Paralegal [CJ-15], Criminal Law Reform Project, New York, NY

Job Type

Full Time




New York
New York
United States


Paralegal [CJ-15]

American Civil Liberties Union Foundation

Criminal Law Reform Project, NY


For nearly 100 years, the ACLU has been our nation’s guardian of liberty, working in courts, legislatures, and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States. Whether it’s ending mass incarceration, achieving full equality for the LGBT community, advancing racial justice, establishing new privacy protections for our digital age, or preserving the right to vote or the right to have an abortion, the ACLU takes up the toughest civil liberties and civil rights cases and issues to defend all people from government abuse and overreach. With more than one million members, activists, and supporters, the ACLU is a nationwide organization that fights tirelessly in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C., for the principle that every individual’s rights must be protected equally under the law, regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, national origin, record of arrest or conviction.


The Criminal Law Reform Project of the National office in New York City is seeking applicants for the full-time position of Paralegal.



The Criminal Law Reform Project seeks an end to excessively harsh crime policies that result in mass incarceration and criminalization and stand in the way of a just, equal, and humane society. To reduce the number of people entering the criminal punishment system, CLRP focuses on preventing over-incarceration and over-criminalization at the “front end” of that system. We fulfill our mission through strategic litigation and advocacy that promotes reform. Key priorities are creating robust statewide indigent defense systems to ensure that people charged with a crime have access to effective assistance of counsel; ending unnecessary and unjust pretrial detention through bail reform and other abusive pretrial practices; reforming unconstitutional and racially biased police practices; reforming our nation’s punitive drug policies, which have failed to achieve public safety and health while eroding constitutional rights and criminalizing unprecedented numbers of people, particularly people of color; challenging governmental abuses of power, particularly by police and prosecutors; and reclaiming equal protection of the laws and guaranteeing substantive and procedural due process protections at each stage of the arrest-to-sentencing process of criminal cases.

The Project is part of the ACLU's Trone Center for Justice and Equality, which also includes the National Prison Project, the Capital Punishment Project, and the Racial Justice Program. The Center seeks to transform the U.S. criminal justice system into one that views incarceration as an option of last - not first - resort; that is effective, fair, and free of racial bias; that rejects death as a legitimate form of punishment; and that is evidence-based rather than fear-based. 



  • Prepare, file, review and organize litigation documents such as briefs, motions, declarations, deposition summaries, discovery requests and responses, and correspondence with co-counsel.
  • Maintain case files, attorneys’ correspondence files, and the CLRP litigation docket summary.
  • Assist with managing and coordinating the intake database.
  • Provide litigation support to attorneys.
  • Collect, analyze, and organize legal, factual, social science and other non-legal research for use in litigation documents and policy presentations; run searches on internal and external document databases and systems, cull relevant information from a variety of resources such as newspapers, magazines, libraries, case documents and trade associations.
  • Prepare informational updates on criminal law reform issues for ACLU National and Affiliate staff.
  • Update CLRP-related content on the ACLU website.
  • Act as liaison among various internal departments as well as with co-counsel and partner organizations.
  • Act as liaison between staff attorneys and legal administrative assistants to disseminate work assigned by attorneys and provide routine and/or procedural guidance regarding work assignments;
  • Provide administrative support for manager review of applications for legal administrative assistant and intern positions
  • Work jointly with interns and communicate routine and/or procedural guidance on projects assigned by managers
  • Demonstrate a commitment to diversity within the office using a personal approach that values all individuals and respects differences in regards to race, ethnicity, age, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, ability and socio-economic circumstance.
  • Commitment to work collaboratively and respectfully toward resolving obstacles and/or conflicts.
  • Handle special projects and other duties as assigned.



  • Bachelor’s degree required.
  • A minimum of two years of paralegal or related experience preferred.
  • Strong research skills, including internet research.
  •  Must have outstanding written, verbal and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to work independently as well as within a team.
  • Experience supervising staff and interns.
  • Must be well organized, efficient, highly motivated, able to handle multiple tasks simultaneously and see them through to completion, work well under tight deadlines, and take initiative.
  • Strong computer skills with advanced knowledge and experience in Microsoft Office.
  • Experience creating tables of contents, tables of authorities, mail merges, and creating/inserting macros.
  • Basic knowledge of Westlaw is preferred.
  • Experience with web design, layout, and electronic posting of content is a plus.
  • Commitment to civil liberties, civil rights and public interest legal work is essential.



Salary for this position is $53,474. Excellent benefits package provided.


Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply

Please submit letter of interest, current resume, names and telephone numbers of two references, and writing sample by email to – reference [CJ-15] in the subject line. 


Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

Please indicate where you learned of this job posting.


This job description provides a general but not comprehensive list of the essential responsibilities and qualifications required. It does not represent a contract of employment. The ACLU reserves the right to change the job description and or posting at any time without advance notice.

The ACLU is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, record of arrest or conviction, and veteran status.

The ACLU undertakes affirmative action 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: Correspondence sent to this address that is not related to accommodations will not be reviewed. Applicants should follow the instructions above regarding how to apply.

The ACLU comprises two separate corporate entities, the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU Foundation. Both the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU Foundation are national organizations with the same overall mission, and share office space and employees. The ACLU has two separate corporate entities in order to do a broad range of work to protect civil liberties. This job posting refers collectively to the two organizations under the name “ACLU.”