Legal Director

$180,000 - $200,000 yearly
  • Pearl Street Collective
  • Hybrid (Boston, MA, USA)
  • May 01, 2023
Full time Legal

Job Description


The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts (ACLUM) seeks an accomplished and visionary Legal Director to lead its Legal Department and serve as a member of the organization’s senior management team. The ACLUM Legal Director leads both impact litigation and non-litigation legal strategies to strengthen civil rights and civil liberties; inspires and coaches a high-performing team of legal professionals; and collaborates with both legal and non-legal advocates to achieve ACLUM’s mission of advancing liberty, equality, and justice for all.

Over the last ten years, ACLUM has grown its operating budget, staff, public support, and visibility, which has enabled it to bring together a team of dedicated lawyers and advocates to fight – and win – vital civil rights and civil liberties battles, in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and across the country. Reporting to the Executive Director, the Legal Director is responsible for leading efforts to develop and implement legal strategies that advance law and policy reform across eight strategic pillars of opportunity: Democracy, Racial Justice, Criminal Law Reform, Reproductive Justice, Privacy & Technology rights, Immigrants’ Rights, Gender and LGBTQ+ Equity, Environmental Justice, and Public Health as a Civil Right.

The ACLUM Legal Director is a creative and courageous advocate, with a keen understanding of jurisprudential, civil rights, and constitutional law trends across the nation. They are able to identify those trends and work with other ACLUM advocates to develop innovative opportunities for impact litigation in Massachusetts’ state and federal courts. While the person in this role often maintains a small litigation caseload, their key focus is on coaching the legal staff and cooperating private attorneys in ACLUM litigation and advocacy efforts, aiding in case preparation where necessary. Acting as a coach, mentor, and strategist, the Legal Director actively seeks ways to uplift team members and create opportunities to fully develop the talents of each member of the legal team, in support of ACLUM’s overall mission. 

The ideal candidate is a skilled and experienced civil litigator, a strategic thinker, an inspiring leader, and an experienced manager. Strong candidates will have demonstrated the ability to initiate and develop impact litigation as part of a broader advocacy strategy and to lead teams working collaboratively across sectors on innovative advocacy. Equally important is a clear ambition for advancing the organization, its people, and its mission.

Position description may be viewed in its entirety here:


Strategy & Integrated Advocacy

·       Lead and manage the ACLU of Massachusetts Legal department, and serve as a member of ACLUM’s senior management team.

·       Participate in setting and leading litigation and non-litigation legal advocacy strategies and tactics to advance the organization’s strategic priorities and mission.

·       Collaborate across departments to design and implement integrated advocacy campaigns and high-impact strategies that use legal, communications, public education, legislative, and field organizing simultaneously.

·      Serve as a spokesperson for ACLUM, working closely with colleagues on the communications and policy-focused teams to engage in strategic public forums, advocacy discussions, and media opportunities.

Legal Team Leadership

·       Oversee all aspects of ACLUM’s litigation program, including coordinating case selection with the Executive Director; overseeing the investigation and development of cases prior to filing litigation; and building litigation teams with in-house lawyers, cooperating counsel, and other partners.

·       Oversee all aspects of ACLUM’s legal resources program in providing support to internal clients as well as the external public interest and legal services communities.

·       Supervise and inspire a high-performing team of 10+ lawyers, advocates, administrators, legal fellows, and interns.


·       J.D. from an accredited law school, with a license to practice law in Massachusetts or the ability to waive into the Massachusetts state bar exam within six months.

·       10+ years of legal experience with increasing responsibilities, including substantial state and federal constitutional law and civil litigation experience, and an understanding of current state of civil rights and civil liberties precedents and principles. Experience in the criminal legal system and/ or with law reform is helpful.

·       10+ years of senior trial and appellate litigation experience at the state and federal levels, including class actions; demonstrated experience in constitutional or public interest law and impact litigation preferred.

·       Experience designing and executing complex, sequenced civil litigation with the ability to manage multi-year or multi-jurisdictional projects.

·       Experience developing litigation or non-litigation legal strategies where the objective is to uplift community members, pressure decision-makers, or affect other political outcomes.

·       Experience developing non-litigation strategies to promote legal objectives, including work in coalition with allied organizations and partners.

·       A skilled narrator with excellent oral communication, media, presentation, and analytical skills. Demonstrated ability to write clearly and persuasively; communicate effectively with clients, cooperating and opposing counsel, staff, volunteers, and the public; and translate complex civil liberties issues for ease of understanding by the public and media.

·       5+ years of management experience, including supervision and development of attorneys, legal administrative staff, cooperating attorneys, fellows, and volunteers.


Salary: $180,000+

This is a full-time position based in Boston, MA and requires periodic in-state and out-of-state travel. The position is eligible for a hybrid work schedule, being in-person an average of three days per week, with the ability to be in the office on any given day as needed and assigned.  Salary commensurate with experience. Estimated minimum annual salary of $180,000. Benefits include 401(k) plan, medical and dental insurance, and paid vacation and holidays.


The ACLU of Massachusetts, (ACLUM) was founded in 1920 and was the first affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), a nationwide, non-partisan membership organization that works to preserve and expand the freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. With a staff of 40+ and more than 50,000 members across the state, ACLUM employs multi-issue, integrated, and geographically aligned strategies to defend, promote, and extend civil rights and civil liberties so that all people may live in freedom, with dignity and equal rights, and with the privileges and responsibilities of a democratic community.

Through strategies of litigation, non-litigation advocacy, public education, communications, and grassroots activism, ACLUM works to achieve law and policy reform in the areas of racial justice, juvenile justice, LGBTQ rights, women's rights, criminal law reform, equal opportunity, freedom speech and expression, privacy rights, religious liberty, students’ rights, voting rights, and reproductive justice.


Pearl Street Collective, the search firm with purpose, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Co-Founders and Managing Partners Adele Mezher and Maeve Clifford are leading the search. To express interest in this role, please submit your application materials via email to These materials should include (1) your resume, (2) a one- to two-page letter of interest that expresses a clear, strong and proven commitment to civil liberties and public interest work, and (3) a legal writing sample to which you are the sole contributor, up to ten pages in length and ideally an opinion editorial or similar piece. Position description may be viewed in its entirety here: