Legal and Policy Director

Job Type

Full Time




1057 West Fireweed Lane
Suite 207
United States


The American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska is looking for a resourceful and ambitious team player as our full-time Legal and Policy Director who will create, manage, and implement a program of strategic litigation and policy advocacy to defend and expand civil liberties. As a member of the ACLU of Alaska’s senior staff, the Legal and Policy Director will report directly to the Executive Director. The position is in Anchorage, Alaska but will require periodic travel throughout the state and to Juneau during the legislative session. This is an exciting opportunity to advance civil liberties, win legal and policy battles, and grow the ACLU of Alaska’s political power to energize the fight for civil liberties and protect our hard-won victories.

The ACLU of Alaska is the Alaska affiliate of the national ACLU, the nation’s oldest and largest protector of the Bill of Rights. We are Alaska’s premier civil rights and civil liberties advocate, and are a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that integrates litigation, lobbying, public policy advocacy, public education, communications with the media and our members, and coalition building and grassroots organizing to defend and expand a broad range of constitutional issues and individual rights and freedoms. As part of the ACLU’s 100th anniversary in 2020, and in the wake of the Trump administration’s daily assaults on civil liberties, the ACLU of Alaska is embarking on its most ambitious advocacy yet, which includes eliminating discrimination against LGBTQ individuals, dramatically reforming the criminal justice system, paring back the national security state and strengthening the right to privacy, ensuring that all Americans can freely and easily vote, and defeating perennial attempts to restrict women’s right to safe and legal abortions.

Anchorage consistently ranks as one of America’s top 10 cities: with 300,000 residents, it has typical big-city amenities of diverse restaurants, cultural attractions, good schools, and a major international airport with regular flights to Seattle (just 3½ hours away) and the rest of the Lower 48 plus summer flights to Asia and Europe. Surrounded by mountains and water, Anchorage offers hiking, boating, fishing, and skiing, and one can see moose, bears, eagles, and whales in town. With almost 20 hours of daily summer sunlight and winter’s northern lights and the start of the 1000-mile Iditarod sled dog race, Anchorage offers the best of everything in the only state without any sales or personal income tax.

Job Description and Responsibilities

Legal Program Responsibilities

*Proactively seek out and creatively develop, lead, and implement a strategic impact litigation program that advances key civil liberties by persuading state and federal courts, administrative tribunals, and regulatory agencies to recognize new or established legal principles;

*Appear as counsel on behalf of the ACLU of Alaska and its clients in all aspects of complex impact litigation, including factual and legal research, discovery, motion practice, trials, appeals, and amicus briefs;

*Identify and research civil liberties issues, and write demand letters, legal memoranda, and advocacy letters;

*Develop and manage the efficient assessment of requests for legal assistance and proactively identify litigation opportunities, and, in consultation with the Executive Director, select cases for the ACLU of Alaska;

*Recruit, oversee the professional development of, and supervise legal staff including lawyers, paralegals, law student interns, and legal fellows;

*Recruit, train, and coordinate volunteer attorneys’ work on ACLU of Alaska cases;

*Identify opportunities for amicus briefs by keeping abreast of current and pending litigation in state and local federal court;

*Develop and maintain relationships with partner organizations, public interest law firms, legal service agencies, and other members of the Alaska legal community; and

*Oversee the legal docket and its administration, including contemporaneous and accurate time-keeping to support requests for legal fees.

Policy Program Responsibilities

*Develop and implement, in coordination with communications and organizing staff, a strategic legislative and policy program at the state and local levels to advance core civil liberties priorities;

*Cultivate relationships with key elected and appointed officials, staff, policy makers, and related governmental bodies and leaders; track legislation, and prepare and deliver testimony and supporting material; lobby the legislative and executive branches; draft and advance ACLU-initiated legislation and amendments to other proposed bills; and identify opportunities for bipartisan support on ACLU issues;

*Represent the ACLU of Alaska in meetings of ad hoc legislative coalitions and before various community and stakeholder groups; build and lead coalitions with diverse stakeholders and work in partnership with other organizations; and

*Foster and maintain relationships with key ACLU of Alaska partners and grasstops.

Other Responsibilities

*Serve as a spokesperson for the ACLU of Alaska, with the Communications Director, and the Executive Director;

*Work with the Communications Director to integrate litigation and policy advocacy with communications and public education, by drafting external communications on all legal and policy issues, including legislative action alerts and fact sheets, talking points, letters to the editor, press statements, and op-eds; and

*Work with the Executive Director and Director of Philanthropy to participate in budget, donor, and planning meetings as needed.


*Law degree and a license to practice law in Alaska or the ability to be admitted by reciprocity or the July 2018 bar exam;

*Experience trying cases in federal or state courts;

*Experience in legislative, political, or relevant policy-related work, ideally including the development and coordination of issue or policy advocacy campaigns;

*Ability to work across the political spectrum with grasstops and diverse coalitions, including developing shared plans, coordinating external and internal communications, and navigating internal political dynamics among partner groups;

*Exceptional initiative, vision, and ambition to build a vibrant, integrated advocacy program through short- and long-term integrated advocacy strategies;

*Passion for, and a well-articulated knowledge of, civil liberties and social justice, and a familiarity with the work and mission of the ACLU;

*Exceptional analytical, research, writing, and oral advocacy skills, as well as the ability to articulate legal concepts and complex issues and to communicate them tactfully and effectively to a variety of audiences;

*Ability to edit the work of oneself and others to correct grammar and sharpen prose;

*Experience supervising staff and leading teams; ability to listen, guide, and support people to achieve common goals;

*Value differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability and socio-economic circumstances;

*Keen attention to detail; ability to work simultaneously on multiple projects at various stages of completion; good problem-solving skills and a positive, professional attitude with sound judgment, flexibility, determination, and good humor in a fast-paced, sometimes high-pressure office;

*Ambitious, creative, and results-oriented initiative and a desire to learn, pitch-in, and anticipate new projects; ability to collaborate, including working closely with the Executive Director and colleagues at the ACLU of Alaska and national ACLU, as well as with board members and volunteers;

*An absolute commitment to the highest ethical and professional standards;

*Willingness to work beyond 9 to 5 and to travel throughout Alaska as needed; and

*Fluency with computers, Microsoft Office and Westlaw.


This is an exempt, full-time, at-will position. Salary is commensurate with experience and includes excellent benefits, including health, dental, life, and disability insurance, a 401(k) plan with an employer-match, and generous vacation, sick, and holiday leave.

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required


How To Apply

Applications will be reviewed as they are received but will accepted until the position is filled, which will not be before May 7, 2018. Please email PDFs of your letter of interest, résumé, professional writing sample that has not been substantially edited by others, and three professional references to with the subject “Legal and Policy Director.” Please state in your letter of interest how you learned of this position.

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