The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Northern California (ACLU NorCal) seeks a Senior Staff Attorney with substantial litigation experience to work in our San Francisco office.
The Senior Staff Attorney is responsible for helping to build the litigation and legal advocacy docket for ACLU Nor Cal, identifying cutting-edge issues for the ACLU to explore. This includes mentoring and supervising Staff Attorneys and volunteer attorneys as they litigate cases involving significant civil-liberties and civil-rights issues in a range of areas, including criminal justice, racial justice, immigrants’ rights, economic justice, voting rights, speech rights, and open government. In coordination with the ACLU of California and national ACLU office, the Senior Staff Attorney actively engages in policy advocacy campaigns at the local, state, or national level, and is the person that others turn to for legal expertise on litigation matters and/or draft legislation and regulations that impact our region. The Senior Staff Attorney regularly represent the ACLU in the courts, in the media, before legislative bodies, and with key organizational partners.
Duties & responsibilities
Leading litigation & advocacy
Lead multi-pronged strategies using litigation, public education, and legislative and policy advocacy to further ACLU NorCal’s strategic plans;
Supervise the investigation, development, and litigation of high-impact cases, including discovery, motion practice, hearings, trials, and appeals;
Review and respond to requests for legal assistance, in accordance with the organization’s intake procedures;
Respond to community needs as they arise, potentially on an emergency basis; and
Develop strong co-counsel relationships with other public interest lawyers and ACLU volunteer lawyers.
Staff supervision & coordination
Supervise attorneys in their litigation and non-litigation related work and professional development, and supervise department support staff in your office;
Review and consult on litigation and other legal advocacy proposals and participate in Legal-Policy Department management meetings;
Work in collaboration and coordination with other ACLU Foundations in California and our shared statewide issue teams; and
Work closely with non-legal program staff, particularly legislative, communications, organizing, advocacy, and fundraising professionals on ACLU NorCal campaigns and activities.
Supporting policy advocacy & community outreach
Support and deepen existing and new relationships with community partners, coalitions, and stakeholders;
Ensure appropriate communication and coordination between ACLU NorCal and other ACLU offices on state-wide and federal litigation and advocacy.
Engage in community outreach and public speaking, including representing the ACLU NorCal’s positions to the media and public generally; and
Use cultural sensitivity and awareness to develop appropriate and effective strategies to address the needs and advance the rights of vulnerable communities.
J.D. from an ABA-accredited law school and 10 or more years of litigation experience in state and federal court;
Exceptional legal research, analysis, and writing abilities, and ability to develop novel and successful litigation and non-litigation advocacy in response to serious problems facing communities;
Familiarity and ease with the legal doctrines and structures that apply to constitutional and civil rights litigation;
Strong oral advocacy skills, including significant experience with oral argument and examining witnesses under oath, as well as communicating effectively with the public and policymakers;
Ability to manage fact and expert discovery in fact-intensive litigation;
Experience supervising and mentoring attorneys, law fellows, and support staff;
Ability to work both independently and collaboratively in a complex organizational ecosystem;
Flexibility for travel within the Bay Area and to the Central Valley, and ability to work long hours when needed; and
Membership in the California State Bar (or must pass the next California Bar Examination if currently member of another state bar).
Criminal justice background and multiple language abilities preferred.
Employer will assist with relocation costs.
About ACLU of Northern California
The ACLU of Northern California is an enduring guardian of justice, fairness, equality, and freedom, working to protect and advance civil liberties for all Californians.
For nearly a century, the ACLU of Northern California has been at the heart of many of the major — and sometimes controversial — struggles for civil liberties in our state. We make sure that Constitutional rights — to free speech, to privacy, to due process — don’t just exist on paper, but also in practice. The ACLU is the first line of defense against threats to civil liberties and we work to ensure these freedoms are guaranteed to every person in this country.
The ACLU of Northern California is one of the largest ACLU affiliates in the nation with nearly 170,000 members. We have a critical role to play. We must use our decades of experience in impact litigation, legislative advocacy, and fearless organizing to fight these un-American policies and protect our most cherished rights and freedoms.