The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Georgia (ACLUF-GA) seeks to hire a full-time, experienced Staff Attorney to work out of our office in Atlanta. ACLUF-GA is the state affiliate of the national American Civil Liberties Union. Our mission is to preserve and expand the individual rights guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution, the Georgia Constitution, and related federal and state civil rights laws. The Georgia affiliate has approximately 20,000 members statewide.
The Staff Attorney works under the Legal Director’s supervision and in close collaboration with the legal department, law student interns, volunteer attorneys who are co-counsel on ACLU of Georgia cases, and attorneys from the National ACLU office. Just as important, the Staff Attorney works closely with staff from the communications department in a fast-paced environment that addresses headline-making issues through litigation, advocacy, and community education.
The Staff Attorney must be prepared to litigate a variety of civil rights and civil liberties issues, potentially with a predominant focus on voter rights. The Staff Attorney must be able and willing—with minimal guidance and supervision—to research and learn complex legal issues and quickly put together lawsuits oftentimes on short notice in response to late-breaking events. The successful Staff Attorney will move fluidly from the courtroom to the community and will be able to work with diverse allies and coalitions to achieve our ambitious goals.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
- Investigate, develop, and litigate civil rights and civil liberties cases in federal and state courts. This includes conducting factual and legal research, leading litigation teams with multiple co-counsel, interviewing clients and potential witnesses, writing demand letters, drafting pleadings and briefs, conducting discovery, arguing motions, trying cases in court, handling appeals and amicus briefs, and negotiating settlements.
- Communicate with government attorneys or other government officials in attempts to resolve civil rights and civil liberties issues in an amicable and practical manner without resorting to litigation.
- Occasionally provide legal research and analysis on legislative proposals and public education materials.
- Work with the ACLU of Georgia communications department to give media interviews explaining the ACLU of Georgia’s positions and legal actions.
- Give panel and other presentations to the community explaining the ACLU of Georgia’s positions and legal actions.
- Recruit and supervise legal interns (together with other Staff Attorneys).
- Perform paralegal and administrative duties or ensure that co-counsel can perform paralegal and administrative duties, to support the Staff Attorney’s own cases.
- J.D. degree and at least five years of civil litigation experience including experience in filing lawsuits, overseeing or participating in the discovery process, taking depositions, and drafting multiple briefs including at the motion to dismiss and/or motion for summary judgment stage(s).
- Ability to respond quickly to late-breaking events, master new areas of law in a short amount of time, and otherwise work in a fast-paced environment.
- Membership in good standing with the Georgia Bar or eligibility for admission on motion to the Georgia Bar. We will not accept applicants who must take the bar exam to be admitted to the Georgia Bar.
- Ability to take risks and develop creative approaches to litigation or legal arguments regardless of whether they have been previously attempted.
- Ability to work efficiently and be self-sufficient.
- Meticulous attention to factual and legal detail.
- Experience in working with historically marginalized or oppressed communities of different cultures and backgrounds.
- Willingness to receive and respond to constructive criticism.
- Ability to work effectively, sensitively, and collaboratively with diverse staff, coalitions, and community groups. Must have a mature understanding of how structural racism, sexism, and prejudice against all kinds of marginalized communities pervade our society, sometimes among the very communities that fight for social justice.
- Commitment to publicly support and advocate for the civil rights and civil liberties positions adopted by the ACLUF-GA, regardless of any personal beliefs to the contrary.
- Willingness to occasionally travel, work evenings, weekends, and holidays.
- Preferred but not required:
- Clerkship experience
- Experience with drafting, filing, and arguing motions for preliminary injunction / temporary restraining order with minimal to no supervision
- Oral argument experience
- Fluency in Spanish
- Other duties may be assigned as needed.
The ACLU Foundation of Georgia offers a comprehensive compensation and benefits package, commensurate with experience and within parameters of the ACLUF-GA’s compensation scale. Excellent benefits include paid vacation, sick time and holidays; medical, vision and dental insurance; life and long-term disability insurance; and 401(k) Defined Contribution Retirement
Applications should include a cover letter, resume, relevant legal writing sample (no more than 10 pages), and list of at least three professional references to firstname.lastname@example.org. To facilitate our review, your emails should have the subject line: “[Your last name] Staff Attorney Application.” We will review applications on a rolling basis until the position is filled.
This job announcement provides a general but not comprehensive list of the essential responsibilities and qualifications required. It does not represent a contract of employment. The ACLUF-GA reserves the right to change the description and/or posting without advance notice.
The ACLU Foundation of Georgia is an equal opportunity / fair chance employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLUF-GA 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, veteran status, or record of arrest or conviction. We encourage applicants with disabilities who may need accommodations in the application process to contact us at email@example.com.