The Senior Civil Liberties Attorney is a unique position with the ACLU-NM that uses litigation, legal analysis and education to promote the development of case law that protects and expands the liberties guaranteed under the New Mexico Bill of Rights. The work of this position will emphasize the freedoms of speech, the press, assembly, and association, but not be limited to those rights. This position will work with civil rights lawyers around the state to develop New Mexico law in the direction of greater justice, liberty, and equity.
The Senior Civil Liberties Attorney is a leadership position within the ACLU of New Mexico (ACLU-NM) Legal Department. The ideal candidate has substantial experience with civil litigation and demonstrated success in establishing and developing collaborative relationships with a wide range of partners.
This is an exempt position reporting to the Legal Director and based in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
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:
- Investigate, develop, and litigate cases at the trial and appellate levels in state court that offer the greatest opportunity to create new law under the New Mexico Constitution, emphasizing free speech and related liberties. This includes legal research, investigative work, pleading and brief writing, discovery, motions practice and oral argument.
- Follow up with individuals who file complaints with the ACLU of New Mexico, conducting interviews, engaging in investigation and records review, drafting affidavits, and conducting research to determine whether further action by the ACLU of New Mexico is warranted.
- Develop a system for tracking the filing of civil rights cases in New Mexico courts, searching for opportunities to influence the development of New Mexico jurisprudence under the New Mexico Civil Rights Act. Engage and collaborate with civil rights lawyers to support their filings.
- Research and draft amicus briefs to inform judicial opinions.
- Act as a public spokesperson in the media and other settings in conjunction with ACLU-NM litigation efforts.
- Recruit and manage volunteer attorneys, legal fellows and interns.
- Conduct education and outreach to the legal community to spread awareness and to recruit collaborating attorneys to partner on cases with us.
- Collaborate with and provide legal technical assistance and strategic leadership to community groups and activists, especially in the area of free speech rights.
- Conduct “Know Your Rights” trainings to community members regarding rights enshrined in the New Mexico Constitution.
- Partner with the National ACLU and other ACLU affiliates and allied organizations to bring proactive litigation.
- Partner with National ACLU on the State Supreme Court Initiative.
- Collaborate with other ACLU-NM departments in carrying out the ACLU’s “integrated advocacy” approach.
- Provide guidance and mentorship to ACLU-NM staff attorneys.
- Assist the Legal Director in the preparation of reports and grant proposals.
- Assist the Legal Director in hiring, recruitment of fellows and interns and cultivating relationships within the legal community.
- Proactively support the development of legal department vision and strategy.
- Contribute to the promotion of a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace.
- As needed, contribute to fundraising efforts, including donor relations and participation in key events.
- A commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion; a personal approach that values the individual and respects differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability and socio-economic circumstance.
- A strong and demonstrated commitment to civil liberties, civil rights and racial justice consistent with the mission and goals of the ACLU.
- Significant civil litigation experience. Previous experience in constitutional and/or civil rights litigation on the plaintiff’s side is a plus, as is experience supervising other attorneys.
- Ability to file and litigate cases independently and collaboratively; excellent problem-solving skills; can juggle multiple on-going projects and exercise good judgment under stressful situations.
- Strong writing, research and verbal skills in presenting both to lawyers and to non-lawyers; leadership and organizational skills in order to encourage volunteer lawyers and work cooperatively in coalitions; able to take initiative, think strategically, and share responsibility and credit.
- Must be a member of the New Mexico Bar (or willing to take the next bar examination).
- Cultural and social humility in the office with colleagues, in interactions with clients, and with community partners.
- Able to travel within and outside New Mexico.
- Able to work beyond a standard 8-hour workday, including evening and weekend meetings.
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:
The salary for this role is determined by our litigator pay scale and is based on year of graduation from law school. Based on the experience necessary for this role, we anticipate an annual salary of no less than $84,000. We offer excellent benefits, including health and dental insurance, short and long-term disability and life insurance, 401(k) retirement plan, and generous PTO, holiday, 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 “Senior Civil Liberties Attorney” 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.
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 Senior Civil Liberties Staff Attorney, 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.