Job Listing: Staff Attorney
The ACLU of Utah seeks a Staff Attorney to join its legal team in the fight for civil rights and individual liberties. As a state affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Utah operates through a model of integrated advocacy, using litigation, legislative efforts, policy advocacy, and community engagement as mutually supportive tactics to advance civil rights for everyone in Utah.
Posted: August 26, 2020
Download a PDF version of this job description (PDF)
The ACLU of Utah legal team has contributed to major achievements in recent years, including forcing the state government to honor all marriages, removing barriers to exercising free speech rights on state roads, winning an injunction against a state anti-immigrant law, and improving voting access and assistance for Navajo voters in San Juan County. We have several legal challenges underway, including a suit alleging racial profiling by city police; a challenge to an asserted illegal, militarized home raid by US Marshals; a damages suit involving a gang injunction that violated due process rights; and a challenge to a state ban on abortion after 18 weeks.
The ACLU of Utah seeks to advance rights on a range of intersecting issues, including racial justice, criminal justice reform, participatory democracy, reproductive rights, immigrants’ rights, privacy and technology, and LGBTQ rights. The ACLU of Utah has a staff of 15 people, including 5 lawyers in the legal department. (Given the COVID-19 pandemic, it is likely the Staff Attorney will begin during a period of primarily remote work.)
The ACLU of Utah seeks an experienced, dynamic, creative, and thoughtful attorney who will focus on multiple civil liberties and civil rights issues using litigation and other advocacy strategies. Primary responsibilities will include:
• Assisting in investigating, developing and litigating high-impact cases at the trial and appellate level in federal and state courts.
• Serving as policy analyst and advocate on state and local issues in support of legislation and other campaigns, including public speaking; media interviews; “know your rights” presentations; and writing op-eds, newsletter articles, and reports.
• Providing technical support and strategic leadership to community groups, advocates and organizers in the region.
• Conducting direct outreach and advocacy to public officials.
• Supervising, along with the Legal Director, paralegal staff.
• Managing interns.
The Staff Attorney reports directly to the ACLU of Utah’s Legal Director, but will also collaborate with other attorneys or staff on particular projects. In most litigation, the Staff Attorney will work on a team of lawyers including both ACLU of Utah staff and cooperating lawyers from the private bar.
Qualifications and other Required Skills and Attributes:
Applicants must have a law degree from an accredited law school and be admitted to practice law in Utah or be licensed and in good standing in another state and willing and able to obtain a Utah law license within six months. We seek to fill this position with an attorney with 2 or more years of litigation experience. The successful applicant must also have a demonstrated commitment, through previous professional, volunteer or lived experience, to civil rights and civil liberties.
The position requires excellent legal research, writing, and oral advocacy skills, as well as strong analytical, interpersonal, and time-management skills. The individual must be an outstanding communicator who is able to effectively convey the mission and activities of the ACLU to a variety of diverse constituencies and to the broader public. We are looking for a flexible team player who is also comfortable working independently and taking initiative.
Applicants must have patience, emotional intelligence, cultural competency, and an anti-racist perspective. Applicants must be able to occasionally work evenings, weekends or variable hours as cases and other work may require. On occasion, travel is required throughout the state, and may be requested for nationwide conferences or trainings.
Preferred Skills and Experiences:
Strong candidates will have demonstrated experience using litigation, advocacy, and community engagement strategies as part of a creative response to civil rights and civil liberties violations in affected communities.
• Experience in Utah state or federal courts is a plus.
• Pertinent litigation experience could include drafting pleadings, preparing and responding to discovery, conducting and defending depositions, writing trial and appellate briefs, examining witnesses
and arguing motions or appeals.
• Relevant advocacy experience could include writing letters to or testifying before government agencies or legislative bodies seeking policy changes.
• Community engagement may include work with other organizations on shared goals or objectives, grassroots organizing, preparation of know your rights materials or public education presentations.
• Fluency in languages other than English spoken in the community is preferred.
Compensation and Benefits:
Salary will be based on relevant legal experience and skills. The salary range for this position is $55,000-65,000. Excellent benefits include paid time off, 12 weeks of parental leave, medical and dental coverage, life insurance, short and long term disability insurance, robust professional development support, and a 401(K) with employer matching contribution that vests after one year of employment.
Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.
Download a PDF version of this job description (PDF)
Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion:
The ACLU of Utah is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. We encourage and greatly value applications from all qualified individuals without regard to arrest or conviction, race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability or veteran status.
About the ACLU of Utah:
Founded in 1958, the ACLU of Utah is a not-for-profit, nonpartisan organization that utilizes legal, legislative, and public education approaches to fight for individual rights and fundamental freedoms. Our mission is to defend and promote the fundamental principles and values embodied in the Bill of Rights and the U.S. Constitution, including reproductive freedom, immigrant rights, free speech, racial justice, privacy, religious liberty, LGBTQ rights, and more. For more information, please visit www.acluutah.org