The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Foundation of Alabama seeks a Senior Counsel to develop and lead litigation and, in collaboration with other Departments, non-litigation advocacy to promote transformational changes in the criminal legal system of Alabama. The ACLU of Alabama uses an “integrated advocacy” model that unites legal advocacy, policy advocacy, organizing, and base building for maximum impact. The Senior Counsel will work on traditional litigation, administrative advocacy, and legislative and community education in keeping with that approach.

The Legal Department of the ACLU of Alabama works with colleagues to advance civil rights and civil liberties throughout Alabama using strategic litigation, legislative and policy advocacy with governmental officials, and public education. Our work focuses on fighting the institutional and structural racism that undermines civil rights and civil liberties, including in the criminal and civil legal systems; protecting democracy by advancing First Amendment rights, government transparency, and voting rights; promoting access to reproductive health care, the rights of LGBTQIA communities, and gender equity; and addressing and preventing the harm experienced by people in government care, including in prisons, jails, and juvenile detention facilities.

A core priority of our work is to combat criminal legal system practices that are unlawful, harmful, and disproportionately impact communities of color. We challenge policing that wrongfully criminalizes poverty, mental health challenges, and addiction and that harms and stigmatizes marginalized communities, including Black and brown people, people with disabilities, incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people, people experiencing homelessness and poverty, and the LGBTQIA communities. We advocate for policing that is transparent, accountable, and equitable and promote non-police responses that encourage health and human dignity. We work in partnership with impacted communities and seek to encourage and expand transformational criminal legal system reform to dramatically reduce and improve interactions between police and members of the public and to hold police and other legal system entities accountable when they cause harm. We protect the rights of protesters because of the importance of defending dissent, including dissent against racial injustice in the criminal legal system. We recognize that litigation is only one tool in a broader social movement to promote community safety and racial justice in the Legal Department.

Job Description:

The Senior Counsel is a highly collaborative team player who will develop and litigate cases before administrative bodies and in state and federal court to combat mass incarceration and advance government transparency over harmful criminal legal system practices.  Senior Counsel will also create, implement, and participate -- in collaboration with staff throughout the ACLU of Alabama and community partners -- in non-litigation efforts to combat harmful criminal legal system practices which disproportionately impact communities of color; supervise and mentor volunteer attorneys, interns, and externs; engage in legislator education; and advance the mission and work of the ACLU of Alabama’s Legal Department as a whole. The Senior Counsel will report to the Legal Director.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Support and assist the affiliate in developing, refining, and achieving our criminal legal reform objectives.
  • Lead and manage litigation teams, serve as co-counsel, and work with other legal, policy, and organizing staff within the ACLU of Alabama and partner organizations.
  • Investigate, develop, and litigate high-impact cases at the administrative, trial, and appellate level in federal and state courts, as necessary to support our criminal legal reform objectives.
  • Investigate, develop and advance, in coordination with other Departments, non-litigation strategies for advancing our criminal legal reform objectives.
  • Develop and maintain strong, collaborative relationships with leaders and organizations doing criminal legal reform work, community-based organizations supporting and assisting formerly incarcerated people, allies, stakeholders, communities affected by our criminal legal reform work, and ACLU-AL members.
  • Serve as an ACLU-AL spokesperson with the media and external partners on pardon, parole, and re-entry issues.
  • Assist with the development of funding proposals.
  • Conduct outreach, recruitment, and hiring for diverse and excellent staff and interns.
  • Effectively supervise, manage, and mentor early-career and mid-career volunteer attorneys with an eye toward their professional development.

Qualifications:

  • Highly collaborative with the desire to consult and share information with colleagues and to respectfully resolve differences.
  • Strong legal aptitude, including thoughtful engagement with advanced legal principles.
  • Ability to produce exceptionally clear and persuasive written legal and non-legal documents.
  • Ability to write and speak clearly and persuasively in legal (court) and non-legal settings, and with a wide range of individuals and organizations.
  • Extensive experience in federal or state court litigation and ability to develop and execute litigation and non-litigation advocacy strategies.
  • Ability to take initiative, multi-task, identify priorities amidst competing demands, and lead projects to completion with strong strategic thinking, problem-solving, and relationship-building skills.
  • Excellent track record of working with individuals and communities with diverse identities.
  • Experience working collaboratively with a broad range of stakeholders, including prosecutors, defense counsel, judges, legislators, currently or formerly incarcerated people, and their families.
  • Consistently integrates an expert-level understanding of key racial equity concepts into work projects and interactions by addressing structural implications and disproportionate impacts of policies, activities, and decisions on race, class, and other group identities within the context of job responsibilities and projects.
  • Demonstrates an ongoing commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion within the office, using an approach that values all individuals and respects differences regarding race, ethnicity, age, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, ability, socio-economic circumstance, and other factors.
  • J.D. degree.
  • Admitted to practice in Alabama, can waive into the Alabama bar, or is willing to take the Alabama bar exam no later than summer of 2022.
  • Highly qualified applicants will generally have at least 10 years of legal experience.

Compensation and Benefits:

Salary is commensurate with experience and within the parameters of the ACLU of Alabama: $70,000 - $80,000. Benefits include medical and disability insurance, 401(k) and vacation, holiday, and sick leave.

Application Process:

All applications are treated confidentially. The ACLU is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities. If you are a qualified individual with a disability and need assistance applying online, please email jobs@aclualabama.org. Please include “Senior Counsel_Accomodation Request” in the subject line. No phone calls, please. If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request accommodation for the interview process.

 

The ACLU of Alabama is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and encourages applications from all qualified individuals including women, people of color, persons with disabilities, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, non-binary and transgender individuals.

Any candidates requesting accommodations may either contact us at jobs@aclualabama.org, or through an independent third party at aclu@rocketcityhr.com at (256) 272-9555 at extension 9.