Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU
Posted by American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on November 5, 2019
The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania (“ACLU-PA”) seeks an experienced attorney to lead and supervise litigation and related advocacy. The Senior Staff Attorney will work on a broad range of civil rights and civil liberties cases in Pennsylvania. This position reports directly to the Legal Director and is located in Philadelphia, PA.
The ACLU-PA’s Legal Department is composed of ten lawyers, including legal fellows and an intake manager. Legal Department staff work on a wide range of civil rights and civil liberties cases in federal and state courts and in administrative tribunals. They also support the legislative, advocacy, and communications work of the ACLU-PA.
The Senior Staff Attorney’s work will focus on challenging civil rights abuses. Among other responsibilities, the Attorney will:
- Develop, conduct, and lead litigation in federal and state courts at the trial and appellate level. This includes identifying possible litigation and advocacy; investigating complaints about rights violations; preparing pleadings, motions, and briefs; conducting discovery; presenting oral arguments; handling appeals; negotiating settlements; and monitoring final judgments.
- Manage groups of lawyers as part of a litigation team and cultivate and recruit private attorneys to assist with litigation pro bono.
- Help assess requests for legal assistance and identify appropriate cases for legal challenge that come through our Intake program.
- Supervise volunteers, law student interns, legal fellows, and junior legal staff including the Intake Attorney.
- Engage in advocacy work to advance civil rights through non-litigation means such as writing public comments, public speaking, and public-education efforts.
- Work with the ACLU-PA Legislative Director to research issues related to proposed legislation, draft documents to help the organization’s lobbying efforts, and provide testimony before legislative bodies and administrative agencies.
- Participate in strategic planning for the legal department.
Candidates should have:
- A law degree;
- At least seven years of significant civil litigation experience, including in federal courts;
- Substantive knowledge of constitutional law and civil liberties;
- Excellent analytical, writing, and speaking skills in presenting to both lawyers and non-lawyer members of the public;
- Ability to litigate independently and collaboratively, juggle multiple projects at once, and exercise good judgment under stressful situations;
- Ability to think creatively and to use non-litigation strategies to promote ACLU-PA objectives, including building coalitions with ally organizations, lobbying, and developing public-education programs;
- A demonstrated commitment to diversity and equity, including the ability to participate in, create, and sustain inclusive and engaging spaces for people of all races, ethnicities, genders, orientations, ages, beliefs, classes, and geographies;
- Flexibility to work occasional evenings and weekends, travel regularly to different parts of the state, and, at times, to other parts of the country.
- A strong and demonstrated commitment to civil liberties and civil rights, and support for the goals of the ACLU-PA.
- Admission to the Pennsylvania State Bar (or admission upon being hired).
- Experience successfully handling all aspects of complex public-interest litigation, including class actions;
- Demonstrated experience successfully litigating emergency motions (PIs and TROs);
- Experience working with legislative processes; and
- Experience recruiting, working with, and supervising volunteers, fellows, and junior attorneys.
E-mail a letter of interest and resume addressed to Witold Walczak, Legal Director, to email@example.com with a subject line of “Senior Staff Attorney.” Application materials sent via postal mail or fax will not be accepted. No calls, please.
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