Advocacy and Policy Counsel [NPAD-08], National Political Advocacy Department, Washington, DC

National Offices, Washington, DC
District of Columbia
November 1, 2017


Advocacy and Policy Counsel [NPAD-08]

American Civil Liberties Union

National Political Advocacy Department, New York, NY or Washington, DC

For nearly 100 years, the ACLU has been our nation’s guardian of liberty, working in courts, legislatures, and communities 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 LGBT 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. With more than a million members, activists, and supporters, the ACLU is a nationwide organization that fights tirelessly in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C., for the principle that every individual’s rights must be protected equally under the law, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, national origin, record of arrest or conviction.


The National Political Advocacy Department (NPAD) of the ACLU’s National Office seeks applicants for a Reproductive Freedom Advocacy and Policy Counsel in its New York and/or Washington, DC offices.

Through its affiliates, members, and national staff, the ACLU has a presence in every state across the country. Each affiliate works with its state’s legislature and policymakers to further the protection and advancement of civil liberties and civil rights. ACLU affiliates are leaders in state advocacy campaigns to the full spectrum of reproductive health services.

The Advocacy and Policy Counsel will be part of an interdisciplinary team focused on partnering with ACLU affiliates to protect and expand reproductive freedom at the state level. The Advocacy and Policy Counsel will be part of the team devising and executing nationwide state-based advocacy strategies; assessing emerging policy trends, and mobilizing affiliates across the country. The Advocacy and Policy Counsel will work closely with colleagues in other departments, including the litigation team of the Reproductive Freedom Project. The Advocacy and Policy Counsel is a non-litigating attorney position for a lawyer with exceptional analytical and writing abilities.


  • Provide legislative counseling, including legal analysis, strategic planning guidance, and tactical suggestions, to ACLU affiliates to support their state-based advocacy efforts.
  • Conduct legal analysis on the interpretation and constitutionality of proposed state legislation and policy initiatives.
  • Coordinate strategy and messaging across ACLU departments, ACLU affiliates, and coalition partners.
  • Work with ACLU affiliates on advocacy initiatives in furtherance of public policy outcomes.
  • Assist in identifying litigation opportunities.
  • Coordinate ACLU affiliates’ participation in federal advocacy campaigns.
  • Serve as media contact for state legislative matters.
  • Serve as one of the leaders in the national coalition of state reproductive rights advocates, as well as on steering committees and subcommittees of state strategic task forces.
  • Develop relationships with allies and other organizations to further advocacy goals.
  • Represent the ACLU at national, state, and local forums, conferences, meetings, and public speaking opportunities
  • 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, ability and socio-economic circumstance, and record of arrest or conviction.
  • Commitment to work collaboratively and respectfully toward resolving obstacles and/or conflicts.


  • A JD degree is required; this position does not include active litigation, but the ability to identify and develop possible litigation is required.
  •  A minimum of four years’ experience working in political, policy, legal, or government settings; familiarity with public policy and legislative processes is required.
  • Exceptional ability to conduct legal analysis and research.
  • Experience with constitutional issues and experience working in conjunction with advocacy campaigns is preferred.
  • Ability to work independently as well as within a team.
  • Excellent interpersonal, relationship building and communication skills.
  • Excellent research, writing, analytic, and communication skills.
  • Ability to communicate complex legal and policy issues to the general public.
  • Ability to simultaneously handle multiple tasks, work efficiently and quickly, and meet deadlines under pressure.
  • Willingness to travel.
  • Strong and demonstrated commitment to civil liberties and social justice issues; expertise in reproductive freedom policy is strongly preferred.
  • Commitment to the mission of the ACLU.


The ACLU offers a generous and comprehensive compensation and benefits package, commensurate with experience and within parameters of the ACLU compensation scale.


Please send a cover letter, resume, writing sample and list of three references to Reference [NPAD-08] in the subject line. Please note that this is not the general ACLU applicant email address.  This email address is specific to the National Political Advocacy Department. 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.

Please indicate in your cover letter 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 description and/or posting at any time without advance notice.

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.

The ACLU undertakes affirmative action strategies in its recruitment and employment efforts to assure that persons with disabilities have full opportunities for employment in all positions.

We encourage applicants with disabilities who may need accommodations in the application process to contact: Correspondence sent to this email address that is not related to requests for accommodations will not be reviewed. Applicants should follow the instructions above regarding how to apply.

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.”

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