ACLU of Delaware Legal Director Job Posting

Founded in 1961, The American Civil Liberties Union of Delaware (ACLU of DE) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that uses legal, legislative, and advocacy approaches to protect and promote a broad range of constitutional rights and freedoms, including justice reform, education equity, free speech, racial justice, reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights, and more. The ACLU of Delaware is an affiliate of the national ACLU, the leading defender of civil liberties guaranteed by our nation’s Bill of Rights. 

The ACLU of Delaware is one of this area’s premier public advocacy organizations. Based in Wilmington, Delaware, the ACLU of Delaware is led by a 21-member Board of Directors and a staff of ten. The Wilmington and broader Delaware communities are vibrant and collegial, and Delaware offers an excellent and affordable quality of life. Wilmington is also close to various attractions, including major cities such as New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC and the beach.

THE OPPORTUNITY

The ACLU-DE seeks a seasoned litigator, advocate, and collaborator to serve as its Legal Director. Reporting to the Executive Director, the Legal Director will lead and expand the ACLU-DE legal program, including developing and litigating high-impact cases and managing the legal department. The Legal Director will be responsible for setting the overall legal strategy to advance the ACLU-DE mission, as well as handling the day-to-day management of legal staff and cooperating attorneys. As a critical member of the ACLU-DE senior management team, the Legal Director will provide strategic leadership on both litigation and non-litigation legal advocacy in priority areas. Our current campaign priorities include education equity, reform of the justice system, voting rights, immigrants’ rights, and more.

The Legal Director’s essential duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to the following: 

  • Maintaining and developing our aggressive impact litigation and advocacy docket, which advances the ACLU-DE strategic priorities and responds to civil rights and civil liberties threats.
  • Managing all aspects of the litigation program, including coordinating the selection of cases, overseeing the investigation and development of cases before commencing litigation; building litigation teams with in-house lawyers, private lawyers, and nonprofit partners; directly engaging in litigation in federal and state court; and overseeing ongoing litigation.
  • Maintaining an individual caseload of developing and active litigation and amicus briefs, including overseeing and directing pre-litigation investigations, discovery, motion practice, brief writing, hearings and trials, and appellate work, and work with staff attorneys and cooperating attorneys on all work within the ACLU-DE legal program.
  • Supervising staff attorneys, an intake director, and law student and undergraduate interns.  
  • Fostering an organizational culture within the legal program that encourages staff development through internal and external resources.
  • Broadening and deepening relationships with volunteer attorneys and other lawyers in the community to ensure the visibility of the ACLU-DE in the legal community (and beyond) and to help build our legal docket, including by engaging lawyers in pre-litigation investigations, amicus briefs, litigation, and other ACLU-DE activities.
  • Coordinating and collaborating with other ACLU-DE departments, such as policy, organizing, legislative, and communications on cross-departmental projects and serving as a resource on legal matters for staff, partners, and other ACLU-DE constituents.
  • Supporting the legislative work of the ACLU-DE by coordinating legal research and analysis on legislation, providing testimony to elected officials, and serving as a resource to community stakeholders on policy and legal issues.
  • Serving as a highly visible spokesperson for the ACLU, working closely with our communications team to regularly engage in strategic public forums, advocacy discussions, and media opportunities.
  • Providing systemic and strategic planning and reporting, including developing budgets, providing regular reports on legal department activities, and supporting reporting on grants with legal department deliverables.

CANDIDATE PROFILE

The ideal candidate will have the following professional skills, qualities, and competencies:

  • Trial and appellate litigation experience in state and federal courts, including class actions, with a strong interest and experience in constitutional law and civil rights;
  • Juris Doctorate degree required. Admission to the Delaware Bar or prepared to sit for the 2021 Delaware Bar Exam. Admission to the Delaware Bar will be required for the Legal Director, if not already attained;
  • Excellent organizational skills and a creative and strategic approach to problem-solving and litigation;
  • Commitment to the mission of the ACLU;
  • Demonstrable commitment to equity and inclusion within the office using a personal approach that values all individuals and respects differences in regards to race, ethnicity, age, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, disability and socio-economic circumstance;
  • Commitment to work collaboratively and respectfully toward resolving obstacles and/or conflicts;
  • An energetic person who can handle and prioritize multiple activities and responsibilities; a self-starter and finisher.

COMPENSATION & BENEFITS

Salary range is $70,000-$95,000. Excellent benefits include paid vacation, medical and dental insurance, retirement savings plan, life and long-term disability insurance, and generous paid holidays.

CONTACT

Please send a cover letter, resume, and two legal writing samples to jobs@aclu-de.org with “Legal Director Search” as the subject line of the email. Applications will be reviewed regularly and the position will remain open until filled. All interviews will be held remotely at this time.

The 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 is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities. If you are a qualified individual with a disability and need assistance applying online, please email jobs@aclu-de.org.  If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.