Deadline date

September 6, 2019

The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico (ACLU-NM) seeks an experienced attorney carry out litigation, advocacy, and outreach to advance justice and liberty for immigrants and other vulnerable populations in New Mexico. This is a unique opportunity to fight back against the Trump administration’s inhumane policies and engage in some of the most important civil rights battles of our time. This position will work with other leaders in the organization to ensure that our priority advocacy efforts center the voices of impacted immigrant communities.

Supervised by the ACLU-NM Legal Director, the Immigrant Rights Attorney is a strategic thinker, a leader and a self-motivated advocate with a passion for justice and racial equity. This position is based in Albuquerque.

The ACLU-NM is an affiliate of the national ACLU, the country’s leading defender of civil rights and liberties, including racial justice. With 24 staff members, offices in Albuquerque and Las Cruces, and more than 9,000 members state-wide, it is a powerful advocate for justice that has a track record of success dating back to the organization’s founding in 1962. By joining the ACLU of New Mexico, the Immigrant Rights Attorney becomes part of an “integrated advocacy” team that combines efforts in the courts, legislature, media and communities to maximize its impact.

Position overview

The staff attorney will be responsible for engaging in pro-active litigation around our strategic priority areas. They will also work closely with communications staff and policy advocates in support of the ACLU-NMs integrated advocacy model, which unites legal advocacy, policy advocacy, organizing, and base building for maximum impact. Much of that work will focus on immigration-related litigation and advocacy, including addressing unlawful immigration enforcement practices, challenging inhumane conditions of confinement in short- and long-term immigration detention facilities, reducing immigration detention, protecting the due process rights of detained immigrants, and disentangling local law enforcement from immigration enforcement.

Primary responsibilities

  • Identify and develop opportunities for proactive litigation and other legal advocacy by conducting factual and legal research and developing relevant strategies and legal theories.
  • Litigate high-impact cases in federal and state courts, to advance immigrants’ rights, including working with clients, drafting pleadings, briefs, and legal memoranda; engaging in discovery and motions practice; and conducting evidentiary hearings and oral arguments.
  • Partner with local and national immigrants’ rights organizations and activists to ensure that the ACLU-NM’s litigation and advocacy supports and aligns with their work.
  • File administrative complaints with governmental agencies and records requests to obtain information about civil rights violations along the U.S.-Mexico border and across the state.
  • Serve as a policy expert and advocate on state and local immigration issues in support of legislation and other campaigns, with responsibilities including public speaking, media interviews, outreach, and “know your rights” presentations, as well as writing op-eds, newsletter articles, and reports.
  • Collaborate with ACLU-NM communications, policy and organizing staff to develop and coordinate the implementation of strategies.
  • Recruit, coordinate and collaborate with ACLU-NM volunteer attorneys who are interested in serving as co-counsel in civil rights litigation or advisors on an Immigrants’ Rights Legal Panel
  • Supervising support staff, legal fellow, volunteers, and/or law clerks.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace, using a personal approach that values all individuals and respects differences in race, ethnicity, age, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, ability and socio-economic circumstance.
  • Work collaboratively and respectfully toward resolving conflicts and overcoming obstacles.
  • Travel as required.


  • Demonstrated commitment to the mission and goals of the ACLU.
  • Demonstrated commitment to cultural and social humility. A commitment to diversity and a personal approach that values the individual and respects differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, ability and socio-economic circumstance.
  • Experience working within immigrant communities
  • J.D. degree and minimum of one year of litigation experience. Three years preferred.
  • A member of the New Mexico Bar (or willing to take the next bar examination).
  • Passionate commitment to and familiarity with immigrants’ rights, racial and social justice, and civil liberties issues.
  • Demonstrated ability to conduct complex legal analysis and fact-finding and work independently to develop and litigate impacts cases.
  • Fluency in Spanish (written and spoken).
  • Proven ability to work independently as well as within a team.
  • Excellent research, writing, and analytic skills.
  • Self-motivated with the ability to take initiative, manage a variety of tasks and see projects through to completion.
  • Works well in teams with strong interpersonal and verbal communication skills.
  • A car, a willingness to travel and a current driver’s license.


Competitive public interest legal salary commensurate with experience within the parameters of ACLU-NM salary scale. Excellent benefits include paid vacation, medical and dental insurance, 401k plan, life and long-term disability insurance, and generous paid holidays.

To apply

Please send a cover letter to HR@aclu-nm.org that illustrates your commitment to civil liberties and immigrant rights, a current resume, and contact information for three professional references. Include “Immigrants’ Rights Attorney Search” in the subject line and specify how you heard about the posting. No phone calls or walk-ins, please. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled but preference will be given to applications received by September 6, 2019.

The ACLU of New Mexico is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status and record of arrest or conviction.

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