The ACLU is the nation's foremost defender of civil liberties and civil rights, dedicated to defending the Bill of Rights and advocating for marginalized communities through litigation, legislation and public education. The ACLU of Texas, founded in 1938 and headquartered in Houston, is the one of the largest ACLU affiliates in the nation. The ACLU of Texas has regional offices in Austin, Brownsville, Houston, and El Paso.

Whether it's protecting the rights of immigrants and refugees, ending mass incarceration, achieving full equality for the LGBT community, combating voter suppression, or preserving reproductive rights, the ACLU takes up the toughest civil rights and liberties cases to defend all people from government abuse and overreach.

The combined position of Senior Staff Attorney / Policy Counsel at the ACLU of Texas will play a critical leadership role in advancing the ACLU's mission to uphold constitutional rights by developing and managing impact litigation and leveraging non-litigation advocacy tactics through the lens of integrated advocacy. Counsel will work collaboratively with coalitions and impacted communities, ACLU National legal projects, and the ACLU of Texas communications, political, development, legislative, policy, and border rights departments.

Responsibilities & Expectations

  • Identify and develop new litigation and other legal advocacy projects by conducting factual and legal analysis and devising or employing relevant theories and materials to achieve strategic goals.
  • Litigate civil rights and civil liberties cases at all stages.
  • Engage in non-litigation advocacy, including preparing administrative complaints, analyzing legislation, drafting model legislation and policies, giving public testimony, and developing public education resources.
  • Work closely with and provide legal analysis for policy initiatives and legal expertise to non-legal program staff at the ACLU of Texas and ACLU National.
  • Develop and strengthen relationships with community partners, coalitions, stakeholders, and affected communities.
  • Prepare and deliver up-to-date know your rights information to affected communities.
  • Respond to the legal needs of affected communities, potentially on an emergency and immediate basis.
  • Participate in legal and advocacy conferences and develop and provide CLE on pertinent topics.
  • Communicate ACLU views and positions to a variety of audiences, including judges, community residents, and policymakers, through public speaking, traditional and social media, and other means.
  • Prepare dockets, budgets, and reports for the Legal Director, Legal Committee, the Board and the Executive Director.


  • JD with more than seven years of litigation experience preferred; responsibilities will be adjusted based on experience.
  • Broad substantive knowledge of constitutional law and a strong and demonstrated commitment to civil liberties and civil rights.
  • Exceptional analytic, research, writing, and oral advocacy skills.
  • Significant experience with complex, high-stakes litigation, particularly at the federal district and appellate court levels. And demonstrated ability to develop, lead, and manage such litigation.
  • Experience supervising other attorneys and working with support staff, including managing multi-level litigation teams and outside co-counsel.
  • Knowledge of civil rights and liberties landscape in Dallas or demonstrated aptitude to quickly immerse oneself in those issues.
  • Demonstrated experience working in fast-paced environment with keen ability to simultaneously work on and manage multiple projects and deadlines and set priorities.
  • Enthusiasm, patience, and cultural competence to work cooperatively on a variety of projects with lawyers, organizers, other staff members, and with diverse community organizations and coalitions.
  • Experience working and communicating with marginalized or vulnerable communities.
  • Personal enthusiasm, optimism, and a sense of humor.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively and professionally with lawyers, paralegals, legal assistants, and clients, as well as community organizations and coalitions.
  • A commitment to diversity; a personal approach that values the individual and respects differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, religion, ability, and socio-economic circumstance.
  • Ability and willingness to travel and work extended hours, including nights and weekends, as needed.
  • Licensed to practice law and a member of the State Bar of Texas, or able to seek admission to the Texas Bar.

Salary range is comparable to other public interest law firms in the area, with excellent benefits.

To apply:
Please submit an application here.

This job description provides a general but not comprehensive list of the essential responsibilities and qualifications required. It does not represent a contract of employment. The ACLU of Texas reserves the right to change the job description and/or posting at any time without advance notice.

The ACLU of Texas is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU of Texas 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, or veteran status. The ACLU of Texas undertakes affirmative action strategies in its recruitment and employment efforts to assure that persons with disabilities have full opportunities for employment in all positions.