Senior Staff Attorney - NYCLU

Affiliate Offices
New York
June 8, 2017

Terms of Employment:  Full-Time,  salaried.


The New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) is one of the nation's leading advocates on behalf of constitutional rights and liberties. Founded in 1951, as the New York affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union, the NYCLU is a not-for-profit, nonpartisan organization with more than 88,000 members and supporters, and eight offices statewide. We work in the courts, in the legislatures and on the streets to advocate for racial and economic justice, free speech, freedom of religion, privacy and equality before the law for all New Yorkers. For more information please visit our website:

Summary Description

The NYCLU seeks an experienced attorney to lead and supervise litigation and related advocacy and to assist in the management of the Legal Department. The senior staff attorney will work on the full range of NYCLU issues. Candidates with demonstrated expertise in immigration, privacy, due process, and the First Amendment are particularly encouraged to apply. The person also will be responsible for supervising the work of NYCLU attorneys and legal fellows and will be expected to play a leadership role in the work of the Legal Department and in the NYCLU.

The NYCLU’s Legal Department is comprised of twelve lawyers, an investigator, two paralegals, and a legal secretary. Legal Department staff work on a wide range of civil rights and civil liberties cases in federal and state courts. They also participate in the legislative, advocacy, and communications work of the NYCLU.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Developing and conducting litigation in federal and state courts and in administrative forums. All NYCLU attorneys are responsible for identifying possible litigation and advocacy, preparing pleadings, motions, and briefs; conducting discovery; presenting oral arguments; and handling all aspects of appeals;
  • Engaging in pre-litigation analysis and advocacy, including evaluating and following up on intakes; conducting factual investigations and legal analyses; utilizing the Freedom of Information Law; and drafting demand letters.
  • Playing a leading role in the advocacy work of the legal department, which includes working with the NYCLU’s advocacy, legislative and communications departments; working with NYCLU offices around New York; and working with other advocacy organizations and elected officials; presenting testimony before legislative bodies and administrative agencies; participating in public education on civil liberties issues by speaking at public events and publishing articles and essays.
  • Supervising the litigation and advocacy work of other NYCLU attorneys;
  • Participating in strategic planning for and management of the legal department;

Experience and Qualifications

Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate for this position will have extensive and successful experience with all aspects of complex litigation – including developing cases, all forms of discovery, motion practice, evidentiary hearings, and appeals -- involving constitutional and statutory issues in federal and state court; will have a demonstrated record of successful advocacy and legislative work; will have substantial experience in public engagement, including public speaking, publishing, and interacting with the press; will have extensive experience supervising lawyers who handle complex federal litigation; and will have a demonstrated capacity to work effectively in a public-interest environment.

Minimum Qualifications Required to Apply for the Position

  • Excellent writing, research, analytical, and communication skills;
  • Ten years of complex, civil litigation experience involving constitutional and statutory issues;
  • Demonstrated expertise in federal constitutional and statutory issues;
  • Policy or non-litigation advocacy experience a plus;
  • Demonstrated capacity to supervise attorneys and legal work;
  • Demonstrated ability to think strategically and to advocate effectively, including an ability to initiate and follow through on public interest litigation or advocacy;
  • Demonstrated commitment to and familiarity with civil rights issues;
  • Leadership, self-motivation and an ability to work collaboratively; and
  • Admission to the New York Bar.

How to apply:

E-mail your resume to with “Senior Staff Attorney” in the subject line. 

Please submit a resume with a cover letter (up to two pages) describing:

  1. Your unique qualifications for this position
  2. Where or how you learned of this job posting
  3. Your salary requirements

The NYCLU will accept applications until midnight, June 30, 2017 or until the position is filled.  Applications will be accepted and reviewed immediately. The NYCLU may fill more than one position through this posting. Qualified candidates may be asked to submit additional information, including performance samples and references from people they have worked with in the past.

The NYCLU is proud to be an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and encourages all applicants regardless of race, sex, gender identity, age, disability, religion, national origin or sexual orientation. We are committed to having a workforce that reflects the diversity of the population that we serve at all levels within the organization.

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