Staff Attorney or Senior Staff Attorney in the LGBTQ & HIV Project

  • American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
  • New York, NY, USA
  • Feb 02, 2024
Full time Legal

Job Description

Staff Attorney or Senior Staff Attorney in the LGBTQ & HIV Project




The ACLU seeks a full-time position of Staff Attorney or Senior Staff Attorney in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer & HIV Project of the ACLU’s national office in New York, NY. This is a hybrid role that has in-office requirements of two (2) days per week or eight (8) days per month.


Through the LGBTQ & HIV Project, founded in 1986, the ACLU seeks to create a just society for all LGBTQ people and people living with HIV regardless of race or income. Through litigation, lobbying, public education, and organizing, the ACLU works to build a country where our communities can live openly without discrimination and enjoy equal rights, personal autonomy, and freedom of expression and association. The ACLU has been a leading advocate for LGBTQ rights for decades, having brought its first gay rights case in 1936, its first transgender rights case in 1967, and having served as counsel in seven of the past nine United States Supreme Court cases involving LGBTQ-related issues. Our advocacy strategies are built around the idea that fighting for civil rights means not just persuading judges and legislatures but ultimately changing the way people think about us and our issues.


Today, the ACLU and its state affiliate offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico do more litigation, policy advocacy, legislative lobbying, ballot campaigns, and public education work on LGBTQ issues than any other national civil rights organization. We currently are prioritizing our work for transgender justice in particular. Doing this work as part of the broad civil liberties agenda of the ACLU reflects the reality that the LGBTQ and HIV communities are part of other social change movements and that we must work together if we are to achieve a just society for all. The ACLU strives to ensure that the full diversity of the LGBTQ and HIV-affected communities is reflected in its work and continues to explore ways to make our efforts more impactful for people of color, people living with disabilities, people living in poverty, and others who have been historically excluded by our movements.




The Staff Attorney or Senior Staff Attorney will be responsible for creating and implementing multi-pronged strategies using litigation, legislative and policy advocacy, and public education to further the ACLU’s strategic goals.




• Litigation in federal and state courts, including writing pleadings and briefs, conducting discovery and motion practice, handling hearings and trials, and arguing appeals

• Working with ACLU political advocacy and state affiliate staff on bills in state legislatures and in Congress

• Policy advocacy to effect change in state and federal administrative agencies

• Engaging in community outreach and public speaking, including representing ACLU positions to the media and the public generally

• Working closely with legal and non-legal program staff, particularly legislative, communications, advocacy, fundraising, and support professionals

• Developing strong relationships with other public interest lawyers and ACLU volunteer lawyers

• Supervising law clerks

• Traveling as required for litigation, legislative and policy advocacy, conferences, and public speaking

• Engage in special projects and other duties as assigned




• Be committed to advancing the mission of the ACLU

• Center and embed the principles of equity, inclusion and belonging in their work by demonstrating commitment to diversity with an approach that respects and values multiple perspectives

• Be committed to work collaboratively and respectfully toward resolving obstacles and conflicts




• J.D. degree and admission to practice in one state is required. If the candidate is not already admitted to practice in New York, admission to the New York Bar is required within one year of hire

• Significant litigation experience

• Demonstrated capacity to perform complex legal analytical work

• Excellent research skills

• Demonstrated ability to write and to speak clearly and persuasively

• Applicants should be self-starters, be diligent, and have the proven ability to work with a wide range of people and to perform under pressure




Experience with advocacy campaigns at the local, state or federal level is preferred

Experience with constitutional issues is preferred

Familiarity with LGBTQ rights, HIV/AIDS and other civil liberties issues is preferred




The ACLU has a litigator scale that determines pay for attorneys in our Legal Department. The range of salaries are the following, based on year of law school graduation (please consult the hiring manager for specific salary details, based on individual circumstances):


• 0-2 years since law school graduation: $85,000-$106,182

• 3-5 years since law school graduation: $118,927-$140,309

• 6-10 years since law school graduation: $146,732- $165,531

• 11-15 years since law school graduation: $168,627-$178,198

• 16-20 years since law school graduation: $179,880-$184,512

• 21-25 years since law school graduation: $185,447-$189,246

• 26-30+ years since law school graduation: $190,158- $193,860

These salaries are reflective of positions based in New York, NY. The salary will be subject to a locality adjustment (according to a specific city and state), if an authorization is granted to work outside of the location listed in this posting. Note that most of the salaries listed on our job postings reflect New York, NY salaries, where our National offices are headquartered.




For over 100 years, the ACLU has worked to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States. Whether it’s ending mass incarceration, achieving full equality for the LGBTQ+ community, establishing new privacy protections for our digital age, or preserving the right to vote or the right to have an abortion, the ACLU takes up the toughest civil liberties cases and issues to defend all people.


We know that great people make a great organization. We value our people and know that what we offer is essential not just their work, but to their overall well-being.


At the ACLU, we offer a broad range of benefits, which include:


• Time away to focus on the things that matter with a generous paid-time off policy

• Focus on your well-being with comprehensive healthcare benefits (including medical, dental and vision coverage, parental leave, gender affirming care & fertility treatment)

• Plan for your retirement with 401k plan and employer match

• We support employee growth and development through annual professional development funds, internal professional development programs and workshops




Equity, diversity, and inclusion are core values of the ACLU and central to our work to advance liberty, equality, and justice for all. For us diversity, equity and inclusion are not just check-the-box activities, but a chance for us to make long-term meaningful change. We are a community committed to learning and growth, humility and grace, transparency and accountability. We believe in a collective responsibility to create a culture of belonging for all people within our organization – one that respects and embraces difference; treats everyone equitably; and empowers our colleagues to do the best work possible. We are as committed to anti-oppression and anti-racism internally as we are externally. Because whether we’re in the courts or in the office, we believe ‘We the People’ means all of us.


With this commitment in mind, we strongly encourage 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 and record of arrest or conviction, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.


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 If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.


To apply, visit