Posted on August 12, 2012
Staff Attorney, National Security Project
American Civil Liberties Union
American Civil Liberties Union - Staff Attorney, National Security Project
The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation (ACLU), with now more than 500,000 members, was founded in 1920 and is a nationwide, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to the principles of liberty and equality embodied in the U.S. Constitution. The National Security Project of the ACLU’s National office in New York City seeks applications for a full-time Staff Attorney.
The National Security Project is part of the ACLU’s Center for Democracy, which works to strengthen democratic institutions and values, including the values of government transparency and accountability, and to reinforce the United States’ commitment to human rights and the rule of law. The Center for Democracy includes, in addition to the National Security Project, the Human Rights Project and the Project on Speech, Privacy, and Technology.
The National Security Project is dedicated to ensuring that U.S. national security policies and practices are consistent with the Constitution, civil liberties, and human rights. We believe that our nation’s core democratic values are the foundation of its strength and security, and that our government’s response to national security concerns must comport with those values. Through our litigation and advocacy strategies, we not only respond to specific government measures, but strive also to educate the public and shape the law so that the courts, Congress, and citizenry can serve as an enduring check against abuse.
The National Security Project’s litigation and advocacy focuses on issues including: detention, torture, targeted killing, discrimination, government surveillance, censorship, and secrecy. Our active and diverse docket includes: a suit on behalf of a number of U.S. citizens and residents who are prohibited from flying to or from the United States or over U.S. airspace because they are on the government's “No Fly List”; a challenge to the indefinite detention without charge or trial of a prisoner held at Guantánamo Bay; a suit on behalf of a broad coalition of human rights, media, and legal organizations challenging the constitutionality of dragnet wiretapping conducted under the amended Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act; and numerous suits under the Freedom of Information Act for information about a variety of related issues including the legal and factual basis for the government’s “targeted killing” policy, the treatment o
f prisoners held by the United States in detention centers overseas, and federal law enforcement’s discriminatory surveillance of religious and racial minorities.
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The Staff Attorney will report to the Director of the National Security Project and should be prepared to contribute to all aspects of the Project’s litigation and non-litigation work, including but not limited to:
Litigating and managing national security/civil liberties cases in the trial and appellate courts through legal and factual research, writing pleadings and briefs, and working with clients and witnesses.
Developing new cases and non-litigation advocacy projects.
Serving as a resource for ACLU legislative and policy staff at the federal and state level, and advancing ACLU policy goals through public education and organizing and participating in coalitions.
Developing and writing advocacy materials for expert and lay audiences.
Engaging in public speaking, including to the media and at conferences for expert and lay audiences.
Working in collaboration with other members of the National Security Project, and other ACLU legal and non-legal staff, particularly legislative, communications and advocacy staff members.
Supervising legal fellows and law students.
Helping to oversee the administrative functions of the National Security Project, as needed.
EXPERIENCE AND QUALIFICATIONS
The applicant should possess the following qualifications:
J.D. degree and a minimum of four years of litigation experience are required. Individuals with more experience are strongly encouraged to apply. Responsibilities will be commensurate with experience and demonstrated skill level.
Experience litigating cases involving national security and civil liberties issues and/or federal criminal defense experience is strongly preferred; commitment to these issues is essential.
A demonstrated commitment to public interest generally and civil liberties in particular.
Demonstrably excellent legal research, writing, and verbal communication skills.
A demonstrated ability to engage in complex legal analysis and fact-finding.
Proven project management and organizational skills, including the ability to work independently, pay attention to detail, and meet strict deadlines while under pressure.
Ability to foster and contribute to a collaborative team environment is essential.
The ACLU offers a generous and comprehensive compensation and benefits package, commensurate with experience and within parameters of the ACLU compensation scale.
This job description provides a general but not comprehensive list of the essential responsibilities and qualifications required. It does not represent a contract of employment. The ACLU reserves the right to change the job description and/or posting at any time without advance notice.
The ACLU 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, and transgender individuals.
The ACLU comprises two separate corporate entities, the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU Foundation. Both the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU Foundation are national organizations with the same overall mission, and share office space and employees. The ACLU has two separate corporate entities in order to do a broad range of work to protect civil liberties. This job posting refers collectively to the two organizations under the name “ACLU.”
HOW TO APPLY
Please send a cover letter explaining your interest in our work; a resume; two references; and two writing samples unedited by others, at least one of which should be a legal research memo, brief, or article. Applicants who graduated from law school within the last five years should include their law school transcript.
Please send materials by email to hrjobsNSP@aclu.org and reference [RE: LGLF-22/PND] in the subject line, or mail applications to:
American Civil Liberties Union
125 Broad Street, 18th Floor
New York, NY 10004
Please indicate in your cover letter where you learned of this career opportunity.