Staff Attorney [LGLF-33], National Legal Department, NY

Job Type

Full Time




New York
New York
United States


Staff Attorney [LGLF-33]

American Civil Liberties Union

National Legal Department, New York


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 American Civil Liberties Union is seeking a full-time Staff Attorney. The position will be based in New York City. 



The ACLU National Legal Department is comprised of fourteen subject matter projects, clustered in three Centers. The job of this staff attorney will be to work with the National Legal Director across the department’s subject matters. The Legal Director supervises the work of all the projects, and handles all of the ACLU’s Supreme Court work, whether it arises from a national project or an affiliate. In addition, the National Legal Director manages the national legal department and advises and assists on trial and appellate court litigation on an as-needed basis. 

The position will report to the National Legal Director and will work in collaboration with the National Legal Director to focus on the work of the National Legal Department. The Staff Attorney will also have the opportunity to work with legal projects and programs that are in need of additional capacity. For more information on the ACLU’s Legal Centers, Projects and Programs please visit: 



  • Assist in ACLU Supreme Court litigation, including merits briefing, amicus briefing, and certiorari practice. 
  • Litigate in state and federal courts, including appellate courts, throughout the country, including researching and drafting pleadings and briefs, engaging in discovery and motion practice.
  • Analyze legislation and investigate factual/legal circumstances for potential litigation and/or advocacy work.
  • Assist in special projects, including, e.g. analysis of nominations and congressional testimony.
  • Work across ACLU issue areas and help develop strategies to advance ACLU priorities and monitor the strategies of our adversaries.
  • Develop new cases and non-litigation advocacy projects.
  • Provide assistance and advice to local ACLU affiliates, cooperating attorneys, and others who seek assistance from the National Legal Office. 
  • Engage in public speaking and articulating ACLU views to a variety of audiences.
  • Collaborate with staff across the organization, including in the projects within the ACLU’s Legal Department, Communications, Affiliate Support and Nationwide Initiatives, the National Political Advocacy Department,  and state affiliates.
  • 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.
  • Other duties as assigned.



  • J.D. degree and a minimum of two to eight years of litigation experience, preferably in federal court. Responsibilities will be commensurate with experience and demonstrated skill level.
  • Bar membership permitting practice in New York, or willingness to secure such membership.
  • Familiarity with Supreme Court and appellate practice and constitutional law. 
  • Excellent research, writing and verbal communication skills.
  • Ability to work independently as well as collaboratively. 
  • Demonstrated ability to perform complex legal analytical work.
  • Self-motivated, diligent, and able to meet strict deadlines while under pressure.
  • Willingness to travel.
  • A demonstrated commitment to civil liberties, civil rights and public interest law.



The ACLU offers a generous and comprehensive compensation and benefits package, commensurate with experience and within parameters of the ACLU compensation scale.

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required


How To Apply

Please send a cover letter, current resume, the names and contact information of three references, and at least one legal writing sample by email to: Reference [LGLF-33/ACLU-W] in the subject line.


Please indicate in your cover letter where you learned of this career opportunity.

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.


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 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, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status and record of arrest or conviction.  

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 Correspondence sent to this email address that is not related to requests for 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.”