The American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska seeks a Legal Director who is a dynamic, mission-driven, experienced attorney committed to advancing the civil rights and liberties of the people of Alaska. The Legal Director will be responsible for directing and managing a robust and impactful legal program and will have a track record of visionary, innovative, and collaborative experience. The Legal Director will serve as a member of the ACLU of Alaska’s senior leadership team.
• In consult with the ACLU AK’s legal team, maintain and develop an impact litigation docket that strategically advances all forms of justice, aligns with our organizational priorities, and responds to threats to civil liberties while realistically balancing the capacity of a small legal staff;
• Direct, manage and supervise all aspects of the ACLU’s legal program, including litigation of cases in federal and state court and administrative tribunals;
• Maintain an individual caseload, manage demand letters, public records requests, legal and policy reports and analyses, pre-litigation investigations, discovery, motion practice, brief writing, hearings and trials, appellate work, and amicus briefs;
• Supervise, manage, motivate, and mentor legal department staff including staff attorney(s), paralegal(s), law student(s), and undergraduate interns; create opportunities for long-term departmental growth and professional development of team members;
• Build and manage litigation teams with external partners including cooperating counsel, ACLU national legal staff, private attorneys, community-based organizations, and others; • Assist with administrative matters, including but not limited to developing budgets, providing regular reports on legal department activities, assisting with file retention policy implementation, managing intake correspondence, coordinating and supporting other organizational and departmental activities as needed.
In addition, the Legal Director will work with the Executive Director and senior staff to:
• Foster an organizational, values-based culture with all ACLU AK staff to build cohesion, collaboration, and trust;
• Apply an integrated advocacy approach with all ACLU AK departments;
• Engage donors and funders and support efforts to secure litigation funding, including grant funding;
• Broaden and deepen relationships with volunteer attorneys and community-based organizations to ensure the presence and visibility of the ACLU AK and build our legal docket;
• Support the advocacy, communications, and policy work of the ACLU AK by conducting legal research and legislative analysis, providing testimony to elected officials, and serving as a resource to community stakeholders on policy and legal issues;
• Serve as a spokesperson for the ACLU AK in public forums, advocacy discussions, and media opportunities.
The ideal candidate will have the following professional skills and competencies:
• JD from an accredited law school with a license to practice law in Alaska or licensed in another state and willingness to sit for the Alaska bar exam within one year;
• At least 7 years of increasingly responsible legal experience, which should include substantial administrative, state, and federal constitutional law experience;
• Ability to plan and implement effective legal strategies, establish realistic objectives, and evaluate progress;
• Excellent organizational and time management skills to manage one’s own work as well as others to assure completion of assignments and projects;
• Proven supervisory ability, including experience creating and managing department budgets, mentoring and supporting supervising attorneys and staff, building team morale, and encouraging volunteers;
• Dedication to social justice work, cultural competency to work with a diverse team, and experience with and commitment to the transformative work of challenging systems of oppression, institutional and structural racism, and implicit bias;
• Ability to work with diverse community groups in the planning and development of litigation in both service and leadership roles;
• A track record of leadership through strong communication, collaboration, and relationship-building;
• Exceptional analytical, writing, and speaking skills and demonstrated ability to write clearly and precisely and to communicate effectively to a variety of audiences;
• A strong passion for the ACLU’s mission and commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging;
• Ability to work with a team demonstrating flexibility, humor, honesty, and openmindedness;
• Willingness to work irregular hours as needed, along with occasional travel within Alaska.
Work Accommodations during the COVID-19 Pandemic
To ensure the safety of our employees, ACLU AK has implemented a hybrid return to work policy that relies on guidance from the CDC. When in the office, it is mandatory to have a vaccination record on file or request a medical or religious exemption.
This is an exempt, full-time, at-will position. Salary is between $100,000 – $125,000 depending on experience and includes excellent benefits, including health, dental, life, and disability insurance, a 401(k) plan with an employer-match, Alaska Bar Association dues, and generous vacation, sick, and holiday leave.
Commitment To Equity, Diversity, Belonging, and Inclusion
ACLU AK is an equitable opportunity employer. We believe that having a board, staff, and volunteer base with diverse personal and professional backgrounds enhances our ability to meet our mission by creating an environment where all community members can thrive. We strongly encourage applications from all qualified persons, including people of color, immigrants, women, people with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ community, those who have been formerly incarcerated, and other members of underrepresented groups.
ACLU AK does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status, or record of arrest or conviction. We are committed to providing a work environment that practices equitable and inclusive treatment. We work diligently to prevent and address harassment or discrimination of any kind.
Applications will be reviewed as they are received and will accepted until the position is filled. Please email PDFs of your letter of interest, résumé, a professional writing sample that has not been substantially edited by others, and the names and contact information of three professional references to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “Legal Director.”