STAFF ATTORNEY

The American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia (ACLU-WV) seeks a dynamic Staff Attorney to work under and closely with our legal director to successfully navigate the diverse and challenging legal activities of the organization. The ACLU of West Virginia is a non-partisan, non-profit public interest organization dedicated to protecting and expanding civil liberties for all people in West Virginia.  A major focus of our work is to extend the promise of the Bill of Rights to those groups who have traditionally been denied its protections. We accomplish our goals through litigation, advocacy, public education, and grassroots organizing. Given the policies currently being pursued on the state and local levels, we believe that our mission is as relevant and important today as it has ever been. 

The Staff Attorney can anticipate working on issues such as freedom of speech, expression and association, religious liberty, privacy, racial justice, reproductive freedom, LGBTQ rights, criminal legal reform and drug policy reform, and protection from government abuses.  The job duties will also include non-litigation advocacy involving community outreach, coalition building, writing and publishing reports, planning and participating in public meetings, legislative research and advocacy, and media interviews. The Staff Attorney reports to the Legal Director.

Our office is located in the heart of Wild, Wonderful West Virginia in the East End of Charleston, just steps away from the state’s Capitol building. Charleston offers a pleasant and cosmopolitan lifestyle in a smaller, affordable metropolitan area with active civic organizations, exciting arts and performance venues, institutions of higher education, and excellent medical facilities. West Virginia’s beautiful state parks, wildlife, and trails for hiking and biking are within easy reach. 

To learn more about the work of the ACLU-WV and the ACLU nationwide, please visit www.acluwv.org and www.aclu.org.

POSITION OVERVIEW:

The Staff Attorney will help us expand the ACLU-WV legal program and increase the affiliate’s visibility across West Virginia.  The Staff Attorney, in coordination with the Legal Director and Executive Director, will be responsible for executing the overall legal strategy to advance the ACLU-WV mission.  This includes developing and litigating high-impact, complex federal and state cases.  The Staff Attorney will work closely with peers in the organization, foster relationships among the legal community, advocate for change in the civil liberties landscape, and engage supporters in achieving our mission.  The position requires a willingness to work beyond the normal work day, including evening and weekend meetings and events. Our office is based in Charleston, but this position could be remote in other locations in West Virginia depending on experience.

RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Help develop and execute integrated strategies using litigation, public education, and legislative and policy advocacy to further the organization’s priorityissues;
  • Research civil liberties issues, and prepare legal memoranda and demand letters;
  • Conduct complex federal and state court civil liberties litigation, including all aspects of discovery, motion practice, briefs, trials, appellate work, and amicus briefs;
  • Secure the services and expand the pool of cooperating attorneys;
  • Monitor litigation handled by cooperating attorneys and provide back-up assistance as needed;
  • Participate directly in litigation in selected cases, either as co-counsel with cooperating attorneys or, when necessary, as lead counsel;
  • Analyze and draft legislation;
  • Prepare and/or provide testimony at legislative hearings;
  • Update Know Your Rights Seminars and present as needed;
  • Recruit and supervise legal interns;
  • Prepare necessary dockets and reports for the Legal Director, Executive Director and Board;
  • Develop and maintain relationships with the legal staff at the national ACLU, its projects, and other affiliates;
  • Participate in national ACLU legal conferences and maintain the requisite CLE requirements (at the ACLU-WV Foundation’s expense).

AT THE DISCRETION OF THE LEGAL DIRECTOR:

  • Engage in public speaking and articulate ACLU-WV views to the public and the media on a broad range of issues;
  • Write press releases, op-ed pieces, and newsletter articles;
  • Travel to attend local, statewide or national meetings;
  • Assist in fund-raising efforts by participating in meetings with donors, speaking at donor events, and otherwise working with development staff to ensure consistent funding of our work

QUALIFICATIONS:

  • J.D. and admission to the West Virginia Bar (or admission within one year of hire);
  • A deep and demonstrated commitment to civil liberties and civil rights, and strong support for the goals of the ACLU;  
  • Ability to develop and implement non-litigation strategy;
  • Ability to analyze and articulate legal concepts and other complex issues and communicate them to a variety of audiences
  • Excellent research, writing and analytical skills;
  • Skills as an articulate public advocate;
  • Excellent organizational skills;
  • Flexibility for travel;
  • Personal enthusiasm, optimism, and a sense of humor;
  • Strong interpersonal skills, including the ability to work collaboratively with other lawyers, staff members, and within diverse community organizations and coalitions.

SALARY & BENEFITS:

ACLU-WV has a unionized workforce; this is a bargaining unit position.  Salary is commensurate with experience and within the parameters of the ACLU-WV compensation scale ($65,000-$85,000).  Excellent benefits offered, including generous health insurance plan, life and long-term disability insurance, 401(k), generous sick, vacation, holiday leave and parking.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE:

Submit a letter of interest, resume, legal writing sample, law school transcript (if in practice less than 5 years), and a list of three professional references including contact information, to mail@acluwv.org with a subject line of “Attorney Position.” 

DEADLINE:

Applications will be reviewed as they are received and will continue until the position is filled.  Applicants are encouraged to apply early. 

The ACLU of West Virginia is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and encourages women, people of color, people with disabilities and LGBTQ people to apply.  We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU of West Virginia strongly encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, history in the criminal legal system, and veteran status.