Location: Denver, CO                                              
Reports to: Legal Director                                    
Department: Legal
Salary: $70,000 – $98,000
Position Type: Full-Time, Hybrid

American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Colorado seeks dynamic, skilled, mission-driven applicant for a full-time Staff Attorney position. The Staff Attorney will work under the direction of the Legal Director to conduct strategic litigation and collaborate across departments on major issue-area campaigns in an integrated advocacy approach.

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is the nation’s foremost defender of constitutional rights and civil liberties. ACLU of Colorado is an affiliate of the national ACLU, and it is the state’s guardian of freedom, working in the courts, in the legislature, and in communities across the state to protect and advance civil rights and civil liberties for all. Founded in 1952, ACLU of Colorado is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to fulfilling the promise of equal justice under the law for all Coloradans. 

Position Responsibilities

  • Craft cutting edge legal cases by selecting issues appropriate for litigation, conducting factual and legal research, interviewing potential clients and witnesses, and identifying and developing legal theories through substantive legal research and writing.
  • Present selected potential cases to the ACLU Legal Panel for evaluation.
  • Draft legal memoranda, demand letters, and advocacy letters.
  • Litigate ACLU cases in state and federal trial and appellate courts; participate and potentially exercise leadership roles in all aspects of discovery, motion practice, trials, evidentiary hearings, and appeals; draft pleadings, motions, briefs, and other litigation documents.
  • Coordinate and work with ACLU volunteer cooperating attorneys.
  • Supervise and mentor law student interns and volunteers.
  • Review and investigate selected requests for legal assistance. 
  • Develop and maintain relationships with legal staff at National ACLU, its projects, and other ACLU affiliates.
  • Provide support and work with ACLU staff in our Communications, Development, and Advocacy and Strategic Alliances departments, in furtherance of our integrated advocacy model, which combines legal advocacy, public communications, and policy advocacy for maximum impact.
  • Serve as ACLU spokesperson in public speaking events and with the press, as assigned. 
  • Serve on interdepartmental committees dedicated to such issue areas as diversity, equity and inclusion, criminal justice, reproductive rights, and immigration. 


Required Qualifications

  • Juris Doctor degree.
  • Membership in the Colorado bar or ability to secure membership in the Colorado bar within one year of employment. 
  • At least three years of litigation experience.
  • Substantive expertise and knowledge of constitutional law and in-depth understanding of a wide range of civil liberties and civil rights issues.
  • Strong demonstrated commitment to public interest law and the mission of the ACLU of Colorado.
  • Exceptional writing skills, both for legal and non-legal audiences.
  • Superb research and analytical skills.
  • A commitment to diversity; a personal approach that values individuals and respects differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, ability, and socio-economic circumstance, and the ability to work with diverse individuals within the organization and the broader community. 
  • Willingness to work beyond the 9 to 5 hours of the normal workday, including evening and weekend meetings and/or events.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Significant experience litigating complex civil cases in both trial and appellate courts 
  • Significant in-depth experience or legal expertise in a specialized area that is within the ACLU’s mission.
  • Exceptional oral advocacy skills, with both legal and non-legal audiences.
  • Demonstrated ability to research, develop, apply, and implement novel legal theories and strategies.
  • Experience working and communicating with marginalized or vulnerable communities. 
  • Proficiency and comfort with personal computers, using Windows and Microsoft Office software.
  • Facility for administrative work including coordination with volunteer attorneys and supervision of support staff, law students, interns, and office volunteers. 
  • Experience successfully mentoring or supervising interns, law students, and less experienced attorneys. 
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively and professionally with paralegals, legal assistants, 
  • volunteers, clients, and fellow attorneys.
  • Fluency in Spanish is highly desirable.

Physical Requirements

  • Prolonged periods of sitting at a desk and working on a computer.  
  • Must be comfortable working in a fast-paced environment where directions and priorities can change rapidly. 
  • Typical hours are during the day, but the position requires the flexibility to be available for weekend, holidays and evening work hours as needed.  
  • Access to reliable transportation.

Benefits and Perks


This position is full-time. The salary range for this position is $78,000 - $98,000. The starting salary is within the pay scale parameters of state ACLU affiliates and the Denver area nonprofit sector and considering skills and experience. To preserve the opportunity for advancement, we generally offer starting salaries no higher than the mid-point of the range. ACLU of Colorado provides cost of living increases and opportunities for merit-based salary increases to staff.  


ACLU of Colorado offers generous benefits to full-time employees that include: 

  • 100% coverage of employee’s medical, dental, and vision insurance 
  • Life insurance, long-term disability insurance, accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D)  
  • Employer match up to 5.5% to 401k  
  •  Fifteen (15) Vacation Days
  • Twelve (12) paid holidays
  • Two (2) personal days
  • Healthcare leave 
  • Annual Professional Development Funds 
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP) 

Work Accommodations During the COVID-19 Pandemic 

  • ACLU of Colorado has a hybrid return-to-work model that began on June 1, 2022. To make it safe to work at the office amid the COVID-19 pandemic, we have a mandated mask policy and a mandatory vaccination policy, unless you request in writing a medical or religious exemption. The successful applicant will need to send a copy of their updated COVID vaccination card. 

To Apply: https://www.diverse-talent.com/find-work#LEGALOPENINGS

This Job Description describes the general content and requirements for the position. It is not an exhaustive statement of the essential functions, responsibilities, or requirements of the job; they may change from time to time and are dictated by the needs of the organization and the supervisor to whom the employee will report.

Our client is an equal opportunity employer that is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. ACLU of Colorado prohibits discrimination and harassment of any kind based on race, color, sex, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, genetic information, pregnancy, or any other protected characteristic as outlined by federal, state, or local laws.