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Senior Adviser for Affiliate Legal Programs

Posted by
American Civil Liberties Union | New York, NY

American Civil Liberties Union

Published 21 days ago

March 5, 2020


The Affiliate Support and Nationwide Initiatives Department (ASNI) builds state capacity and strengthens the connections between the ACLU and its network of 54 state affiliates and their 1,500 staff members across the country. Their work constitutes an unparalleled bulwark defending and advancing our civil liberties and civil rights. ASNI staff lead efforts to build program, build organizations, and drive resources to key battles across the country, positioning the nationwide organization for future challenges.

Reporting to the Director of Program and Strategy, the Senior Advisor for Affiliate Legal Programs is responsible for two main areas of work. First, the role will drive nationwide collaboration around legal strategies that deliver wins on critical civil rights and liberties issues. Second, the role will be responsible for building thriving, innovative, and impactful litigation programs in ACLU affiliates. The Senior Advisor will work closely with colleagues in both national and affiliate offices and work as part of an interdisciplinary team.


  • Provide strategic thought partnership to affiliate leaders who are strengthening their Legal Departments' capacity, competencies, and skills
  • Support ACLU affiliate Executive Directors in the hiring and onboarding of new Legal Directors
  • Contribute to the development of evaluative tools and fair measures of capacity and success of legal programs, including regular debriefing for sharing across the nationwide network
  • Help Legal Directors build legal programs and navigate the cooperating attorney relationship
  • Create curriculum that centers best practices for building and executing powerful and integrated affiliate legal programs to be shared throughout the nationwide enterprise
  • Create and sustain learning communities for ACLU affiliate legal staff, which includes managing ongoing cohorts, hosting in-person convenings, and developing regular workshops focused on topics and/or skills critical to the growth, administration, and impact of legal programs at the ACLU
  • Ensure information and learnings generated by affiliate legal departments are institutionalized in ASNI to help maximize the opportunity for cross-affiliate learning and efficiencies
  • Identify and leverage technologies and operational efficiencies to further affiliate legal programs
  • Lead collaborative efforts between and among national and affiliate offices to ensure synergy and alignment of legal priorities, strategies, and tactics across the nationwide organization
  • Work with Legal Directors and legal staff to assess affiliate capacity in legal department leadership, program, and management, to develop a baseline understanding of activity and helping affiliates set goals, plan, and drive strategic work
  • Monitor and create powerful state-based narratives and replicate successful strategies by sharing state successes, highlighting best practices and areas of innovation and high impact
  • Identify, develop, and promote models of integrated advocacy across communications, legal, and advocacy programs in affiliates
  • Advise on grants to affiliates from the national office and new programmatic initiatives
  • Support a culture of transparency by proactively sharing information while using discernment to protect confidentiality of employee relations and other complex matters
  • Support innovative practices that will build a talent pipeline in the ACLU
  • Ensure positive and clear lines of communication that promote programmatic alignment and a culture of trust
  • Facilitate, coordinate, and ensure team-to-team connectivity within ASNI and with other national departments, help problem solve if affiliate needs are not sufficiently prioritized, and be an ambassador for ASNI with national staff
  • Regular travel is required


  • At least 8 years' experience recruiting, training, managing, and motivating a diverse high-performing legal team in a non-profit setting
  • Demonstrated ability to build legal strategies or programs that integrate advocacy and communications
  • JD required
  • Very strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Excellent presentation and facilitation skills, experience teaching large scale trainings
  • Ability to gain credibility and respect with internal and external audiences
  • Excellent track record of working with diverse teams
  • Highly organized with attention to detail
  • Willing to conquer the "small tasks" with an understanding of their vital importance in the success of the organization
  • Thinks strategically, critically, and creatively
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to engage stakeholders at all levels
  • Hungry to learn, curious to ask questions, and a desire to engage in exploration individually as well as being part of a team
  • Commitment to the mission of the ACLU
  • 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, disability and socio-economic circumstance
  • Commitment to work collaboratively and respectfully toward resolving obstacles and/or conflicts


  • Experience advancing a legal program at a national and/or state organization
  • Demonstrated ability to build skill and develop trainings in legal program development
  • Understanding of campaign planning and debriefing, roles, communications, and coordination


For almost 100 years, the ACLU has worked 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, 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 cases and issues to defend all people from government abuse and overreach.

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 all qualified persons, including persons with disabilities, have full opportunities for employment in all positions.

The ACLU is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities. If you are a qualified individual with a disability and need assistance applying online, please e-mail . If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.


The Affiliate Support and Nationwide Initiatives Department (ASNI) builds state capacity and strengthens the connections between the ACLU and its network of 54 state affiliates and their 1,500 staff members across the…

Details at a glance

  • On-site Location
  • Full Time Schedule


New York, NY

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