The Senior Staff Attorney is the equivalent of a senior associate at a law firm. They will manage complex litigation matters with the oversight and approval of the Legal Director and will first chair some cases; develop new matters; and hold primary drafting responsibility for a variety of litigation documents, demand letters, and other legal materials. The Senior Staff Attorney is consulted on litigation and long-term strategy for the entire legal department and will be responsible for developing strategies for cases assigned to them.
Job Location – Overland Park or Wichita, KS. **Position will onboard remotely during COVID.
Reporting Relationship and Organizational Impact
- Position reports to: Legal Director
- Manager, Supervisor, Team Leader, or Individual Contributor (Team Leaders may train, provide direction to, or assign projects to department employees or interns.)
- Team Leader, including training, providing direction to, and assigning projects to:
- Interns as assigned to them by the Legal Director
- Staff Attorney with respect to work the Staff Attorney is doing on cases the Senior Staff Attorney is leading
- Legal Assistant with respect to work the Legal Assistant is doing on cases the Senior Staff Attorney is leading.
- Bargaining Unit Status:
- This position is part of the bargaining unit
- Internal and External:
- Regular unsupervised contact with other department staff and managers, and with National office
- Regular contact and communications with clients and opposing counsel
- Regular contact with all members of Legal Department, including interns
- Regular contact with members of the Advocacy and Communications Departments
- Occasional public facing presentations
- Budget Authority:
- Assist Legal Director with developing budget for litigation related to program/issue areas they are leading, to be included in the overall Legal Department budget.
- Has input into Legal Department strategies developed by management
- Represents legal department in integrated strategy sessions on program and campaign issues they are leading
- Develop and independently implement litigation strategy
- Understand campaign model and role of litigation within model
- Independently manage pretrial tasks in federal court litigation
- Effectively and respectfully communicate with other department directors and staff within integrated advocacy model
- Strong legal writing abilities
- Ability to work with diverse communities
- Demonstrated ability to first chair federal court pretrial hearing with minimal supervision
Education and/or Experience
- 4-5 years litigation experience
- Movement lawyering principles
- Federal civil rules of procedure
- Federal rules of evidence
- ABA professional rules of responsibility
- Committed to advancing the ACLU KS values, mission, goals and programs, with an understanding of the range of civil liberties issues and their implications
- A person who can handle and prioritize multiple activities and tasks; a person who takes initiative and demonstrates follow-through
- A team player who inspires collaboration and functions decisively and with flexibility; a person who assumes the best from colleagues and who resolves conflicts directly
- A demonstrated ability to work productively in an unstructured environment; the capability to conduct oneself with a calm and professional demeanor when dealing with the public and/or difficult situations
- Advanced client interview skills
- Mastery of direct and cross-examination
- Mastery of depositions
- Trial practice including presentation of evidence
- Oral advocacy
- Ability to write complex legal briefs and memoranda
Duties and Responsibilities and approximate % of overall time spent on tasks
Work on active litigation – 40%
- Participate directly in litigating civil liberties and civil rights cases in federal and state court, as first chair on cases and issues assigned by the Legal Director.
- Manage all aspects of discovery, depositions, requests for productions, 3rd party subpoenas, etc. on cases assigned by Legal Director
- Manage co-counsel on cases assigned by Legal Director
- Manage in-court proceedings on cases assigned by Legal Director
- Maintain client relationships throughout on cases assigned by Legal Director
- Write appellate and amicus briefs
Develop new litigation – 40%
- Conduct factual and legal research, prepare memoranda, draft Open Records Act requests, write demand letters, draft pleadings and briefs
- Review, comment on, and edit letters and briefs of co-counsel and other ACLU-KS staff
- Consult with issue area experts and potential cooperating counsel on cases assigned by Legal Director
- Manage potential plaintiff selection and outreach on cases assigned by Legal Director
- Develop strategic integrated advocacy plans for issues and areas – 10%
- Assist legal director in management of interns, volunteers, and staff - 10%
- Assist with management of legal intake process
- Assist with developing assignments and providing feedback to legal interns
- Assist with mentoring of staff attorney and legal assistant
This job is primarily sedentary work which requires extended periods of sitting and/or standing in an office setting.
Travel outside home office area but within the state of Kansas 3-4 times a month. Occasional travel outside Kansas but within the United States
- The starting salary for this position is $70,000.
- The ACLU of Kansas offers an excellent benefit package including employer paid health, dental, vision, disability, and life insurance, 401k match, 14 paid holidays, a generous paid vacation/sick leave policy, and a flexible work schedule (as appropriate for the position).
- To apply for this position forward your resume and cover letter to Ms. Roberta Beier at firstname.lastname@example.org.