Policy Counsel

  • Nonprofit Full Time
  • Arizona
  • City: Phoenix

Website ACLU of Arizona

The ACLU of Arizona works to advance equity and dismantle systemic injustice through legal action, policy advocacy, and mobilizing our communities to protect the civil rights, liberties, and dignity of all Arizonans. This is a fantastic opportunity for a professional who is passionate about social justice. We are a highly motivated group of attorneys, public policy and legislative advocates, communications experts, community organizers, and fundraisers, and we’re looking for exceptional talent to join our team.


POSITION OVERVIEW: The ideal candidate is a skilled communicator, creative and strategic thinker with a demonstrated commitment to advancing civil rights and civil liberties. The Policy Counsel works with the policy team to develop and execute the organization’s policy and legislative advocacy agenda, including drafting legislation, testifying in front of government bodies, and lobbying local and state legislators to pass laws in support of the ACLU of Arizona’s priorities, including but not limited to, education equity, criminal justice reform, LGBTQ+ equality, and immigrants’ rights. They will work collaboratively across departments, using an integrated advocacy approach that utilizes policy advocacy, litigation, organizing, and communications to maximize the impact of our work. The Policy Counsel also works closely with various allied organizations and community partners. They will have a deep understanding of advocacy tactics to exert influence on policymakers and other key targets, including direct lobbying of elected officials and experience analyzing and drafting legislation and policy proposals. The ideal candidate will have a proven track record working in a collaborative, fast-paced environment, problem-solving, and managing multiple projects. They will value and respect differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, ability, and socio-economic circumstance, and actively work to foster an equitable and inclusive experience for everyone in their work.


Supervision: This position is a member of the ACLU of Arizona policy team and reports directly to the Policy Director. The Policy Counsel will have no direct supervision of paid staff but may supervise interns or volunteers as assigned.


Classification: Full-time, Exempt




Monitor, research, and analyze legislation and lobby state and local lawmakers to advance ACLU of Arizona policy priorities

·         Maintain deep knowledge of civil rights and liberties issues at the local, state, and federal levels, and the key influencers and organizations that shape those issues in Arizona.

·         Monitor, research, and analyze state and local legislation and policy proposals related to the ACLU of Arizona’s advocacy campaigns and public policy goals.

·         Lobby members of the Arizona Legislature and local officials to advance the ACLU of Arizona’s policy goals.

·         Draft written materials including legislative testimony, memoranda, policy papers and reports, talking points and fact sheets, advocacy letters, know-your-rights guides, and public commentary.

·         Coordinate and collaborate with ACLU of Arizona and National ACLU colleagues to build and implement integrated advocacy strategies that use a combination of litigation, organizing, communications, electoral and other approaches, where appropriate.


Relationship building and community partnerships

·         Build and maintain relationships with elected and appointed officials, agency decision-makers, lobbyists, and community stakeholders.

·         Represent the ACLU of Arizona in various community settings, working groups and stakeholder groups; help build and lead coalitions with diverse stakeholders to advance shared policy goals, and work in partnership with other organizations.


Communications and external relations  

·         Prepare presentations and represent the ACLU of Arizona at public forums, conferences, meetings, and with other external stakeholders.

·         Work with ACLU of Arizona communications staff to serve as an occasional spokesperson for the organization including through media interviews, op-eds and articles and provide support and guidance on communications strategies related to policy issues.


Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (Included in all aspects of the position)

·         Exhibit a commitment to understanding and applying a structural power analysis in our work in matters of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, religion, ability, and socio-economic circumstances.

·         Identify and create opportunities for processes and approaches in our policy program and organization that can better advance our commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging into our day-to-day operations as well as our goals and plans.


Reporting and administrative duties: Maintain well-organized and up-to-date files and records. Track information and provide timely, clear reports on policy advocacy or other organizational activities, and complete and execute work plans.




Skills and Experience: Minimum of 3- 5 years’ experience working in public policy advocacy at state or local levels. A J.D. or graduate degree in public policy or a related field is preferred but not required.


·         Commitment to civil rights and civil liberties consistent with the mission and goals of the ACLU

·         Excellent policy analysis and research skills

·         Experience with legislative drafting and analysis, and advocacy tactics to advance policy goals

·         Familiarity with Arizona political landscape, state and local government issues, and legislative process

·         Ability to be proactive and build effective relationships across the political spectrum

·         Excellent written and oral advocacy skills including ability to articulate complex issues and communicate them effectively to a variety of audiences

·         Experience working in coalition, including developing shared plans, coordinating communications, and managing dynamics among partner groups

·         Demonstrated commitment to centering the voices and leadership of directly impacted people

·         Ability to keep organized in a fast-paced environment, to manage several projects simultaneously, and to adjust to frequently changing demands

·         Ability to work independently and in a team environment with support and collaboration from the supervisor

·         Willingness and ability to work irregular hours, attend evening and weekend meetings, and travel in- and out-of-state


Cultural Competencies: Demonstrated awareness of one’s own cultural identity, views about differences, and the ability to learn and build on varying cultural and community norms. A complex understanding of racial justice and the urgency of confronting institutional racism and inequity. Commitment to equity and inclusion as organizational practice and culture. Proven track record of working across lines of race, immigration status, ethnicity, language, class, gender and other identities and experiences including record of arrest or conviction.


Working Conditions: The ACLU of Arizona office is generally open between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. The physical demands and work environment described below represent those required and encountered by an employee to perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


·         Inputting information into a computer for long periods of time.

·         Work some evenings, weekends, and holidays.

·         Periodically work long and extended hours.

·         Occasionally travel locally/regionally/internationally as needed.


This job description provides a general but not comprehensive list of the essential responsibilities and qualifications required. Please note that the position is based in Phoenix but is temporarily remote while our ACLU of Arizona offices remain closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.



The ACLU-AZ offers a generous and comprehensive compensation and benefits package, commensurate with experience, and competitive with public interest salaries. The salary range for this position is $60,000 – $67,000 per year. Benefits include three weeks paid vacation; 100%-employer paid medical, dental, and vision insurance, life and long-term disability insurance; 401(k); and 16 paid holidays plus 1 personal day. This position is full-time, salaried, and exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act.



Please submit a cover letter to jobs@acluaz.org that illustrates your commitment to civil liberties and civil rights, a current resume, and contact information for three professional references. Include “Policy Counsel” in the subject line and specify how you heard about the posting. No phone calls or walk-ins, please.

The ACLU undertakes inclusive strategies in its recruitment and employment efforts to assure that persons with disabilities have full opportunities for employment in all positions. We encourage applicants with disabilities who may need accommodations in the application process to contact jobs@acluaz.org


Deadline: We welcome applicants to submit their materials by June 27, 2022.

The ACLU is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. We encourage applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status and record of arrest or conviction.

To apply for this job email your details to jobs@acluaz.org

You can apply to this job and others using your online resume. Click the link below to submit your online resume and email your application to this employer.

Go Back