We are looking for an experienced, strategic and collaborative Senior Staff Attorney to lead our initiative to advance and defend the rights of those being detained in New Mexico with a focus on those detained by ICE and CBP. The ideal candidate is an experienced manager who can help lead our legal team through case selection and development while executing a wide range of impact litigation strategies.
Under the supervision of the Legal Director, the Senior Staff Attorney will: minimize the damage of arbitrary detention on immigrant detainees and check abuse by ICE, CBP, and cooperating law enforcement. The Senior Staff Attorney maintains an active docket of their own cases and assists the Legal Director in overseeing and managing cases brought by other staff attorneys, fellows or volunteer attorneys from outside the office.
The Senior Staff Attorney will coordinate closely with the ACLU-NM’s office in Las Cruces, the ACLU-NM Immigrant Rights team and National ACLU partners to litigate cases, carry out legal advocacy, provide “Know Your Rights” trainings and other education, collaborate with allied organizations, immigrant families, and immigrant allies to minimize the damage of detention on immigrant detainees, and check abuse by CBP and cooperating law enforcement.
Currently, we anticipate that the Senior Staff Attorney will devote about 80 percent of time to working on issues related to the rights of those detained in New Mexico and another 20 percent to working on a broader range of civil liberties issues, including privacy, student rights, religious liberty, freedom of speech, LGBT rights, and criminal justice reform.
The Senior Staff Attorney should possess the following experience and personal attributes:
An understanding of and enthusiasm for civil liberties and civil rights and personally committed to advancing the ACLU’s values, mission, goals, and programs.
Strong commitment to racial and social justice.
Awareness of, and willingness to engage in, the difficult and transformative work of challenging systems of oppression, institutional and structural racism, and implicit bias.
Ability to participate in, create and sustain inclusive and engaging spaces for all races, ethnicities, genders, ages, classes, and geographies.
J.D. degree and a minimum of ten years of litigation experience with demonstrated ability to develop and/or litigate class actions. Plaintiffs’ side work and/or previous experience in constitutional law litigation, and relevant expertise on border, immigration, national security, or other related issues is preferred, but not required. Experience supervising attorneys a plus.
Ability to file and litigate cases independently and collaboratively; excellent problem-solving skills; can juggle multiple ongoing projects and exercise good judgment under stressful situations.
Strong writing, research, and verbal skills in presenting both to lawyers and to non-lawyers; leadership and organizational skills in order to encourage volunteer lawyers and work cooperatively in coalitions; able to take initiative, think strategically, and share responsibility and credit.
Member of the State Bar of New Mexico or willingness to become admitted to the New Mexico Bar within one year of hire.
Spanish language fluency (both written and oral).
Ability to develop and implement non-litigation strategies for achieving reform.
Experience working cooperatively on a variety of projects with co-workers, and diverse community organizations and coalitions.
Ability to travel for research and client visits throughout New Mexico, including to New Mexico detention facilities, with occasional out of state travel.
Able to work beyond a standard 8-hour workday, including evenings and weekends.
About American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico
The ACLU-NM is an affiliate of the national ACLU, the leading defender of civil liberties guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. Its staff and volunteers work in a fast-paced, friendly and professional atmosphere with offices in Albuquerque and Las Cruces. The ACLU-NM over 8,000 members across the state and an annual budget of $2.4 million. The ACLU works in the courts, legislature and in communities to defend and expand individual rights and personal freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and civil rights laws. The ACLU legal team litigates a broad range of constitutional cases in federal and state courts including, but not limited to, free speech, freedom of religion, LGBT rights immigrants’ rights, prisoners’ rights, equal protection, Fourth Amendment guarantees, and privacy rights.