Senior Supervising Attorney - General Civil Liberties
The Roger Baldwin Foundation of ACLU, Inc. (“ACLU of Illinois”) seeks a Senior Supervising Attorney to build and lead litigation and, in collaboration with other Departments, non-litigation advocacy to promote a broad range of civil rights and civil liberties in Illinois.
ABOUT THE JOB
The Legal Department of the ACLU of Illinois works with colleagues across the organization to advance civil rights and civil liberties throughout Illinois using strategic litigation, legislative and other advocacy with governmental officials, and public education. Our work focuses on fighting institutional and structural racism that undermines civil rights and civil liberties, including in the criminal and civil legal systems and immigration; protecting democracy by advancing First Amendment rights, government transparency, and voting rights; promoting access to reproductive health care, the rights of LGBTQ+ communities, and gender equity; and addressing and preventing the harm experienced by people in government care, including in the foster system, prisons, jails, and juvenile detention facilities.
The General Civil Liberties team advances key priorities in the areas of freedom of speech and assembly, voting rights, immigrants’ rights, religious liberty, racial justice and equity, government transparency, the right to privacy, and fine and fee practices that disproportionately harm Black and brown communities. We build relationships with partners and stakeholders and seek to advance litigation that is client-centered and advocacy that is community engaged. The General Civil Liberties team is dedicated to helping ensure the Legal Department meets emerging threats to civil rights and civil liberties. Recently, attorneys on the team brought emergency litigation on behalf of medically vulnerable immigrants detained by ICE in dangerous conditions and on behalf of a disabled person seeking access to life-saving methadone treatment in jail. The team also prepared for emergency litigation concerning potential voter intimidation in the 2020 general election and investigated the violation of protester rights during summer 2020. General Civil Liberties attorneys work collaboratively with colleagues in the Legal Department on amicus briefs and litigation to promote change in the criminal legal system and policing and to advance women’s and reproductive rights and the rights of LGBTQ people and people with disabilities.
The Senior Supervising Attorney is a highly collaborative team player who will develop and litigate cases in state and federal court; create, implement, and participate—in collaboration with staff throughout the ACLU of Illinois and community partners—in non-litigation efforts to combat violations of and threats to civil rights and civil liberties; supervise and mentor junior attorneys; engage in public education; and advance the mission and work of the ACLU of Illinois’ legal work as a whole.
The General Civil Liberties Senior Supervising Attorney may advocate on a range of issues on which the ACLU-IL engages locally and statewide including: advancing freedom of speech and assembly, including the rights of protesters from historically marginalized groups and people who record the police; exposing surveillance and privacy violations; promoting government transparency, including through public records litigation; promoting the rights, health, and dignity of LGBTQ youth in the foster system; and advancing racial justice and equity by fighting fines and fees that disproportionately punish people who cannot afford to pay. As a member of the Legal Department, the Senior Supervising Attorney will serve as a team player and may contribute to litigation in other areas—including criminal legal system and police reform and LGBTQ issues—as needed to advance the ACLU-IL’s legal docket. Although General Civil Liberties attorneys primarily act as legal generalists, they may develop specialized expertise in particular areas to complement the knowledge and skills of others in the Legal Department.
The Senior Supervising Attorney will report to the Legal Director and may supervise one or more mid-career or early-career attorneys, including fellows in the Legal Department, and interns.
CORE JOB RESPONSIBILITIES
- Investigate, develop, and litigate high-impact cases at the trial and appellate level in federal and state courts.
- Investigate, develop, and advance, in coordination with other Departments, non-litigation strategies for advancing civil rights and civil liberties.
- Conduct investigations, impact litigation, and/or non-legislative advocacy, either independently or in collaboration with the Legal Director or other members of the Legal Department.
- Develop and maintain strong, collaborative relationships with organizations in the field, community-based organizations, allies, stakeholders, communities affected by our work, and ACLU-IL members.
- Serve as an ACLU-IL spokesperson with the media and external partners on identified issues.
- Assist with the development of funding proposals.
- Effectively supervise, manage, and mentor early-career and mid-career attorneys with an eye toward their professional development.
- Interest in a range of civil rights and civil liberties issues.
- Highly collaborative with the desire to consult and share information with colleagues, and skills to respectfully resolve differences.
- Strong legal aptitude, including thoughtful engagement with legal principles and precedents, and facility applying law to facts.
- Ability to synthesize multiple sources of facts and law quickly in response to emergent issues.
- Ability and willingness to absorb and litigate new areas of law outside of one’s existing expertise.
- 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.
- 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.
- Ability to effectively manage attorneys to consistently produce high-quality results while developing knowledge, skills, and abilities.
- Excellent track record of working with individuals and communities with diverse identities.
- Consistently integrates deep 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 in regards to race, ethnicity, age, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, ability, socio-economic circumstance, and other factors.
- J.D. degree.
- Admitted to practice in Illinois, can waive into the Illinois bar, or is willing to take the Illinois bar exam no later than summer of 2022.
- Willingness and availability to travel throughout Illinois and, when needed, work beyond the normal workday and on weekends.
- Highly qualified applicants will generally have at least 8 years of legal experience.
SALARY AND BENEFITS
The salary will be $85,000 to $140,000 in accordance with the ACLU of Illinois salary scale and commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits include four weeks paid vacation; 100% employer-paid medical, vision, and dental insurance for staff and eligible dependents; a 403(b) retirement benefits plan with employer match; life insurance; and long-term disability insurance.
ACLU of Illinois staff are based in Chicago, IL, but are currently working remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. When conditions are safe to return to the office space, staff members will be expected to work out of our Chicago office.
The ACLU of Illinois is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and 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, criminal record, or veteran status.
Applicants should prepare:
- A resume
- A letter addressing the following questions:
- Why are you interested in working with the ACLU of Illinois on advancing and defending a broad range of civil rights and civil liberties?
- What are your experiences and qualifications for the position?
- What are the civil rights and civil liberties issue(s) that you feel are most pressing right now and why?
- We value a diverse and inclusive workplace. If you feel comfortable sharing, please tell us about what aspects of your identity, if any, relate to your interest in working with the ACLU of Illinois to advance civil rights and civil liberties.
- A legal writing sample that has not been substantially edited by others, such as a legal memorandum or your draft section of a legal brief. Please provide a cover sheet with a paragraph describing the process that you used for writing the piece, whether it was edited by others, and your own analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the writing.
HOW TO APPLY
Please fill out the fields below. Then, send the following to email@example.com and use the subject line “Senior Supervising Attorney – General Civil Liberties.”
Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.