The American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia seeks a dynamic individual to join its team and help expand its litigation capacity and accomplishments as the premier advocacy organization for civil liberties and civil rights in the Commonwealth. The Secular Society Women’s Rights Advocacy Counsel (the Counsel) will contribute to the accomplishment of organizational goals related to the elimination of sex discrimination and expansion of abortion access by working with the legal, advocacy and communications teams on integrated advocacy projects related to those strategic priorities.
The Counsel will also bring a “gender lens” to other work of the ACLU of Virginia including criminal law reform, privacy and technology, freedom of speech and religion, and voting rights. The Counsel will develop and litigate impact cases in state and federal court and serve as women’s rights advocacy counsel to the ACLU of Virginia’s advocacy and communications teams. The Counsel will also participate in non-litigation advocacy to advance women’s rights including legislative support, public speaking and education, recruitment and supervision of cooperating attorneys/ interns/volunteers, and fundraising as necessary.
Job Title: The Secular Society Women’s Rights Advocacy Counsel
Date: May 1, 2018
Job Reports To: Legal Director
Job Summary: The Secular Society Women’s Rights Advocacy Counsel will bring a “gender lens” to the work of the ACLU of Virginia including criminal law reform, privacy and technology, freedom of speech and religion, voting rights and more traditional women’s rights issues including abortion access. The Counsel will develop and litigate impact cases in state and federal court and serve as women’s rights advocacy counsel to the ACLU of Virginia’s advocacy and communications teams. The Counsel will also participate in non-litigation advocacy to advance women’s rights including legislative support, public speaking and education, recruitment and supervision of cooperating attorneys/interns/volunteers, and fundraising as necessary.
Term of Appointment: This is a grant funded position with an indefinite term. The initial appointment will be for two years with continued employment dependent on the continued availability of grant funds.
- Investigates, develops, and litigates women’s rights cases, including the demonstrated ability to conduct all aspects of factual and legal research; devise legal theory and strategy; evaluate and analyze potential claims; identify possible plaintiffs and defendants; interview clients and potential witnesses; work with experts; prepare memoranda; and draft demand letters;
- Acts as lead attorney in litigating women’s rights cases in federal and state courts by drafting pleadings, motions, briefs and correspondence; conducting discovery; taking and defending depositions; arguing motions; trying cases; handling appeals; working with experts; negotiating and monitoring settlements; and pursuing attorney fee awards;
- Assists in expanding the litigation and legal advocacy docket for the legal department;
- Seeks out and cultivates pro bono relationships and relationships with cooperating attorneys;
- Reviews intake complaints for potential action; • Drafts or coordinates amicus briefs in cases of constitutional significance;
- Monitors and oversees litigation being handled by cooperating attorneys and assists when necessary;
- Ensures that all pleadings are filed timely and according to court rules;
- Develops litigation strategy with Legal Director; and
- Travels for the purposes of litigation, advocacy, and professional development as needed.
- Drafts memoranda, blog entries, press releases, reports, other public education materials, and legislative advocacy support materials;
- Collaborates with the Legal Director and other staff as requested to develop and present positions on current issues affecting women;
- Acts as a resource to staff handling policy advocacy, public education, and communications;
- Collaborates in the development and implementation of integrated advocacy initiatives and strategies to achieve women’s rights goals in which litigation is one advocacy tool;
- Helps organize legal education training and public events on women’s rights and issues implicating women’s interests;
- Serves as a spokesperson for the ACLU-VA on women’s rights cases and issues as requested for both the media and as a public speaker;
- Represents the ACLU-VA at bar functions and meetings and continuing legal education seminars; and
- Writes letters and provides public comment and testimony before state and local government and regulatory agencies on matters affecting women’s rights.
Legal Program Administration & Support:
- Actively recruits and supervises cooperating attorneys, legal interns, law students, and other volunteers;
- Develops and maintains relationships with national ACLU staff and other affiliates;
- Contributes to the maintenance of the legal docket and intake database;
- Ensures that Executive Director and Legal Director are adequately informed of work, including, preparing reports and providing other support as needed;
- Meets with donors to discuss the legal program, as requested; and
- Develops and conducts staff training sessions, workshops, continuing legal education events, and other events on ACLU-VA issues, as appropriate.
- J.D. from an accredited law school;
- Admission to the Virginia State Bar or admission within six months;
- Continued good standing with the Virginia State Bar;
- Legal experience demonstrating the ability to act as lead attorney in an independent docket of cases in state or federal court and the ability to lead and supervise staff attorneys, legal fellows, cooperating attorneys, and paralegals on matters related to those cases;
- Demonstrated ability and experience in delegating effectively to junior attorneys, volunteer attorneys, cooperating attorneys, paralegals, interns, externs, legal fellows and other staff;
- Thorough knowledge of and a strong and demonstrated commitment to civil liberties and civil rights and women’s rights, and support for the goals of the American Civil Liberties Union;
- Willingness to work beyond the normal work day or more than 40 hours per week;
- Willingness to travel as necessary;
- Demonstrated ability as an outcomes-focused, critical thinker who is also an initiator, exhibits resourcefulness and good judgment, has commitment and follow-through, possesses effective timemanagement and prioritization, and has a growth-mindset; and
- Demonstrated commitment to diversity; a personal approach that values the individual and respects differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability and socio-economic circumstance; and the ability to work with diverse individuals within the organization and broader community.
Essential Skills and Abilities:
- Self-motivated with demonstrated skill at litigating independently, collaboratively, and under pressure;
- Excellent research and writing, and speaking skills;
- Ability to assimilate and synthesize quickly oral and written data, to analyze facts and draw logical conclusions, demonstrating excellent analytical skills;
- Ability to think creatively and implement non-litigation strategies to promote objectives;
- Strong interpersonal skills and willingness to work cooperatively on a variety of projects with lawyers, other staff members, cooperating attorneys, and with diverse organizations and coalitions;
- Capacity to work on multiple time-sensitive projects effectively, efficiently, and, as appropriate, autonomously with close attention to detail; and • Ability to use judgment, tact, and discretion.
- Demonstrated leadership experience in the community, non-profit, or legal field;
- Fluency in Spanish;
- Experience working in an integrated advocacy program.
- Computer, mobile phone, telephone, copier, fax
Compensation and Benefits:
This is a grant funded position with an indefinite term. The initial appointment will be for two years with continued employment dependent on the continued availability of grant funds.
Salary based on market factors and individual experience and abilities. The salary range for this position is $51,510 to $77,265. To preserve the opportunity for advancement, we do not normally hire above the mid-point of the range. Excellent benefits include paid time off, generous paid holidays, medical, dental, and vision insurance, 401K plan, life insurance, and income replacement during illness through a combination of annual sick leave, short-term and long-term disability insurance.
Send a cover letter explaining your interest in and qualifications for the position as detailed in the attached job description, a current resume, and a short, one or two-page writing sample by email to firstname.lastname@example.org with The Secular Society Women’s Rights Advocacy Counsel in the subject line of the email or by mail to ACLU of Virginia, 701 E. Franklin St., Ste. 1412, Richmond, VA 23219.
Please indicate in your cover letter where you found this job listing. Applications accepted until position is filled. Submit your application as soon as possible. To ensure consideration, application materials must be received by 5pm EDT, April 15, 2018.
The ACLU of Virginia is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU of Virginia encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, and veteran status. Persons with disabilities may request accommodation.