American Civil Liberties Union Foundation: Staff Attorney, Reproductive Freedom Project (New York, NY)


Staff Attorney [RFP-17]

American Civil Liberties Union Foundation

Reproductive Freedom Project, NY

The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation (ACLU), with now more than 500,000 members, was founded in 1920 and is a nationwide, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to the principles of liberty and equality embodied in the U.S. Constitution. The Reproductive Freedom Project (RFP) of the ACLU’s National office in New York City seeks applicants for a Staff Attorney.



The ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project’s mission is to secure a world that respects and supports everyone’s right to form intimate relationships and to decide whether and when to have a child. Through litigation, advocacy, and public education, we strive to ensure that the freedoms and opportunities enjoyed by some become the freedoms and opportunities enjoyed by all. In particular, we work to ensure access to abortion services, comprehensive sex education, and affordable contraception, and to protect the rights of marginalized women to continue their pregnancies. The ACLU is particularly committed to ensuring that individuals’ reproductive rights are not compromised because of their race, youth, or economic status, and believes that reproductive rights work must be informed by broader racial and social justice considerations.

For more than three decades, RFP has participated in nearly every critical reproductive rights case before the Supreme Court and in significant cases in federal and state courts too numerous to count, including challenges to intrusive counseling laws; laws that defund organizations because they provide or refer for abortion; bans on abortion procedures; laws that restrict teens’ access to abortion; and restrictions on insurance coverage of abortion. The ACLU is also the nation’s leading expert on the intersection between reproductive rights and the religion and free speech clauses of the First Amendment.

The Reproductive Freedom Project is unique among reproductive rights organizations in that we work with the ACLU’s nationwide network of affiliates and other attorneys in the organization who specialize in other civil liberties areas, including free speech, race and poverty issues, and lesbian and gay rights. In addition, the Reproductive Freedom Project is part of the ACLU’s Center for Liberty, which is dedicated to the principle that we are all entitled to determine the course of our lives based on who we are and what we believe free from unreasonable government constraint and baseless stereotypes. The Center for Liberty encompasses the ACLU’s work on reproductive rights, women’s rights, LGBT issues, and freedom of religion and belief.



The Staff Attorney’s responsibilities will include:

·         Litigating constitutional and statutory cases on a wide range of reproductive rights related issues in the trial and appellate courts;

·         Conducting legal research and writing legal memoranda;

·         Analyzing legislation for potential litigation;

·         Developing new cases and identifying and working with potential plaintiffs and witnesses;

·         Draft pleadings, briefs, and affidavits, conduct discovery and motion practice, handle hearings and trials, and argue appeals in both federal and state courts;

·         Advising and working with ACLU state affiliates on reproductive rights litigation, legislation, and advocacy;

·         Working closely with legal and non-legal program staff, particularly legislative, communications, and advocacy staff members to advance reproductive rights;

·         Developing relationships with other advocates, lawyers, and potential clients;

·         Engaging in public speaking including to the media, at conferences and other speaking engagements;

·         Supervising administrative assistants, legal fellows, and law students

·         Traveling as required for litigation, conferences, and client development.



The applicant should possess the following qualifications:

·         J.D. degree, bar admission in one state, and a minimum of one year of legal experience is required. Individuals with more experience are strongly encouraged to apply. Responsibility will be commensurate with experience and skill level.

·         Familiarity with reproductive rights and other civil liberties issues is desirable; commitment to those issues is essential.

·         Superior analytic skills and excellent research skills are required.

·         Demonstrated ability to write and to speak clearly and persuasively are essential.

·         Self-motivated, diligent, and able to meet strict deadlines while under pressure.

·         Ability to work with a wide range of people and foster a team environment.



The ACLU offers a generous compensation and benefits package, commensurate with experience and within the parameters of the ACLU compensation scale.



Interested persons should submit a cover letter, resume, a legal writing sample, three references, by email to – Reference [RFP-17/HBA] in the subject line – or by mail to:

Human Resources

American Civil Liberties Union

RE: [RFP-17/HBA]

125 Broad Street, 18th Floor

New York, NY 10004

Please indicate where you learned of this career opportunity.

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

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 reserves the right to change the job description and/or posting at any time without advance notice.

The ACLU is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and encourages applications from all qualified individuals including women, people of color, persons with disabilities, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals.

The ACLU comprises two separate corporate entities, the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU Foundation. Both the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU Foundation are national organizations. They share the same overall mission of protecting civil liberties, and also share office space and employees. This job posting refers collectively to the two organizations under the name “ACLU.”