The ACLU of Arizona works to advance equity and dismantle systemic injustice through legal action, policy advocacy, and mobilizing our communities to protect the civil rights, liberties, and dignity of all Arizonans. We are excited to announce the search for an experienced, passionate, and innovative Staff Attorney or Senior Staff Attorney to investigate and litigate selected civil liberties and civil rights cases in Arizona state and federal courts. This position will be expected to spend 50% of their time on immigrants' rights and border justice litigation and legal advocacy. As such, Spanish language proficiency is required. The Staff Attorney or Senior Staff Attorney will push forward our affirmative litigation agenda as well as engage in fast-moving, defensive battles against threats to civil rights and liberties in Arizona.
The Staff Attorney or Senior Staff Attorney is responsible for maintaining an active docket of cases (typically in co-counsel teams including outside cooperating attorneys), investigating, filing, and litigating civil liberties and civil rights cases in both federal and state courts on a wide range of issues. This includes legal research, investigative work, identifying plaintiffs, complaint drafting, discovery and motion practice, and handling trials and appeals. The Staff Attorney or Senior Staff Attorney will also conduct community outreach and represent the ACLU of Arizona publicly, speaking to the media and others. A Senior Staff Attorney will lead litigation efforts on behalf of the ACLU of Arizona.
The Staff Attorney or Senior Staff Attorney will also be expected to work closely with ACLU of Arizona organizers, communications, and policy staff on cases, advocacy projects, and campaigns in support of ACLU of Arizona’s integrated advocacy model that unites legal, policy, organizing, and communications for maximum impact.
The Staff Attorney or Senior Staff Attorney will not be responsible for supervising paid staff but may supervise interns and other volunteers as assigned. The position is full-time and based in Arizona.
Location: Arizona; Phoenix or Tucson preferred – Hybrid Work Environment
Starting Salary Range: $75,000-$100,000 DOE
Deadline to Apply: Sunday, September 25,, 2023
Supervision: This position reports to the Legal Director
Classification: Full-time, exempt
Job responsibilities include but are not limited to:
- Investigate, develop, and litigate high-impact cases at the trial and appellate levels in federal and state courts.
- Serve as co-counsel and work with ACLU of Arizona and other ACLU staff and partner organizations to bring pro-active litigation around strategic priority issues.
- Follow-up with individuals who file complaints with the ACLU of Arizona, including interviewing them, drafting affidavits or testimonies on their behalf, and conducting research to determine whether further action by the ACLU of Arizona is warranted.
- Serve as a legal resource on civil rights and civil liberties issues in support of legislation and other ACLU of Arizona campaigns.
- Engage in public speaking, media interviews, outreach and "know your rights" presentations, as well as writing op-eds, newsletter articles, and reports as needed or assigned.
- Provide technical support to community stakeholders and partners on civil rights and civil liberties issues.
- Develop legal strategies with the ACLU of Arizona legal team to advance our litigation and advocacy efforts around strategic priority issues.
- Participate in intra-organizational work, including strategic planning, internal meetings, and collaboration with other ACLU affiliates and the National ACLU.
Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging
- Be an active contributor to the organization and legal department’s efforts to think creatively, ambitiously, and openly about how our legal program and litigation can better integrate equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging into our day-to-day operations as well as our goals, plans and work with volunteers, leaders and partners.
This position is for a Staff Attorney or Senior Staff Attorney, commensurate with experience. Minimum qualifications for each position level are noted below. Individuals with more significant litigation experience are preferred and are strongly encouraged to apply.
- Staff Attorney: at least three years of civil or criminal litigation experience, including experience taking/defending depositions, participating in evidentiary hearings and trials, and experience managing complex discovery. Experience in federal courts strongly preferred.
- Senior Staff Attorney: At least eight years of civil or criminal litigation experience, including experience managing complex litigation and significant experience in all facets of litigation, including taking/defending depositions, participating in evidentiary hearings and trials, brief writing, and managing litigation teams. Experience in federal courts required.
