The ACLU of Idaho is seeking an experienced Legal Director to lead our high impact legal program. The Director holds a key leadership role within the organization and collaborates with internal and external state and federal partners to advance advocacy goals and respond to threats to Idahoans civil rights and liberties.
The Legal Director will join a dynamic and cohesive team committed to advancing the organizational strategic plan, including racial justice, free expression, criminal justice reform, reproductive freedom, LBGTQ equality, voting rights, and immigrants’ rights. In addition, the Legal Director will become part of a team committed to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion.
In addition to leading a statewide legal program addressing critical issues through advocacy and litigation, the Legal Director will have the opportunity to maintain an individual caseload as lead counsel. This position is full-time, reports to the Executive Director and requires an Idaho license and residency prior to employment.
(1) Legal Advocacy (50%)
- Manage impact litigation by collaborating on case selection with the Executive Director and working with staff attorneys, law fellows, co-counsel, and volunteer attorneys, and maintaining a limited caseload as warranted.
- Conduct factual and legal research, interview clients and potential witnesses, prepare memoranda, draft pleadings and correspondence, conduct discovery, argue motions, and participate in settlement negotiations.
- Oversee cases in federal and state courts at trial and appellate level.
- Build capacity by engaging attorneys to file amicus briefs in cases of constitutional significance.
(2) Administration, Coordination, and Support (35%)
- Supervise legal department staff.
- Foster an organizational culture that empowers staff, encourages professional development and emphasizes a commitment to upholding the highest ethical ideals of the legal profession.
- Develop and maintain relationships with legal staff at the National ACLU, its projects and other affiliates, and pro bono attorneys.
- Partner with the Executive Director in ensuring the Legal Department aligns with the vision and strategic priorities of the organization.
(3) Policy Advocacy/Public Education (15%)
- Collaborate with ACLU staff to implement integrated advocacy campaigns and high-impact strategies that use legal, communications, public education, legislative, and field organizing simultaneously.
- Ensure that strategic plans for the ACLU of Idaho legal program, as well as specific litigation and legal advocacy projects, are in line with the organization’s strategic priorities.
- Serve as a spokesperson for the ACLU to engage in strategic public forums, advocacy discussions and media opportunities.
- A J.D. with at least 5 years of litigation experience; preference will be given to applicants with demonstrated experience in constitutional or public interest law and/or federal court litigation. Extraordinary candidates with less experience may be considered.
- Experience as lead counsel on significant pieces of litigation (ideally from pre-suit through trial or decision on the merits and appeals).
- At least 5 years experience in recruiting, training, and managing a diverse, high performing team of attorneys and staff.
- Patience, emotional intelligence, and cultural competency, including the ability to participate in, create, and sustain inclusive and engaging spaces for people with a wide range of races, ethnicities, language proficiencies, abilities, genders, ages, backgrounds, interests, skills, concerns, personalities, and geographies.
- Clear, strong, and proven commitment to racial justice, civil liberties, public interest work, and the mission of the ACLU of Idaho.
- Ability to attend in-person meetings, hearings, and events on behalf of the legal department and the ACLU.
- Valid driving privileges and willingness to travel across Idaho and occasionally to other places in the United States.
- Current admission to practice law in at least one U.S. jurisdiction at time of hiring. Admission to Idaho State Bar, U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho, and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit within six months of being hired.
- Broad knowledge of constitutional, civil rights, and human rights law.
- Proficiency in Spanish preferred.
- Experience working with state and local policymaking processes.
The salary for this position is $125,000, which is re-evaluated on an annual basis and is subject to adjustment in connection with an organization wide adjustment of compensation. We offer excellent benefits, including 100% employer-paid premiums for medical, vision and dental insurance, 401(k) plan with an employer match, life and long-term disability insurance, sabbatical eligibility after at least five years, and generous paid holidays. Idaho Bar Dues, liability insurance and CLE expenses are also provided by the ACLU.
ACLU of Idaho will provide up to $3,000 to support relocation expenses.
(1) Compile the following into a single PDF file:
- A résumé.
- A one- or two-page cover letter that identifies evidence of a clear, strong, and proven commitment to civil liberties and public interest work, and explains how your experience is applicable to the job responsibilities.
- A legal writing sample, up to 10 pages in length. The writing sample can be an excerpt from a longer piece, such as a brief.
- Contact information for three references, including at least two legal references, at least one of whom can discuss your litigation skills.
(2) Send to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please reference “Legal Director” in the email subject line and indicate in your cover letter where you found this job listing.
Review of applications on a rolling basis. The position will remain open until filled.
If you are a person with a disability and need assistance applying, please e-mail email@example.com. If we select you for an interview, you will receive more information about how to request accommodations for the interview process.
ABOUT THE ACLU:
The ACLU is the nation’s premier guardian of liberty. A nationwide, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, the ACLU is dedicated to defending and expanding civil rights and civil liberties across the country. The ACLU of Idaho and its foundation operate jointly as private nonprofit organizations devoted to furthering the ACLU’s mission in Idaho. The ACLU of Idaho combines legal, policy, organizing and communications approaches to maximize its impact. We partner with individuals and communities impacted by injustices to inform and mobilize people throughout the state. The people in the center of the struggles for justice, who feel the impact in their daily lives, are especially important allies.
Our staff of 12 full-time, two part-time employees, and interns work in a fast-paced, friendly office in the heart of downtown Boise, Idaho (due to COVID-19, our office is currently working in a hybrid environment splitting time between the office and remote). We are a majority minority staff from all over the country and world and have chosen to make Idaho our home, but we enjoy frequent, deep, and positive collaborations with staff across the ACLU network at ACLU National and other ACLU state affiliates. ACLU of Idaho staff have a strong community organizing background, and we strive to ensure that our work is deeply informed by the communities we serve. Our supportive, inclusive, and empowering work culture has created opportunities for staff to grow with and within the organization. We enjoy autonomy and collaboration. Our current organizational priorities are in gender, sexuality, and reproductive justice; racial justice with a focus on disparities in education and policing; immigrant rights; as well as criminal legal reform.
Boise, the City of Trees, is the capital of Idaho and the core of a metro area of 764,000 people. The city enjoys all four seasons in a dry climate and offers an exceptional quality of life and a diverse business community with high tech and healthcare as the largest employers. Recreational activities include whitewater rafting and kayaking, climbing, fishing, hunting, and Nordic, alpine, and backcountry skiing. There is a 190-mile foothill trail system for hiking and mountain biking and a 25-mile riverside greenbelt along the Boise River which flows through the city. Easy access to diverse outdoor activities and unspoiled wilderness is unmatched. Downtown offers thriving restaurants, shops, concerts, and public markets, and an ever-expanding number of local microbrew pubs and wineries. Boise is a refugee resettlement city; over 95 languages are spoken in Idaho. The Treasure Valley, which includes the cities of Boise, Meridian, Nampa, and Caldwell is home to the state’s largest Latinx community. Boise is also a hub for LGBTQ communities and political activism in Idaho.
FAIR & EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYMENT STATEMENT:
The ACLU of Idaho advances equity and inclusion in the workplace by providing equal employment opportunity to support a work environment free from discrimination on the basis of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age (over 40), sexual orientation, military and veteran status, arrest or conviction record, and any other basis prohibited by law. The ACLU of Idaho embraces Fair Chance policies.
The organization also provides reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities. Our equity and inclusion commitment applies to all aspects of employment, including recruitment, selection, advancement, training, problem resolution, and separation from employment. Through this commitment, the ACLU of Idaho strives to establish and maintain an equitable and accessible work environment that is supportive and free from discrimination.