Website ACLU of West Virginia
About the ACLU of West Virginia
The American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia, the state’s leading civil liberties organization, seeks a full-time Legal Director to lead our Legal Department to make West Virginia a safer, more welcoming home to all.
The ACLU of West Virginia is a non-partisan, non-profit public interest organization dedicated to protecting and expanding civil liberties for all people in West Virginia. A major focus of our work is to extend the promise of the Bill of Rights to those groups who have traditionally been denied its protections. Given the policies currently being pursued in Washington and Charleston, we believe that our mission is as relevant and important today as it has ever been.
The ACLU of West Virginia is an independent affiliate of the National ACLU and comprises two separate corporate entities, the ACLU of West Virginia and the ACLU of West Virginia Foundation. Both entities have the same overall mission, the same Board of Directors, 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.
ACLU-WV is seeking a creative, dynamic, and visionary Legal Director to lead ACLU-WV’s legal department in advancing and shaping the civil rights and civil liberties landscape in West Virginia. The Legal Director reports to the Executive Director and serves as a member of ACLU-WV’s senior leadership team, working to ensure that legal strategies are aligned in support of the organization’s long-term issue priorities.
The Legal Director will have the opportunity to select and direct the litigation of cases on a wide variety of civil liberties and constitutional law issues, including government transparency, LGBTQ+ issues, reproductive justice, police misconduct, racial justice, criminal legal reform, and the right of people who are housing insecure.
The Legal Director will develop high-impact, complex federal and state cases, as well as manage legal staff and interns. The Legal Director works closely with peers in the organization, fosters relationships among the legal community, advocates for change in the civil liberties landscape, and engages supporters in achieving our mission. ACLU-WV is committed to ensuring management and staff are generally able to maintain a sufficient work-life balance; however, the nature of the Legal Director position will require a willingness to, when necessary, work beyond the normal work day, including some evenings and weekends.
• Create multi-pronged strategies using litigation, public education, and legislative and policy advocacy to further the organization’s priority issues;
• Coordinate legal intake with staff and ensure that intake is properly evaluated and processed;
• Present selected cases to the Executive Director for evaluation
• Supervise employees in the legal department, including a staff attorney and legal investigator
• Research civil liberties issues, and prepare legal memoranda and demand letters;
• Conduct complex federal and state court civil liberties litigation, including all aspects of discovery, motion practice, briefs, trials, appellate work, and amicus briefs;
• Secure the services and expand the pool of cooperating attorneys;
• Monitor litigation handled by cooperating attorneys and provide back-up assistance as needed;
• Participate directly in litigation in selected cases, either as co-counsel with cooperating attorneys or as lead counsel;
• Analyze legislation implicating civil liberties issues;
• Prepare and/or provide testimony at legislative hearings;
• Update Know Your Rights Seminars and present as needed;
• Recruit and supervise legal interns;
• Prepare necessary dockets and reports for the Executive Director and Board;
• Develop and maintain relationships with the legal staff at the national ACLU, its projects, and other affiliates;
• Participate in national ACLU legal conferences and maintain the requisite CLE requirements (at the ACLU-WV Foundation’s expense).
At the discretion of the Executive Director
• Engage in public speaking and articulate ACLU-WV views to the public and the media on a broad range of issues;
• Write press releases, op-ed pieces, and newsletter articles;
• Travel to attend local, statewide or national meetings;
• Assist in fund-raising efforts by participating in meetings with donors, speaking at donor events, and otherwise working with development staff to ensure consistent funding of our work.
- A J.D. from an accredited law school;
- 5+ years in litigation experience in state and/or federal courts
- Admitted to the West Virginia Bar or eligible for admission; ACLU of West Virginia, will pay for processing reciprocity admissions, professional dues and fees, professional development, CLE, and training opportunities.
- Values diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. A personal and professional commitment to understanding and prioritizing how held identities and lived experiences impact and show up in our work. May be illustrated through training, learning, and lived experiences.
- Passion for civil rights and civil liberties consistent with the mission of the ACLU;
- Excellent organizational, leadership, communication, and analytical skills.
- Experience litigating federal and/or state constitutional law claims
- Previous supervisory experience
Compensation & Benefits
The starting salary is commensurate with experience and within the parameters of the ACLU-WV compensation scale and is expected to be between $80,000 – $100,000. Excellent benefits include medical and disability insurance, a 401(k) program, a 2-month paid sabbatical after 5 years, and generous vacation, holiday and sick leave. This is a non-bargaining unit position.
Please submit a letter of interest and resume to:
Joseph Cohen, Executive Director, ACLU of West Virginia, email@example.com
Please include “Legal Director” in the subject line. Applications accepted until position is filled.
Applications will be reviewed starting on October 5, 2022 and will be accepted until the position is filled. The job announcement will remain posted on our website, www.acluwv.org, until the position is filled. When the position is filled, the announcement will be removed from the website.
The ACLU is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and encourages women, people of color, people with disabilities and LGBTQ people to apply. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU of West Virginia strongly encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, criminal history, and veteran status.
To apply for this job email your details to firstname.lastname@example.org