- Spanish language proficiency required.
- Preference will be given to applicants who have civil litigation experience.
- This position will have a focus on litigation involving immigrants' rights and border justice. Background in immigration law and/or policy preferred but not required.
- J.D. from an ABA accredited law school.
- Membership in the Arizona Bar or eligibility for admission on motion.
- Excellent research, writing, analytic and speaking skills.
- Demonstrated ability to independently develop and litigate impact cases.
- Demonstrated commitment to centering the voices and leadership of directly impacted people. Persons who have been formerly incarcerated or otherwise impacted by legal systems are encouraged to apply.
- A collaborative mindset and ability to work effectively with organizing, policy, and communications staff to achieve shared goals.
- Ability to analyze and articulate complex issues and concisely communicate them to a variety of audiences.
- Ability to keep organized in a fast-paced environment, to manage several projects simultaneously, and to adjust to frequently changing demands .
- Spanish language fluency is a plus but not required.
- Commitment to civil rights and civil liberties consistent with the mission and goals of the ACLU.
Cultural Responsibility: Demonstrated awareness of one’s own cultural identity, views about differences, and the ability to learn and build on varying cultural and community norms. A complex understanding of racial justice and the urgency of confronting institutional racism and inequity. Commitment to equity and inclusion as organizational practice and culture. Proven track record of working across lines of race, immigration status, ethnicity, language, class, gender and other identities and experiences including record of arrest or conviction.
Working Conditions: The ACLU-AZ offices are generally open between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. The physical demands and work environment described below represent those required and encountered by an employee to perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
- Inputting information into a computer for long periods of time.
- Work some evenings, weekends, and holidays.
- Periodically work long and extended hours.
- Regular travel across the state of Arizona as needed.
This job description provides a general but not comprehensive list of the essential responsibilities and qualifications required. Please note that some in-person attendance at the office is required however most day-to-day work can be done remotely.
Why work for ACLU of AZ?
Time off: Staff get 15 vacation days their first three years; 20 days after four years. We offer an additional 17 days off for holidays and personal days.
Benefits package: We cover 100% of health, vision, and dental insurance for employees. We provide life and disability insurance, as well as reimbursement of some out-of-pocket healthcare related expenses. Staff are reimbursed for cell phones and home internet if working from home.
401k Plan: We want you to be prepared for retirement! We match 100% of the first 1% of your salary deferred to your 401k, plus 50% of the next 5% of your salary contribution. And then, we contribute an additional 2% of your salary contribution each pay period.
Commitment to our staff: We invest in staff growth and professional development opportunities and are committed to providing regular feedback and opportunities for advancement.
Crystal clear focus: Our team focuses on some of the most important and urgent issues of our times – from abortion rights, voting rights and democracy, LGBTQ+ rights, criminal legal reform, immigrant rights, border justice, and racial justice.
Our team is amazing: You will be working with incredibly dedicated, smart, and caring people who know how to have fun while getting a lot done in a low-ego environment. In addition to your Arizona colleagues, you will become part of a national network of ACLU staff in all 50 states plus D.C. and Puerto Rico.
How to Apply
Email your resume, cover letter, two professional references, and a legal writing sample of no more than 10 pages to email@example.com. Include “Immigration Senior Staff Attorney or Staff Attorney” in the subject line and how you heard about the position. In the cover letter, in addition to your qualifications, please make sure to answer the following questions:
1) Why you are interested in working at ACLU-AZ; and
2) How have you demonstrated a commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging in your professional work?
No phone calls or walk-ins, please.
The ACLU-AZ undertakes inclusive strategies in its recruitment and employment efforts to assure that persons with disabilities have full opportunities for employment in all positions. We encourage applicants with disabilities who may need accommodations in the application process to contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadline: Applicants must apply by Monday, September 25, 2023
The ACLU-AZ is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. We encourage 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, veteran status and record of arrest or conviction.