Senior Staff Attorney

$119,000 yearly
  • NPAG
  • Hybrid (In-person or Hybrid in Louisville, KY or remote within Kentucky)
  • Mar 22, 2024
Full time Legal Nonprofit-Social Services

Job Description

The American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky (ACLU-KY), the premier organization defending the rights and liberties of Kentuckians, is seeking a Senior Staff Attorney to join a team focused on identifying, researching, and litigating state and federal cases to ensure individual freedoms. With substantial experience in civil litigation and a commitment to the ACLU-KY’s mission of defending civil liberties and addressing injustices, the Senior Staff Attorney will proactively manage cases on the organization’s docket and collaborate with other legal, advocacy, and communications staff to advance the organization’s critical work across issue areas.

ORGANIZATIONAL OVERVIEW

The American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky (ACLU-KY) is freedom’s watchdog, working daily in courts, legislatures, and communities to defend the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to all people by the Constitutions of the United States and the Commonwealth of Kentucky. ACLU-KY was founded nearly seventy years ago to address racial discrimination in the Jim Crow era. The organization grew substantially in response to increased need for its services in recent years, and its current legal docket and advocacy focus span reproductive justice, transgender rights, and criminal justice reform, among other issues. Longtime ACLU-KY staffer Amber Duke became the first Black woman to lead the organization when she was appointed Executive Director in 2023.

OPPORTUNITIES FACING THE SENIOR STAFF ATTORNEY

Reporting to the ACLU-KY Legal Director, the Senior Staff Attorney will:

  • Investigate and develop civil rights and civil liberties litigation and advocacy across the project life cycle from strategy development through identification, discovery, and litigation to settlement or trial.
  • Mentor, manage the work of, and collaborate with other Legal staff, including Staff Attorneys, Fellows, and/or interns.
  • Work with colleagues across the organization to integrate litigation with policy advocacy, communications and public education, and philanthropy.
  • Provide legal support and training to community groups, advocates, and organizers across Kentucky.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with partner organizations such as public interest law firms, legal service agencies, law students, and other members of the Kentucky legal community. Conduct community outreach and education.
  • Serve as an organizational spokesperson and thought leader for ACLU-KY.

ACLU-KY staff may choose to work in-person (with a dedicated office in the organization’s Louisville space), hybrid (1-2 days a week in-office), or remotely within the state of Kentucky (with availability for in-person work as case needs dictate). Exceptional candidates may also work remotely from states bordering Kentucky and within commuting distance to Louisville. ACLU-KY will pay the fees for candidates barred elsewhere to gain admission to the Kentucky bar.

QUALIFICATIONS OF THE IDEAL CANDIDATE

The ideal candidate will be an experienced civil litigator who is excited about contributing to ACLU-KY’s work protecting and promoting civil liberties. While no one candidate will embody all the qualifications listed below, the strong candidates will possess many of the following professional and personal abilities, attributes, and experiences:

  • A J.D. and at least nine years of relevant professional experience, including federal, district court, and/or appellate litigation experience.
  • Substantive knowledge of constitutional law and civil liberties, experience with a broad range of civil rights issues, and an orientation towards continual learning and in-depth research.
  • Ability to collaborate effectively and respectfully with colleagues, other attorneys, clients, advocates, and community groups from a wide variety of backgrounds and lived experiences.
  • Demonstrated capacity to work independently and to proactively lead projects from inception through completion.
  • Critical thinker who can develop and execute strategy while being responsive to emerging, mission-aligned opportunities and a shifting legal and policy landscape.
  • Excellent communication skills, including expressing complex ideas through verbal and written methods and facility with formal legal communications.
  • Strong commitment to diversity and racial justice, including a personal approach that values individuals and respects differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, ability, and socio-economic circumstance.
  • Admission to practice law in the commonwealth of Kentucky or willingness to promptly gain admission to the Kentucky bar.
  • Ability to travel within Kentucky.

COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS

The starting salary for the Senior Staff Attorney is $119,000. ACLU-KY offers excellent benefits including:

  • Health, dental, and vision insurance at no cost to employee
  • Long-term disability, life, and accidental death and dismemberment insurance at no cost to employee
  • Contributory 401(k)
  • Employee Assistance Program and counseling services from Spalding University’s Center for Behavioral Health
  • Generous PTO including vacation time, sick leave, floating holidays, and federal holidays and other office-wide closures

TO APPLY

More information about ACLU-KY can be found at: www.aclu-ky.org

This search is being led by Julian Jackson and Eva Rosenberg of NPAG. Due to the pace of the search, candidates are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Candidates may submit their cover letter, outlining their interest and qualifications, along with their resume via NPAG’s website.

Applicants with disabilities who may need accommodations in the application process are invited to contact Eva Rosenberg: eva@npag.com.

The ACLU of Kentucky is an equal-opportunity employer and values a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. ACLU-KY 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, and record of arrest or conviction.