Deadline date

September 3, 2019

The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico (ACLU-NM) seeks an experienced attorney to carry out litigation, advocacy, and outreach to advance justice and liberty for Indigenous people in New Mexico. This is a unique opportunity to work in concert with Indigenous communities to dismantle the systems of racism and oppression that make Native Americans among the most marginalized racial groups in our state. This position will work with other leaders in the organization to ensure that our priority advocacy efforts center the voices of impacted people and address the most pressing civil rights challenges facing Indigenous communities.

Supervised by the ACLU-NM Legal Director, the Indigenous Justice 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 Indigenous Justice Attorney becomes part of an “integrated advocacy” team that combines efforts in the courts, legislature, media and communities to maximize its impact.

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 at trial and appellate levels, in federal and state courts, to advance Indigenous Justice, including working with clients, drafting pleadings, briefs, and legal memoranda; engaging in discovery and motions practice; and conducting evidentiary hearings and oral arguments.
  • Build alliances with local and national Indigenous leaders, communities and groups to ensure that the ACLU-NM’s litigation and advocacy support and align with their efforts.
  • Provide technical support and strategic leadership to Indigenous community groups and allied organizations in New Mexico.
  • Serve as a policy expert and advocate on state and local Indigenous justice issues in support of legislation and other campaigns, with responsibilities including public speaking, media interviews, outreach and presentations, as well as writing op-eds, newsletter articles, blogs and reports.
  • Collaborate with ACLU-NM communications, policy and organizing staff to develop and coordinate the implementation of strategies
  • Recruit, coordinate and collaborate with volunteer attorneys who are interested in serving as co-counsel in civil rights litigation.
  • Supervise legal fellows, volunteers, and law clerks, where appropriate.
  • 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 Native communities.
  • J.D. degree and minimum of three years of litigation experience. 
  • A member of the New Mexico Bar (or willing to take the next bar examination).
  • Passionate commitment to and familiarity with Native American 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 impact cases.
  • Fluency in New Mexico Indigenous language(s) preferred.
  • Excellent research, writing, analytic, and speaking skills.
  • Work well in teams with strong interpersonal and verbal communication skills.
  • Self-motivated with the ability to take initiative, manage a variety of tasks and see projects through to completion.
  • 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 of New Mexico’s 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 Indigenous Justice, a current resume, a legal writing sample, and contact information for three professional references. Include “Indigenous Justice 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 we encourage applications to be sent by September 3, 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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