Staff Attorney

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Job location
PO Box 32159
Newark, NJ 07102
United States
Organization information
Organization name: 
American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey
Job type: 
Legal - Civil
Position Description: 

The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey (ACLU-NJ) invites applications for a full-time Staff Attorney position in the legal department starting in September 2017. We are looking for an experienced and creative attorney to advance civil liberties and civil rights throughout New Jersey. The Staff Attorney will litigate cases, engage in advocacy, represent the ACLU-NJ as a public speaker, and collaborate with staff members to set goals and implement strategies that advance the organization’s priorities.

The position is based in the ACLU-NJ’s downtown Newark office, which houses 19 full-time staff members and many volunteers.

Founded in 1960, the ACLU of New Jersey is the state’s leading organization dedicated to defending and advancing civil liberties and civil rights. The ACLU-NJ fights for criminal justice reform, free speech, racial justice, privacy, immigrants’ rights, LGBTQ rights, voting rights, and government transparency, among many others. The ACLU-NJ and its tens of thousands of members, activists, and supporters defend the principle that every individual's rights must be protected equally under the law. We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer and encourage women, people of color, people with disabilities, people of all ages and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people to apply.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

-Investigate, develop, and litigate civil liberties and civil rights cases, including conducting factual and legal research, interviewing clients and witnesses, preparing memoranda, writing demand letters, drafting pleadings and briefs, conducting discovery, arguing motions, negotiating settlements, writing amicus briefs, and handling appeals.
-Recruit and work successfully with ACLU-NJ volunteer attorneys. Review, comment on and edit letters and briefs to ensure a high quality of work product.
-Assist in the review and evaluation of requests for legal assistance.
-Provide legal analysis and support to policy and legislative efforts.
-Communicate with the media and serve as a public speaker on behalf of the ACLU-NJ.
-Work with ACLU-NJ staff to implement integrated advocacy campaigns and to strengthen relationships with coalition partners, legislators, and community members.
-Assist in public education by developing and writing advocacy materials, including Know Your Rights publications, blog posts, and other resources.
-Participate in the development of the legal department’s vision, plans, and priorities.
-Recruit and supervise law fellows, law students and interns.
-Provide administrative and organizational support as needed, and adhere to internal systems for attorney recordkeeping and information sharing.


-J.D. degree and four to six years of litigation experience required.
-Licensed to practice law in New Jersey or willingness to sit for and pass the next bar exam.
-Excellent analytic, legal research, factual investigation, and writing skills.
-A strong understanding of, and demonstrated passion for, civil rights, civil liberties and social justice.
-Ability to synthesize complex issues and communicate them effectively to diverse audiences, including: elected officials, attorneys, judges, advocates, impacted communities, supporters, the media, and the general public.
-Proven project management and organizational skills, including the ability to work independently, attention to detail, and the ability to meet deadlines while under pressure.
-Ability to work effectively and collaboratively with diverse staff, coalitions, and community groups, and to recruit and motivate volunteers;
-A commitment to diversity; a personal approach that values the individual and respects differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, ability, and socio-economic circumstance.
-Experience in non-profit advocacy or with other community-based groups is a plus, but not required.
-Ability to manage a demanding schedule, working beyond 9 a.m.-5 p.m. as needed.
-Ability and willingness to travel extensively throughout the state of New Jersey and occasionally out of state.
-Knowledge of languages likely to be spoken by clients with limited English proficiency is a plus, but not required.

To apply: 

To apply, complete the application form on Application materials will also be accepted via postal mail, but electronic filing is strongly preferred. No calls please. Resumes reviewed upon receipt. Position will remain open until filled.

The ACLU-NJ offers a comprehensive compensation and benefits package, commensurate with experience and within parameters of the ACLU-NJ compensation scale. Excellent benefits include paid vacation, sick time and holidays; medical, vision and dental insurance for staff members, their dependents and spouse; life and long-term disability insurance; and 401(k) plan with employer match. The ACLU-NJ is an equal opportunity employer, and is committed to a policy of equal treatment and opportunity without regard to race, creed, color, national origin, nationality, ancestry, age, sex (including pregnancy), familial status, marital status, domestic partnership or civil union status, affectional or sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait, genetic information, liability for military service, and mental or physical disability, perceived disability, and AIDS and HIV status.