Staff/Senior Staff Attorney ACLU - San Francisco

  • 24 Jun 2020 4:03 PM
    Message # 9058235
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Opportunity

    The ACLU of Northern California (ACLU NorCal) is hiring two Senior Staff Attorneys/ Staff Attorneys to join program teams in its Legal-Policy Department.

    ACLU NorCal focuses its legal-policy work across six broad program areas: Criminal Justice; Democracy & Civic Engagement; Gender, Sexuality & Reproductive Justice; Immigrants’ Rights; Racial & Economic Justice; and Technology and Civil Liberties.

    We are particularly seeking Senior Staff Attorneys/Staff Attorneys to help support and expand work in the Racial and Economic Justice (REJ) and Democracy and Civic Engagement (DCE) program areas. In your application materials, please identify the program area that is of most interest to you, and your experience and expertise in that subject area.

    The Senior Staff Attorney/Staff Attorney is supervised by a Program Director. The location of the position is flexible, and the Senior Staff Attorney/Staff Attorney can be based in ACLU NorCal’s San Francisco, Sacramento, or Fresno offices.

    The Approach

    ACLU NorCal takes an Integrated Advocacy approach to the work of advancing civil rights and civil liberties in our region and across the state, meaning we deploy multi-pronged strategies that include impact litigation, policy advocacy, legislative advocacy, organizing, and communications.

    ACLU NorCal also prioritizes work led by impacted communities, and regularly works in coalition with grassroots and community-based organizations, as well as the ACLU NorCal Communications and Organizing Departments, to address policies and practices at the local, statewide and national levels.

    The Position

    You are an experienced civil rights advocate who thrives in a busy, mission-driven environment. You have a demonstrated commitment to multi-modal legal-policy advocacy strategies for advancing civil rights and liberties. You work well under pressure, are professional and personable, and committed to racial and social justice in the work and interpersonal work relationships.

    You will spend approximately 75% of your time directly engaging in substantive litigation, legal advocacy, and policy advocacy, and approximately 25% on case and project management.  The Democracy & Civic Engagement and Racial & Economic Justice program teams have a number of active cases and multiyear integrated advocacy campaigns, as well as a responsibility to respond to attacks on civil rights and civil liberties injustices as they emerge.

    About the Organization

    The ACLU of Northern California is an affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union a nationwide, non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to the defense and expansion of civil liberties and civil rights. The ACLU of Northern California (ACLU NorCal) is comprised of two distinct corporations, the ACLU Foundation of Northern California (501c3) and the ACLU of Northern California (501c4). The incumbent is a joint employee of both corporations. 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.

    Duties and Responsibilities  

    The Senior Staff Attorney/Staff Attorney is integral to building and strengthening the work of the ACLU-NorCal’s program areas. The Senior Staff Attorney/Staff Attorney supports and models a culture of shared purpose, mentorship and mutual respect in the Program team, in the Legal-Policy Department, across the ACLU NorCal and with partners. 

    Education / Experience:

    • J.D. from an ABA-accredited law school.
    • Membership in the California State Bar (or must pass the next California Bar Examination if currently member of another state bar).
    • Significant experience in legal-policy work (10 or more years of experience for Senior Staff Attorney).

    Required Skills / Competencies:

    • Significant litigation experience in California state court and federal court.
    • Experience with investigation, development, initiation and litigation of high-impact cases, including discovery, motion practice, hearings, trials, and appeals.
    • Ability to manage fact and expert discovery in fact-intensive litigation.
    • Strong legal research, analysis, and writing abilities, and ability to develop novel and successful litigation.
    • Experience developing multi-pronged strategies using litigation, public education, and legislative and policy advocacy in response to serious problems facing impacted communities.
    • Strong project and time management skills, including a high level of organization, attention to detail, and follow-through, while balancing and prioritizing multiple activities and responsibilities.
    • Relationship-building skills and ability to inspire collaboration, including success leading teams, projects, and people towards action through persuasion.
    • Demonstrated commitment to cultural diversity and demonstrated ability to hold and foster difficult and necessary conversations about race, class, sexual orientation and expression, religion, ability, and other identity-based issues.
    • Demonstrated experience engaging in creative problem solving and taking initiative, while utilizing a solutions-oriented approach and exhibiting flexibility and good judgment in a complex organizational ecosystem.
    • Strong verbal and written communications skills.
    • Commitment to racial equity work and incorporating racial equity principles into legal work.
    • Willingness to travel within Northern and Central California, and occasionally to Southern California and other parts of the country for speaking events, meetings, and conferences (if and when travel limitations are lifted).
    • Fluency in Spanish or other non-English language widely spoken in California, preferred.
    • People with direct personal or professional experience with impacted communities are encouraged to apply for this position.


    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. 

    Annual salary range is $83,520 to $187,920. Placement within this range will be dependent on years out of law school and other qualifications. To reach the highest point in the range a candidate must have 25 years of experience. 

    To Apply

    Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.  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) a written sample of your work –legal brief, campaign plan, etc. If your candidacy advances to the final round, you will be asked to provide a list of four references, including one a direct supervisor and one a direct supervisee (please indicate your relationship to each reference). 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.

    If you have less than 10 years of experience, please apply for the Staff Attorney position here:

    If you have more than 10 years of experience, please apply for the Senior Staff Attorney position here:

    The ACLU-NC 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 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, arrest or conviction record, 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 supportive and free from discrimination.

Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area

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