyers, legislative, communications and advocacy staff members.
- Public speaking, giving press interviews and presenting at conferences and meetings.
- Supervising legal fellows and law students.
- Significant travel is required.
EXPERIENCE AND QUALIFICATIONS
- A J.D., membership in the New York State Bar, or ability to gain admission after being hired.
- Demonstrated ability to think creatively and strategically about using the law to achieve change.
- Demonstrated commitment to constitutional and civil rights and public interest law.
- Ability to engage in complex legal analysis and fact investigation in impact litigation, policy and legislative advocacy settings, sometimes under tight deadlines.
- Ability to work independently as well as within a team.
- Ability to work with other public interest and community groups.
- Excellent legal research and writing skills.
- Demonstrated ability to communicate clearly and persuasively.
- Commitment to the mission of the ACLU.
- Three or more years of experience as a litigator, legislative lawyer or in crafting and/or implementing legislation or
- Experience with voting rights.
- Demonstrated ability to help develop and implement multi-faceted advocacy campaigns that include litigation, lobbying and advocacy, communications, public education, and community organizing.
- Demonstrated commitment to and experience with voting rights.
- Fluency in Spanish is a plus.
- Experience working with Native Americans a plus.
The ACLU offers a generous compensation and benefits package, commensurate with experience and within the parameters of the ACLU compensation scale.
HOW TO APPLY
Please send a cover letter (with salary requirements), resume and legal writing sample by email to hrjobsCE@aclu.org – reference [CE-04/ACLU-W] in subject line. Please note that this is not the general ACLU applicant email address. This email address is specific to Voting Rights Program postings. In order to ensure your application is received, please make certain it is sent to the correct e-mail address. You can expect to receive an automatic response that acknowledges the submission of application materials.
Alternatively applications can be mailed to:
American Civil Liberties Union Foundation
125 Broad Street, 18th Floor
New York, NY 10004
Please indicate where you learned of this career opportunity.
Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.
This job description provides a general but not comprehensive list of the essential responsibilities and qualifications required. It does not represent a contract of employment. The ACLU reserves the right to change the job description and/or posting at any time without advance notice.
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, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, and veteran status. We encourage any applicants who need accommodations in the application process to contact: HRjobsINCLReq@aclu.org.
The ACLU comprises two separate corporate entities, the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU Foundation. Both the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU Foundation are national organizations with the same overall mission, and share office space and employees. The ACLU has two separate corporate entities in order to do a broad range of work to protect civil liberties. This job posting refers collectively to the two organizations under the name “ACLU.”