Civil Rights Attorney - ACLU of Maryland
October 2, 2018
The American Civil Liberties Union/ACLU Foundation of Maryland seeks a dynamic, creative, and experienced attorney to focus on developing and overseeing impact litigation and advocacy to further the ACLU-MD’s mission of advancing civil rights and civil liberties. This is a full-time, newly-created senior staff attorney position, with approximately half of the attorney’s time specifically focused on fair housing and the balance on other issues of racial equity. A commitment to working in authentic partnership with communities of color is required. Speaking/writing fluency in Spanish-English is a plus. The position is based in the ACLU of Maryland’s central office in Baltimore.
The ACLU-MD is a private, nonprofit organization that defends the civil rights and civil liberties of Marylanders through litigation, policy advocacy, community engagement and strategic communications. The office is collegial; the work is challenging, varied and rewarding. Among ACLU affiliates, the ACLU of Maryland is known for its commitment to racial justice and combating structural inequality. For three decades, our staff has been in the forefront of the struggle for racial justice in Maryland -- challenging systemic racial segregation in public and assisted housing in metropolitan Baltimore, working to advance equity in public education, and using litigation to disrupt patterns of racial discrimination in law enforcement and the criminal justice system. The new staff attorney will join with other ACLU-MD staff and community allies to carry this work forward, with a focus on litigation.
The ideal candidate will be a team player with a demonstrated commitment to advancing racial equity, a seasoned litigator, knowledgeable about fair housing and civil rights, and experienced in working with local, state and national partner organizations and community allies.
- Research, investigate, and develop impact litigation and advocacy informed by local community voices and needs on fair housing issues, as well as broader racial equity issues in related subject areas such as education, police practices, job access, and criminal justice system reform, working collaboratively with clients, community partners and cooperating counsel.
- In conjunction with co-counsel, monitor and as necessary initiate litigation to enforce existing fair housing settlement agreements.
- Maintain or develop subject matter expertise on issues related to fair housing and related race equity issues and use that expertise to acquire, analyze and disseminate information.
- Participate in public hearings, community meetings and state and local coalitions that are strategically aligned with the ACLU-MD’s litigation and advocacy.
- Work with legal program staff on responding to requests for assistance, case development, and provision of legal representation.
- Engage with communities through building and nurturing relationships and participating in regular conversations with tenants and tenant groups, community leaders, partners, and members.
- Engage with media about the legal work, in coordination with communications department.
- Participate in formulation of legal team vision, plans, and priorities in light of affiliate priorities and capacity.
- Participate in affiliate race equity work, both internal and external to the organization.
- Assist with staff, internship and fellowship recruitment and interview process, as needed, and supervise legal fellows and interns on certain projects.
- Travel to events and meetings within Maryland, including ones scheduled after regular business hours.
- Juris Doctorate degree, with at least five to seven years of litigation experience, including development and management of complex civil rights litigation;
- Experience in fair housing or civil rights law a must; relevant experience regarding affordable housing and homelessness is a plus.
- Admission to practice in Maryland or willingness to take the Maryland bar at next sitting;
- A demonstrated ability to work respectfully and effectively with coalitions and community groups, mentor more junior attorneys, and to work collaboratively across the political and socioeconomic spectrum;
- A strong commitment to racial equity, dismantling white supremacy and incorporating a structural power analysis into work, with knowledge and understanding of how power is manifested in matters of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, religion, ability and socio-economic circumstances;
- A willingness to take direction from directly-impacted people and to contribute legal knowledge and expertise in support of community-based initiatives, with the purpose of empowering community members and making the law accessible and useful to disenfranchised communities.
- Exceptional analytical, legal research, negotiation, writing and oral advocacy skills, as well as the ability to articulate complex issues and communicate them respectfully and effectively to a variety of audiences;
- Proficiency in use of GIS software and Excel a plus;
- Highly self-motivated, organized, collaborative and adaptable.
*Salary & Benefits *
Salary is in the approximate range of $55,000-$75,000, depending upon experience. Excellent benefits include three weeks paid vacation at time of hire (increasing to four weeks after one year); 13 office holidays; medical and dental insurance for staff members, their dependents and spouse/domestic partner; life and long-term disability insurance; and 401(k) plan with employer match. Direct exposure to cutting-edge civil liberties and civil rights work.
Submit a cover letter, resume, three professional references and a short, two-page legal writing sample at this website: https://aclumaryland.applytojob.com/apply/pzwn9o94XU/Civil-Rights-Attorney
All applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Early applications are strongly encouraged. It will not be possible for us to accept telephone inquiries.
The ACLU of Maryland is an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to maximizing the diversity of our team and want to involve all those who can contribute to our inclusive culture. We encourage applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, and veteran status. Persons with disabilities may request accommodations.