Staff Attorney – ACLUF Immigrants’ Rights Project

Staff Attorney-ACLUF Immigrants’ Rights Project, New York, NY or San Francisco, CA

September 27, 2012




Immigrants’ Rights Project, New York, NY or San Francisco, CA


The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation (ACLU), founded in 1920, is a nationwide, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with more than 500,000 members and is dedicated to the principles of liberty and equality embodied in the U.S. Constitution. The Immigrants’ Rights Project (IRP) of the ACLU’s National office seeks applications from experienced litigators for the full-time position of Staff Attorney. This position will be based in New York, NY or San Francisco, CA.


The IRP conducts the largest litigation program in the country dedicated to enforcing and defending the constitutional and civil rights of immigrants and to combating public and private discrimination against non-citizens. The IRP also supports and coordinates the immigrants’ rights work of the ACLU’s 53 affiliates around the country. IRP maintains offices in New York and California (and additional staff in Los Angeles and Atlanta) with a combined staff of fifteen, plus legal fellows, interns and volunteers. Current areas of litigation and advocacy include state and local anti-immigrant laws and practices; immigration enforcement practices and racial profiling; immigration detention; habeas corpus and access to the courts; discriminatory language and education policies; and due process in immigration removal proceedings. The Immigrants’ Rights Project is part of the ACLU’s Center for Equality which works to uphold the federal constitution’s promise that all Americans will receive equal protection of the law. The Center also includes the ACLU’s Racial Justice, Voting and Disability work.


Lead and participate in impact litigation on behalf of immigrants in federal trial and appellate courts.

  • Conduct legal research and fact investigation on immigrants’ rights issues. Identify and evaluate issues subject to legal challenge.
  • Support and advise ACLU affiliates, coalition partners and the immigration bar on legal and policy issues.
  • Serve as a resource for ACLU legislative and policy work, including legal analysis of proposed legislation and government policies and practices.
  • Advance ACLU goals through public education, advocacy and media.
  • Supervise more junior attorneys, legal fellows, paralegals and student interns.
  • Work on funding proposals, reports and donor solicitations as requested.


 J.D. required. Significant federal court litigation experience is strongly preferred.

  • Federal judicial clerkship preferred.
  • Ability to work independently as well as within a team.
  • Demonstrated commitment to public interest law.
  • Ability to engage in complex legal analysis and fact investigation in an impact litigation setting.
  • Excellent legal research and writing skills are essential.
  • Supervisory and mentoring experience is preferred.
  • Knowledge of immigration law is a plus.
  • Fluency in Spanish is a plus.
  • Willingness to travel is required.


 The ACLU offers a generous and comprehensive 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 (sample will not be returned) and the names of three (3) references via email to: reference [IRP-30/ ACLU-W] in subject line. Please note that this is not the general ACLU applicant email address. This email address is specific to Immigrants’ Rights Project postings. 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:

 Ben Chandler
ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project
39 Drumm Street
San Francisco, CA 94111

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

Applications will be accepted until 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 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.”