Senior Staff Attorney
The American Civil Liberties Union of Washington (ACLU-WA) is seeking an experienced attorney to build, file, and litigate complex civil actions in state and federal court to protect and preserve civil liberties for all Washingtonians—work that is important now more than ever.
The senior staff attorney will be responsible for investigating, filing, and litigating civil liberties and civil rights cases in both federal and state courts. This includes legal research, investigative work, identifying and signing up named plaintiffs, complaint drafting, discovery and motion practice, and handling trials and appeals. The senior staff attorney will be responsible for maintaining an active docket of their own cases, typically with assistance from outside cooperating attorneys, as well as helping to supervise and mentor more junior attorneys in the department. The senior staff attorney will also engage in advocacy short of litigation, coordinate with the various policy-focused attorneys and other staff in the office, provide legal analysis to advance other ACLU policy work, conduct community outreach as needed, and supervise law students and volunteer attorneys. Along with other professional staff members, the staff attorney will represent the ACLU publicly, speaking to the media and others, as assigned. The senior staff attorney may also be asked to assist the Legal Director in the supervision and management of cases brought by other attorneys inside and outside the office, the drafting and review of internal and external department reports, and other non-litigation tasks essential for the smooth running of the Legal Department as needed. Travel, as well as occasional work on nights and weekends, will be necessary. Along with all employees, the senior staff attorney is expected to help maintain a positive, respectful, welcoming, and professional work environment for employees and volunteers.
- A commitment to diversity; a personal approach that values the individual and respects differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability and socioeconomic circumstance.
- At least ten years of significant civil litigation experience, with demonstrated ability to develop and/or litigate class actions. Plaintiffs’ side work and/or previous experience in constitutional law litigation is a plus, as is experience supervising other attorneys.
- Must have ability to file and litigate cases independently and collaboratively; excellent problem-solving skills; ability to juggle multiple on-going projects and exercise good judgment under stressful situations; and ability to affirmatively prosecute civil rights violations.
- Must also have superior writing, research and verbal skills in presenting both to lawyers and to the non-lawyer public; leadership and organizational skills in order to encourage volunteer lawyers and work cooperatively in coalitions on complicated cases; the ability to take initiative, think strategically, and share responsibility and credit.
- Must be a member of the Washington State Bar (or willing to take the next bar examination).
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. This position is “exempt” under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS
Salary is based on experience, qualifications and the parameters of the ACLU compensation scale. Benefits include three weeks of vacation to start, medical and disability insurance, a retirement plan, and an ORCA card.
To apply, email a letter of application and resume to and include in the subject line of the email: your last name and Senior Staff Attorney. In your letter, please indicate where you learned of the posting. Applications will be accepted until August 7, 2019 at which time the job announcement will be removed from our website at Should we need a broader pool of applicants, we will repost the position with an extended application deadline.