Staff Attorney

  • Nonprofit Full Time
  • Arizona
  • City: Phoenix

Website ACLU of Arizona

The ACLU of Arizona seeks a full-time Staff Attorney to push forward our affirmative litigation agenda as well as engage in fast-moving, defensive battles against threats to civil rights and liberties in Arizona.
Our current work is organized around the following priority areas: (1) criminal legal reform including reducing the number of people incarcerated in Arizona; (2) education equity; (3) LGBTQ+ equality; and (4) immigrants’ rights. The Staff Attorney will focus on these issues as well as other core civil rights and civil liberties matters.
The Staff Attorney will be responsible for maintaining an active docket of their own cases, typically in co-counsel teams including outside cooperating attorneys, investigating, filing, and litigating civil liberties and civil rights cases in both federal and state courts on a wide range of issues. This includes legal research, investigative work, identifying plaintiffs, complaint drafting, discovery and motion practice, and handling trials and appeals. The Staff Attorney will also conduct community outreach and represent the ACLU of Arizona publicly, speaking to the media and others.
While the attorney will be responsible for litigation around our strategic priority areas, they will also be expected to work closely with ACLU-AZ organizers, communications, and policy staff on cases, advocacy projects, and campaigns in support of ACLU of Arizona’s “integrated advocacy” model that unites legal, policy, organizing, and communications for maximum impact.
The ACLU-AZ’s Legal Department is comprised of four attorneys and one paralegal. The Staff Attorney will not be responsible for supervising paid staff but may supervise interns and other volunteers as assigned. The position is full-time and based in Phoenix, Arizona. Please note that the position will be temporarily remote while our ACLU of Arizona offices remain closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


The Staff Attorney reports to the Advocacy and Legal Director and is supervised in their day-to-day responsibilities by the Senior Staff Attorney. Job responsibilities include but are not limited to:
• Investigate, develop, and litigate high-impact cases at the trial and appellate level in federal and state courts.
• Serve as co-counsel and work in conjunction with other staff within the ACLU of Arizona, the National ACLU, other affiliates, and partner organizations to bring pro-active litigation around strategic priority issues.
• Follow-up with individuals who file complaints with the ACLU of Arizona, including interviewing them, drafting affidavits or testimonies on their behalf, and conducting research to determine whether further action by the ACLU-AZ is warranted.
• Serve as a legal resource on civil rights and civil liberties issues in support of legislation and other ACLU-AZ campaigns.
• Engage in public speaking, media interviews, outreach and “know your rights” presentations, as well as writing op-eds, newsletter articles, and reports as needed or assigned.
• Provide technical support to community stakeholders and partners on civil rights and civil liberties issues.
• Develop legal strategies with the ACLU-AZ legal team to advance our litigation and advocacy efforts around strategic priority issues.
• Participate in intra-organizational work, including strategic planning, internal meetings, and collaboration with other ACLU affiliates and the National ACLU.


• J.D. from an ABA accredited law school
• Membership in the Arizona Bar or eligibility for admission on motion
• Litigation experience: three to five years of litigation experience in either federal or state court, with a strong background in constitutional law and civil rights
• Excellent research, writing, analytic and speaking skills
• Demonstrated ability to independently develop and litigate impact cases
• Demonstrated commitment to centering the voices and leadership of directly impacted people. Persons who have been formerly incarcerated or otherwise impacted by legal systems are encouraged to apply.
• A collaborative mindset and ability to work effectively with organizing, policy, and communications staff to achieve shared goals
• Ability to analyze and articulate complex issues and concisely communicate them to a variety of audiences
• Ability to keep organized in a fast-paced environment, to manage several projects simultaneously, and to adjust to frequently changing demands
• Spanish language fluency is a plus but not required
• Commitment to civil rights and civil liberties consistent with the mission and goals of the ACLU
• Commitment to diversity using a personal approach that values all individuals and respects differences in race, ethnicity, age, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, ability and socio-economic circumstance, and record of arrest or conviction
• Commitment to non-partisanship per ACLU policy that stipulates the ACLU will not endorse or oppose a candidate or political party in the process of voter education or mobilization work


The salary scale for this position is $55,000- $68,500 annually, depending on experience and within ACLU-AZ compensation ranges. Excellent 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. The ACLU of Arizona covers costs associated with continuing legal education requirements (CLE) and bar dues for staff attorneys. This position is full-time, salaried, and exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act.


Please submit a cover letter, resume, three professional references, and a legal writing sample of no more than 10 pages. Send electronic materials to the Office Coordinator at: info(at) and please add “Staff Attorney” in the email subject line. You can submit hard copies to ACLU of Arizona, Re: Staff Attorney, P.O. Box 17148, Phoenix, AZ 85011. Please also indicate in your cover letter where you heard of this career opportunity. No phone calls or walk-ins, please.

Please submit your application materials by September 15, 2021.

The ACLU undertakes affirmative action 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: drobinson(at) Correspondence sent to this email address that is not related to requests for accommodations will not be reviewed. Applicants should follow the instructions above regarding how to apply.


With ACLU affiliate offices in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, the ACLU fights tirelessly in the courts, legislatures, and through community engagement to ensure that all individuals’ rights are protected. We are a passionate, highly motivated group of lawyers, public policy experts, lobbyists, community organizers, and fundraisers, and we’re looking for exceptional talent to join our team. 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 description and/or posting at any time without advance notice. ACLU is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU encourages 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. The ACLU of Arizona comprises two separate corporate entities, the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona and the ACLU Foundation of Arizona. Both the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU Foundation of Arizona are statewide organizations with the same overall mission; they share office space and employees. The ACLU of Arizona 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-AZ.”

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