Regional Advocacy and Policy Counsel – Immigrants’ Rights (ASD-33)

Regional Advocacy and Policy Counsel – Immigrants’ Rights [ASD-33]
American Civil Liberties Union Foundation
Affiliate Support and Advocacy Department

The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation (ACLU), founded in 1920, is a nationwide, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with more than 500,000 members dedicated to the principles of liberty and equality embodied in the U.S. Constitution.  The Affiliate Support and Advocacy Department of the ACLU’s National Office seeks a full-time Regional Advocacy and Policy Counsel to be part of a new campaign to fight state anti-immigrant laws.The Regional Advocacy and Policy Counsel will be based in one of the following locations – Atlanta, Kansas City, or St. Louis.The position is for two years with the possibility of renewal for a third year.


The ACLU is launching a nationwide and coordinated campaign of litigation, advocacy, and public education to fight back against state laws aimed at harming immigrants.  The Regional Advocacy and Policy Counsel will be part of an exciting new interdisciplinary team based in a region where the civil liberties threats to immigrants are especially dire. The team will integrate and capitalize on the expertise of staff focused on litigation, communications, advocacy, and alliance and coalition building.  The Counsel will bring policy and legal analysis, legislative campaign experience, and a strategic advocacy planning perspective to the interdisciplinary regional team.

Since its inception, the ACLU has maintained a commitment to protecting and promoting the civil rights and civil liberties of immigrants and their families. The ACLU has been at the forefront of almost every major recent struggle on behalf of immigrants’ rights. In recent years, state and local lawmakers around the country have adopted unconstitutional legislation and policies designed to take federal immigration regulation and enforcement into their own hands.  Laws like Arizona’s SB 1070 invite racial profiling against Latinos, Asian Americans, and others presumed to be “foreign” based on how they look or sound. They also authorize police to demand papers proving citizenship or immigration status from anyone they stop and suspect of being in the country unlawfully.  Through an integrated nationwide team including advocacy staff, litigators, communications specialists, federal lobbyists, and ACLU affiliates, the ACLU leads the multi-pronged efforts to defeat these and other misdirected anti-immigrant laws.

Through its affiliates, members, and national staff, the ACLUhas a presence in every state across the country.  The Counsel will work closely with ACLU affiliates on the ground in a dedicated region, their state partners, and impacted communities to aggressively battle state and local attempts to pass anti-immigrant legislation, as well as to push for positive measures that protect immigrants from discrimination and assist their efforts to integrate into civic life.  The Counsel is a non-litigating attorney position for a lawyer with exceptional strategic, analytical, and writing abilities.  The Counsel will provide legislative counseling, assess emerging policy trends, and provide strategic advice to affiliates across the region.  Work will include drafting state legislation and legislative amendments, preparing state legislative advocacy materials, researching legal issues related to state legislation, and assisting in identifying litigation opportunities.  The position will require significant and frequent travel.


  • In conjunction with litigation, communications and other advocacy staff provide legal analysis, strategic advice, and counsel to ACLU affiliates in a dedicated region to assist with state-based advocacy efforts, including developing campaign objectives and strategies.
  • Participate in interdisciplinary planning to achieve policy goals within a region.
  • Frequent travel within the region to assist and support policy advocacy.
  • Monitor state policy activity including legislation that is relevant to immigrants’ rights.
  • Draft policy analyses designed to effect change by state policymakers.
  • Conduct legal analysis on the interpretation and constitutionality of proposed state legislation and policy initiatives.
  • Develop and produce advocacy tools for ACLU affiliates to assist their state-based advocacy efforts.
  • Work with ACLU affiliates in strategic goal setting, coalition-building, community organizing, and public engagement to further public policy outcomes.
  • In conjunction with litigators assist with identifying litigation opportunities.
  • Develop affiliates’ expertise in immigrants’ rights and other key civil liberties issues.
  • Create best practices for use in other regions.
  • Speak publicly at state and local forums, conferences, and meetings.


  • A JD degree and a minimum of two years of legal experience are required. Preference will be given to candidates with greater experience. This position does not include active litigation, but the ability to identify and develop possible litigation is required.
  • Experience working in political, policy, legal, or government settings; familiarity with public policy and legislative processes is preferred.
  • Exceptional ability to conduct legal analysis and research.
  • Experience with constitutional issues, legislation, and organizing is preferred.
  • Ability to work independently as well as within a team.
  • Excellent research, writing, analytic, and communication skills.
  • Ability to communicate complex legal issues to the general public.
  • Ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously, work efficiently and quickly, and meet deadlines under pressure.
  • Willingness to travel.
  • Strong and demonstrated commitment to civil liberties and social justice issues; expertise in immigrants’ rights advocacy is strongly preferred.
  • Experience working with immigrants and communities of color strongly preferred.
  • Fluency or strong proficiency in spoken and written Spanish strongly preferred.


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


Applicants should send a cover letter (including salary requirements), resume, the names and contact information of three references, and a writing sample by email to – Reference [ASD-33/ACLU-W] in the subject line.  Please note that this is not the general ACLU applicant email address. This email address is specific to the Affiliate Support and Advocacy Department posting.  In order to ensure your application is received please make certain it is sent to the correct e-mail address. You can expect to receive an automatic response that acknowledges the submission of application materials. Alternatively applications can be mailed to:

Nicole Bucheri
American Civil Liberties Union Foundation
[Re: ASD-33/ACLU-W]
125 Broad Street, 18th Floor
New York, NY 10004

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

Please indicate in your cover letter where you learned of this career opportunity.

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 with the same overall mission, and share office space and employees.  The ACLU has two separate corporate entities in order to do a broad range of work to protect civil liberties.  This job posting refers collectively to the two organizations under the name “ACLU”.