The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas is one of the leading civil rights organizations in the Lone Star State. We work in courts, legislatures, and communities to protect and extend the civil rights for Texans throughout the state. The ACLU of Texas is both a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization. The ACLU of Texas operates professional offices in Houston, Austin, Dallas, El Paso, and Brownsville, Texas.
The Staff Attorney reports to the Legal Director and plays a leadership role in developing and managing litigation and related activities in support of the ACLU’s mission.
Specific responsibilities include:
- Develop and maintain a robust docket concentrating on civil rights and liberties.
- Review, investigate, and select for legal representation complaints received through the ACLU-TX intake system, as well as referrals from other organizations and agencies and attorneys.
- Develop and prosecute select civil liberties and civil rights cases, including legal research and memoranda, the drafting of pleadings and briefs, discovery and motion practice, mediation, trials, settlement negotiation, post-judgment litigation, and appeals in both state and federal courts.
- Develop and execute non-litigation legal advocacy, such as preparing and filing administrative complaints, and provide limited representation in administrative proceedings.
- Provide legal support to community partners and advocates advancing ACLU-TX’s goals in non-legal spaces.
- Participate as a legal expert in local and statewide legislative processes, including by analyzing bills and policies, developing talking points, engaging in public education, and authoring and delivering testimony.
- Litigate select cases as lead counsel or as co-counsel with cooperating or other public interest and private attorneys.
- Conduct legal and factual research; prepare legal memoranda and letters; draft demand letters; review, comment or write amicus briefs.
- Advocate for civil liberties and serve as a spokesperson for the ACLU both with the press and as a public speaker, when appropriate.
- Support the advocacy and legal needs of cross departmental advocacy work.
- Collaborate and work with ACLU National colleagues on joint projects, cases, or working groups, when appropriate or as needed.
- Perform other duties as assigned.
The Staff Attorney must demonstrate a commitment to civil rights and civil liberties consistent with the mission and goals of the ACLU with the following qualifications:
- JD with at least three years of litigation experience, preferably with a background in constitutional and civil rights and civil liberties issues.
- Experience with public interest advocacy and working with community-based groups is preferred.
- Licensed to practice law in Texas and a member of the State Bar of Texas or eligible to waive in.
- Substantive knowledge and understanding of constitutional law and civil liberties issues.
- Demonstrated ability to litigate independently, jointly or in a team, and under pressure.
- Demonstrated capacity to manage a docket requiring frequent requests for immediate relief.
- Ability to effectively manage multiple cases and advocacy projects simultaneously.
- Excellent communication skills to both legal and non-legal audiences.
- Demonstrated skills in legal analysis, research, writing and strategic thinking.
- Demonstrated ability to work effectively, respectfully, courteously, and professionally with lawyers, clients, staff members, and with community organizations, leaders, partners, and coalitions.
- A commitment to the rules of professional conduct and ethical practice of law.
- A commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging; a personal approach that values the individual holistically and respects differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability, and socio-economic circumstances.
- Proficiency with computers and software: Windows, Microsoft Office, and Westlaw in particular.
- Willing and able to travel and work evenings and weekends as needed.
Starting salary is $81,000/year in alignment with parameters of ACLU of Texas’s salary scale. Excellent benefits include a generous paid time off policy; medical, dental and vision insurance; 401(k) plan with an employer match; life and long-term disability insurance, and generous paid holidays.
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 reserves the right to change the job description and/or posting at any time without advance notice.
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, previous criminal conviction, and veteran.