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, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability or national origin.
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and HIV Project of the ACLU’s national office in New York City seeks applicants for a full-time Staff Attorney position. The position is funded for two years. The Staff Attorney will start out focused on LGBT and HIV issues but may be called upon to work on other ACLU issues as needs arise.
The LGBT Project is part of the ACLU’s Center for Liberty, which is dedicated to the principle that we are all entitled to determine the course of our lives based on who we are and what we believe, free from unreasonable government constraint and baseless stereotypes. The Center for Liberty encompasses the ACLU’s work on LGBT rights, the rights of people living with HIV, women’s rights, the rights of people living with disabilities, reproductive freedom, and freedom of religion and belief.
The ACLU brought its first gay rights case in 1936 and has been a leading advocate on LGBT rights ever since. Through the LGBT & HIV Project, founded in 1986, the ACLU seeks to create a just society for all LGBT people and people living with HIV regardless of race or income. Through litigation, lobbying, public education, and organizing, we work to build a country where our communities can live openly without discrimination and enjoy equal rights, personal autonomy, and freedom of expression and association.
We litigate in state and federal courts throughout the country, lobby in state legislatures and Congress, advocate for fair administrative policies, organize ballot campaigns, and educate the public. All of our advocacy is designed to have a significant effect on the lives of LGBT people and people living with HIV. Our legal strategies are built around the idea that fighting for civil rights means not just persuading judges but ultimately changing the way people think about our issues. We frame our litigation and other advocacy around targeted media, online advocacy, and outreach campaigns designed to change public attitudes and to give people on the frontlines the tools they need to fight for their civil rights.
Today, the ACLU and its 50+ state affiliates do more litigation, policy advocacy, legislative lobbying, ballot campaigns, and public education work on LGBT issues than any other national civil rights organization. Doing this work as part of the broad civil liberties agenda of the ACLU reflects the reality that the LGBT and HIV/AIDS communities are part of other social change movements and that we must work together if we are to achieve a just society for all. The ACLU strives to ensure that the racial and economic diversity of the LGBT and HIV-affected communities is reflected in its work and continues to explore ways to make its efforts more sensitive to the needs of people of color and people who are economically disadvantaged.
The Staff Attorney will work in New York City. The position is funded for two years. The Staff Attorney will initially be responsible for significant constitutional and statutory litigation and policy work on a wide range of LGBT and HIV-related issues throughout the country, but the Staff Attorney may be called upon to work on other ACLU issues as needs arise.
Creating and implementing multi-pronged strategies using litigation, public education, and legislative and policy advocacy to further the ACLU’s strategic plans.
Writing pleadings and briefs, conducting discovery and motion practice, handling hearings and trials, and arguing appeals in both federal and state courts.
Working with ACLU advocacy and affiliate staff on bills in state legislatures, and with ACLU Washington legislative staff on bills in Congress.
Drafting policy analysis designed to effect change in state and federal administrative agencies.
Engaging in community outreach and public speaking, including representing ACLU positions to the media and the public generally.
Working closely with legal and non-legal program staff, particularly legislative, communications, advocacy, and fundraising professionals.
Developing strong co-counsel relationships with other public interest lawyers and ACLU volunteer lawyers.
Supervising law clerks.
Traveling as required for litigation, legislative and policy advocacy, conferences, and public speaking.
Demonstrate a commitment to diversity within the office; 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.
Commitment to work collaboratively and respectfully toward resolving obstacles and/or conflicts.
J.D. degree. Admission to practice in one state is required. If the candidate is not already admitted to practice in New York, admission to the New York Bar is required within one year of hire.
Significant litigation experience, including in federal court, is preferred.
Familiarity with LGBT rights, HIV/AIDS and other civil liberties issues is desirable; commitment to those issues is essential.
Experience with constitutional issues, legislation, and community outreach is preferred.
Superior analytic skills and excellent research skills.
Capacity to perform complex legal analytical work.
Demonstrated ability to write and to speak clearly and persuasively is essential.
Applicants should be self-starters, be diligent, and have the proven ability to work with a wide range of people and to perform under pressure.
Commitment to the mission of the ACLU.
The ACLU offers a generous compensation package, commensurate with experience, within the parameters of the ACLU compensation scale.
TO APPLY: Please send a letter of interest, a resume, a writing sample and a list of three references to hrjobsLGBT@aclu.org. Please reference [LGBT-18] in the subject line. Please note that this is not the general ACLU applicant email 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 job posting. Applications will be accepted until 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.
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, and veteran status.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.”