The American Civil Liberties Union of Maine (ACLU of Maine) seeks a full-time Legal Director to lead the ACLU of Maine’s legal department in advancing civil rights and civil liberties in Maine. The ACLU is one of the nation’s leading human rights advocacy organizations and the ACLU of Maine is on the front lines of the most important civil rights issues of our time. This is a unique and exciting opportunity to join the senior leadership of the ACLU of Maine and shape the landscape of civil rights advocacy in the state through novel strategic litigation, public education, and non-litigation strategies developed in collaboration with other departments.
ABOUT THE ACLU OF MAINE
We are the Maine affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union. We fight for equality, justice, and freedom for all people in Maine in the statehouse, in the courthouse, and through public education and engagement. We are active in the areas of criminal legal reform, racial justice, immigrants' rights, reproductive rights, women's rights, Indigenous rights, LGBTQ+ rights, voting rights, privacy, and freedom of speech and religion.
Maintain and develop our impact litigation and advocacy docket, which advances the ACLU’s strategic priorities and responds to civil rights and civil liberties threats;
Manage all aspects of the ACLU’s litigation program, including coordinating case selection with the Executive Director; overseeing the investigation and development of cases prior to filing litigation; and building litigation teams with in-house lawyers, cooperating counsel, and other partners;
Oversee litigation in federal and state court and ensure effective client counseling;
Maintain an individual caseload and manage demand letters, public records requests, legal and policy reports and analysis, pre-litigation investigations, discovery, motion practice, brief writing, hearings and trials, appellate work, and amicus briefs;
Supervise a team including a Chief Counsel, Legal Fellow, and multiple legal interns; coordinate recruitment and onboarding of additional legal staff with team members; and foster an organizational culture that empowers staff, encourages professional development, and emphasizes a commitment to upholding the highest ethical ideals of the legal profession and our diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging values;
Broaden and deepen relationships among ACLU attorneys, cooperating and pro bono counsel, and other lawyers to elevate the visibility of the ACLU in the legal community and to help build capacity in our legal docket by engaging lawyers in pre-litigation investigations, amicus briefs, active litigation, and other ACLU activities;
Partner with the policy and communications teams to create comprehensive advocacy strategies that leverage all of the ACLU’s tools;
Serve as a spokesperson for the ACLU, working closely with our communications and policy team to engage in strategic public forums, advocacy discussions, and media opportunities;
Work closely with development team to engage donors and support efforts to secure litigation funding;
Assist with administrative matters including but not limited to developing budgets, providing regular reports on legal department activities, assisting with file retention policy implementation, managing intake and correspondence, and coordinating and supporting other activities as needed.
J.D. — licensed to practice law in Maine or have the ability to waive into the Maine state bar exam within six months.
7+ years of increasingly responsible legal experience, which should include substantial state and federal constitutional law experience and an understanding of modern applications of civil liberties principles.
Proven management ability, including experience in department budgets, supervising attorneys and support staff, and in managing and encouraging volunteers, both students and professionals.
Ability to plan effective strategies, establish realistic objectives, and evaluate progress. Excellent organizational and time management skills to manage one’s own work as well as others, and to assure completion of assignments and projects.
A track record of leadership through strong communication, collaboration, and relationship-building. Commitment to working with and centering community groups and marginalized communities. Ability and flexibility to work in both service and leadership roles with many diverse players and constituencies. Excellent problem-solving skills and demonstrated skills in participatory and equitable decision-making. Non-profit experience is a plus.
Exceptional analytical, writing, and speaking skills. A demonstrated ability to write clearly and precisely. The ability to communicate effectively with plaintiffs, opposing counsel, staff, volunteers, and the general public. A demonstrated ability to convey difficult civil liberties issues to the general public and media.
A strong passion for the ACLU of Maine’s mission.
Dedication to social justice work, cultural competency to work with a diverse team and an awareness of, and willingness to engage in, the difficult and transformative work of challenging systems of oppression, institutional and structural racism, and implicit bias.
This is a salaried exempt position. Salary based on market factors and individual experience and abilities. Excellent benefits include vacation, personal, and sick leave, paid holidays, individual employer-provided health and dental insurance, life insurance and long-term disability, paid family medical leave, 401k defined contribution plan with employer match.
The ACLU of Maine’s office is based in Portland, Maine, but currently our office is closed and staff are working remotely until further notice.
As an organization, we value working together and look forward to when we can safely return to our office. Candidates outside of Portland and/or Maine will be considered for this position with the understanding that relocation to the Portland region will be ultimately required.
To apply, please send your resume and letter of interest (no more than 800 words) telling us why you would be great in this position to: email@example.com. Please include your name and “Legal Director” in the subject line. If you need assistance or an accommodation, contact us at 207-774-5444 ext. 6 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Application materials will be reviewed as received and will be accepted until the position is filled. Candidates will be considered on a rolling basis, but are encouraged to apply as soon as possible in order to be fully considered.
The ACLU of Maine is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU of Maine 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, previous criminal conviction, and veteran status.
This is a management-level position and is not subject to the bargaining unit.
The ACLU of Maine is dedicated to defending the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and to extending their promises to all Maine people. We are active in the courts, the legislature and the community. Founded in 1968 and based in Portland, the ACLU of Maine is the statewide affiliate of the national ACLU, a nationwide organization with a presence in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington D.C. Our priority issues include criminal legal system reform, reproductive freedom, racial justice, immigrants’ rights, LGBTQ+ rights, women’s rights, voting rights, freedom of expression, freedom of speech and religion, and privacy.