Job Type

Full Time




United States


The Opportunity

The ACLU of Northern California seeks Senior Staff Attorneys with substantial litigation and people management experience to deepen and expand our work in the southern Central Valley and Sacramento/San Joaquin Valley regions. We are hiring two positions, with one position based in our Fresno, CA office and one position based in a new Sacramento, CA office. The Senior Staff Attorneys report to the Legal-Policy Department Director.

The Approach

You are an experienced litigator, inspiring leader, successful manager, and passionate advocate for civil rights and civil liberties. You excel at developing and litigating high-impact cases and identifying multi-pronged legal, policy, and community engagement strategies. You provide high quality supervision and mentorship, take a solutions oriented approach, and exercise sound independent judgment to work collaboratively with internal and external stakeholders. You thrive in a busy, bustling work ecosystem and balance being available to others while staying focused and prioritizing your key objectives. You are a relationship-builder who enjoys developing and nurturing close ties with community organizations and advocates across the region, and are excited about the opportunity to participate in the ACLU-NC’s community engagement efforts in your region. 

The Position

You are responsible for mentoring and supervising Staff Attorneys and/or legal fellows and litigating cases involving significant civil-liberties and civil-rights issues. You are a member of the Legal-Policy Department management team and play a significant role in supporting alignment and coordination between the San Francisco, Fresno, and Sacramento offices. You carry significant responsibility for leading and supervising civil-liberties and civil-rights impact litigation, with a particular focus on criminal justice, racial justice, immigrants’ rights, economic justice, and voting rights. In coordination with the ACLU of California and national ACLU office, you actively engage in policy advocacy campaigns at the local, state, or national level. You are the person that others turn to for legal expertise on litigation matters and/or draft legislation and regulations that impact your region, and may be asked to speak before legislative bodies. 

About the Organization

The ACLU-NC is an affiliate of a nationwide, non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to the defense and expansion of civil liberties and civil rights. For most of the last century, it has been at the heart of many of the most major – and sometimes controversial – struggles for civil liberties and civil rights in our state. Our mission is to ensure that Constitutional rights don’t just exist on paper, but are protected in practice. As we move into a new era and face dangerous policies that threaten our civil rights and civil liberties, we remain dedicated to confronting these issues and defending the progress we have made. We must use our decades of experience in impact litigation, legislative advocacy, and fearless organizing to fight these un-American policies and protect our most cherished rights and freedoms. Senior Staff Attorneys are critical members of the Legal-Policy Department and the ACLU of California, a statewide collaboration of the ACLU affiliates in California aimed at maximizing our impact and enhancing the protection of civil liberties and civil rights statewide. Join us.

Duties and Responsibilities  

Staff Supervision and Coordination

  • Supervise attorneys in their litigation and non-litigation related work and professional development, and supervise department support staff in your office;
  • Participate in Legal-Policy Department management meetings and facilitate staff meetings in your local office;
  • Communicate and coordinate with the Legal-Policy Department management team, ACLU of Northern California management team and ACLU national office, as needed, to ensure implementation of organizational priorities, policies, procedures, and protocols in your office;
  • Work in collaboration and coordination with the ACLU of California and its statewide issue teams; and,
  • Work closely with non-legal program staff, particularly legislative, communications, organizing, advocacy, and fundraising professionals on ACLU-NC campaigns and activities.

Leading and Supervising Litigation

  • Lead multi-pronged strategies using litigation, public education, and legislative and policy advocacy to further the ACLU-NC’s strategic plans; 
  • Supervise the investigation, development, and litigation of high-impact cases, including conducting discovery and motion practice, handling hearings and trials, and arguing appeals;
  • Review and respond to requests for legal assistance, in accordance with the organization’s intake procedures;
  • Respond to community needs as they arise, potentially on an emergency basis; and,
  • Develop strong co-counsel relationships with other public interest lawyers and ACLU volunteer lawyers.

Supporting Policy Advocacy and Community Outreach

  • Support and deepen existing and new relationships with community partners, coalitions, and stakeholders;
  • Ensure appropriate communication and coordination between ACLU-NC and ACLU of California staff engaged in policy advocacy and community outreach in your office’s region.
  • Coach staff on developing and sustaining community partnerships, outreach and policy advocacy;
  • Engage in community outreach and public speaking, including representing the ACLU-NC’s positions to the media and public generally; and,
  • Use cultural sensitivity and awareness to develop appropriate and effective strategies to address the needs and advance the rights of vulnerable communities. 


  • J.D. from an ABA-accredited law school and 10 or more years of litigation experience in state and federal court;
  • Experience supervising and mentoring attorneys, law fellows, and support staff;
  • Strong legal research and writing abilities, and ability to gather facts, identify cases and engage communities in litigation and non-litigation advocacy;
  • Ability to analyze and articulate legal concepts and communicate them to a variety of audiences, including to community residents and policymakers;
  • Commitment to community-oriented lawyering that is responsive to community needs, culturally competent, and enhances community participation within the scope of ACLU issues and strategies, as well as an ability to work cooperatively on a variety of projects with lawyers, organizers, other staff members, and with diverse community organizations and coalitions;
  • Solution-oriented approach, with a willingness to take initiative and excellent verbal communication skills;
  • Ability to both work independently and as a team member in a busy, small, remote office with personal enthusiasm, optimism, and a sense of humor;
  • Ability to work collaboratively and with flexibility in a complex organizational ecosystem;
  • Flexibility for travel within the Central Valley and to the Bay Area and Sacramento, and ability to work long hours when needed; and,
  • Membership in the California State Bar (or must pass the next California Bar Examination if currently member of another state bar).

Desired Qualifications:

  • Previous experience in or familiarity with the Central Valley or Sacramento/San Joaquin Valley regions.
  • Spanish fluency preferred but not required.


Competitive salary is commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits include four weeks paid vacation in addition to 14 office holidays; medical, vision and dental insurance for staff members, their dependents and spouse or domestic partner; life and long-term disability insurance; and, 401(k) plan with employer match. 

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required


How To Apply

Applications must include (1) a cover letter explaining why you are interested in this position and the ways in which you satisfy the qualifications specified above, (2) resume, (3) writing sample (no more than 10 pages) and (4) a list of four references. Applicants concurrently applying to any other position with the ACLU should state what other position they are applying for in the cover letter. Please submit your application in PDF format to the attention of Senior Staff Attorney Search to:  

The ACLU of Northern California advances equity and inclusion in the workplace by providing equal employment opportunity to support a work environment free from discrimination on the basis of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age (over 40), sexual orientation, military and veteran status, and any other basis prohibited by law. The organization also provides reasonable accommodations for qualified applicants and employees with disabilities. This equal employment opportunity policy applies to all aspects of employment, including recruitment, selection, advancement, training, problem resolution, and separation from employment. Through this policy, the ACLU-NC strives to establish and maintain an equitable and accessible work environment that is free from discrimination and supportive of a workforce that reflects the rich diversity of our communities and the people we serve.