The Legal Assistant provides critical administrative, clerical, and investigative support to attorneys. This role will support ACLU-NM's legal work on civil rights cases in state and federal courts in New Mexico. We anticipate hiring two Legal Assistants, with one having a primary focus on those impacted by incarceration and the criminal-legal system and the other having a primary focus on immigrants’ rights and border issues, though both will support work across all issue areas. This position requires someone who is detail-oriented, highly organized, capable of working independently, and prepared to engage thoughtfully with clients who have experienced or are experiencing significant trauma.
This is a non-exempt full-time role that can be based out of the Albuquerque or Las Cruces office (Albuquerque strongly preferred for the criminal-legal position). This role may be eligible for a 32 hr/week schedule if preferred. This role may be hired as a Paralegal level position if the candidate has 2+ years professional experience with the responsibilities outlined below.
WHO WE ARE
Our mission is to protect and advance justice, liberty, and equity as guaranteed by the constitutions of New Mexico and the United States. We are committed to ending racism and other inequities. This includes how we work with each other and with our partners and allies in the communities we serve. For more information, please visit our website at www.aclu-nm.org.
Equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging are core values of the ACLU and central to our work. We believe in a collective responsibility to create a culture of belonging for all people within our organization – one that respects and embraces difference; treats everyone equitably; and empowers our colleagues to do the best work possible.
WHAT YOU’LL DO:
- Provide support in the drafting, filing, review, and organization of litigation documents, including pleadings, discovery, and correspondence. Create and maintain case files. Effectuate service of summonses and subpoenas.
- Draft correspondence and various legal documents, such as requests, declarations, notices, and orders.
- Track jail, detention center, and prison conditions in New Mexico from information gathered from complaints. Schedule phone calls with incarcerated and detained individuals.
- Communicate and coordinate with clients, including incarcerated clients and those in immigration detention, court personnel, co-counsel, and partner organizations.
- Assist in case development and investigative work, including conducting research, interviewing potential clients and witnesses, and requesting and reviewing public records.
- Maintain attorney calendars, track case deadlines, schedule appointments, handle legal mail, and make travel arrangements.
- Manage logistics for depositions, court hearings, team meetings, and other events, such as trainings and volunteer meetings.
- Review and respond to civil rights complaints from community members, manage the intake database, coordinate with intake volunteers, and elevate intakes to the Legal Director as appropriate.
- Provide general administrative support to the legal team as needed.
- Center principles of equity, inclusion, and belonging. Demonstrate cultural and social humility with colleagues, clients, and community partners.
- Work collaboratively and respectfully toward resolving obstacles and/or conflicts.
- Other duties, special projects, and tasks as assigned.
- Well organized, detail oriented, efficient, highly motivated, and can handle multiple tasks simultaneously and see them through to completion; work well under tight deadlines and take initiative.
- Strong written and oral communication skills; strong interpersonal skills.
- Ability to work independently as well as within a team while maintaining a high level of efficiency and professionalism.
- Strong computer skills, including Microsoft Word, Excel, and Adobe. Willingness to learn various legal and court-specific platforms.
- Excellent typing and proofing skills.
- An ability to engage in empathetic conversations with clients and community members who are incarcerated, detained, and/or experiencing significant trauma.
- An understanding of and enthusiasm for civil liberties and civil rights and a deep commitment to advancing the ACLU’s values, mission, goals, and programs.
- A commitment to diversity; 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; and an ability to work with diverse individuals within the organization and broader community.
- Awareness of, and willingness to engage in, the difficult and transformative work of challenging systems of oppression, institutional and structural racism, and implicit bias.
- For Immigrant Rights role – Professional working proficiency in Spanish (both written and spoken).
- No one person will have all the qualities enumerated above. We strongly encourage you to apply if you are interested and feel you could be successful in this role.
COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS:
Pay is $23.53/hour (or if qualified as a Paralegal, $23.53 - $25.91/hour). We offer excellent benefits, including health and dental insurance, long-term disability and life insurance, 401(k) retirement plan, and generous sick and vacation time, family and medical leave policies.
HOW TO APPLY:
All applications are treated confidentially. Please send cover letter no longer than one page and resume by email to HR@aclu-nm.org. Please include “Legal Assistant” in the subject line and all attachments should be in Microsoft Word or PDF format. Your letter should explain ways in which you satisfy the skills and qualifications specified above. We also invite applicants to include in their letter information about how their background and/or experiences could contribute to the diversity, cultural vitality, and perspective of our staff and advocacy work. Please indicate where you learned of this job posting. No phone calls, please. Note: we will not accept resumes that do not include a cover letter.
Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. We encourage you to apply as soon as possible as we will be evaluating applications on a rolling basis beginning on February 11, 2024.
This job description provides a general but not comprehensive list of the essential responsibilities and qualifications required. It does not represent a contract of employment. The ACLU of New Mexico reserves the right to change the job description and/or posting at any time without advance notice
The Legal Assistant, like most ACLU-NM staff, will work partially in-office and partially from home.
For the safety of our staff, their families, and the communities that we work with, ACLU-NM requires that staff be fully vaccinated as defined by the CDC.
ACLU of New Mexico is an equal-opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and promote an inclusive culture. We believe that having a board, staff, and volunteer base with diverse personal and professional backgrounds enhances our ability to meet our mission and creates an environment where all members of our community can thrive. We strongly encourage applications from people of color, immigrants, women, people with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ community, those who have been formerly incarcerated, and other members of underrepresented and marginalized groups.
“ACLU of New Mexico” refers collectively to two separate corporate entities, ACLU of New Mexico and ACLU of New Mexico Foundation. The two entities share the same mission, office space, and employees.