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. For more information about the work of the ACLU of Colorado and the civil liberties principles we uphold, please visit our website at www.aclu-co.org.

Commitment To Equity, Diversity, Belonging, and Inclusion

ACLU of Colorado is an equitable opportunity employer. We believe that having a board, staff, and volunteer base with diverse personal and professional backgrounds enhances our ability to meet our mission and creates an environment where all community members can thrive. We strongly encourage applications from all qualified persons, including people of color, immigrants, women, people with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ community, those who have been formerly incarcerated, and other members of underrepresented and marginalized groups.

ACLU of Colorado does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status, or record of arrest or conviction. We are committed to providing a work environment that practices equitable and inclusive treatment and is quick to act to prevent and address harassment or discrimination of any kind.

Job 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 a variety of different subject areas such as diversity, equity and inclusion, criminal justice, reproductive rights, immigration, and others

Qualifications

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 

Desired 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

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 provide a copy of their current COVID vaccination card. 

Compensation and Benefits 

This position is full-time; the approximate salary range is $70,000 - $98,000, and within pay scale parameters of the ACLU of Colorado and considering skills and experience. Benefits include medical and dental insurance, life and long-term disability insurance, 401k contribution, paid vacation, and holidays.  

To Apply 

Email a cover letter, resume, writing sample, and three references with “ACLU of Colorado Staff Attorney” in the subject line to jobs@aclu-co.org. No phone calls, please. Resumes will be reviewed on a rolling basis beginning September 22, 2022, and the position will remain open until filled.