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Youth Policy Manager or Counsel

Application Deadline: May 15, 2022


The American Civil Liberties Union of Washington (ACLU-WA) seeks a passionate and strategic advocate to lead its efforts to break the school to prison pipeline, promote community-based interventions for young people who commit crimes, and ensure all K-12 youth in Washington are provided an equitable public education. In addition to providing leadership on youth issues, the Youth Policy Manager or Counsel will work as a member of the Policy Advocacy Group (PAG), collaborating with the PAG Director and PAG team members to develop additional policy priorities consistent with the ACLU-WA's strategic plan. The Youth Policy Manager or Counsel will also work collaboratively with the entire office.


Please note that we welcome applicants with or without a JD degree to apply for this position. The selected candidate will have the title that best matches their credentials.



The ACLU of Washington is a leader among state affiliates of the American Civil Liberties Union, the country's premier guardian of liberty. We work in courts, legislatures, and communities to protect and extend American rights to freedom, fairness, and equality. The ACLU is both nonprofit and nonpartisan. We have a staff of 40+ and are supported by more than 135,000 members, activists, and donors.


The Policy Advocacy Group works to effectuate change through state and local legislation, rulemaking, institutional policy change, community-driven advocacy, public education, coalition building, and media work. Through our engagement with community stakeholders, we strive to center and amplify the voices, perspectives, and experiences of directly impacted communities and individuals. Within the ACLU-WA, PAG uses an integrated advocacy approach, working collaboratively with the Legal, Political Strategies, and Communications teams to further its goals.


The ACLU of Washington is committed to ending racism in Washington State and throughout the country. This includes how we work with each other, and with our partners and allies in the communities we serve. We are committed to bringing anti-racism to all aspects of ACLU-WA's internal and external functions, including but not limited to recruitment; hiring and human resources; strategic planning; ally, donor, and volunteer relations; Board and committee processes; and deciding what cases to litigate and what legislation to support and oppose. We are looking for candidates who share this commitment to advancing racial justice, both internally in our organization and externally in the communities that we serve.


*Please note: the ACLU-WA is closely following the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). Currently we are all working remotely and will begin transitioning back to the office in spring 2022 with a goal of opening fully under our new Hybrid Work Policy by summer. We will continue to carefully monitor public health pronouncements and recommendations.


To aid remote work, we provide laptops, home office supplies, certain equipment, and technology support. You will need an effective WiFi connection and a way to reach you by phone. This position is eligible for either a work phone or phone stipend, as well as an additional $100 stipend each month to help cover any additional costs while working from home.


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, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status, socio-economic circumstance, or record of arrest or conviction. We do not conduct criminal background checks on our candidates. Women, people of color, LGBTQ people, and people with disabilities are especially encouraged to apply.



·        Participation in ACLU-WA’s race equity work. This may include utilizing ACLU-WA race equity tools, adopting ACLU-WA race equity practices, serving on the Race Equity Team or subcommittees, etc.

·        Lead the development of the ACLU-WA’s strategic goals on school to prison pipeline and juvenile justice, in collaboration with ACLU-WA team members and community partners. Conduct legal analysis and policy research, and draft legislative and other policy proposals on education and juvenile justice.

·        Collaborate with other ACLU-WA team members, including the Political Strategies Department, Communications Department, and Legal Department to identify tactics and structure campaigns to break the school to prison pipeline, reform Washington’s juvenile justice system, and ensure K-12 students receive an equitable public education. Work with staff at the national ACLU and other affiliates to build a national movement on school to prison pipeline and juvenile justice issues.

·        Develop and implement strategies for working with directly impacted stakeholders and allied organizations to advance shared goals, including actively supporting community coalitions. Build trusted relationships with other advocates, parents, and young people who have been impacted by the juvenile justice system and school to prison pipeline.

·        Work with the PAG Director and PAG team members to define additional policy needs consistent with the ACLU-WA strategic plan. This will include regular leadership on projects outside of youth policy issues.

·        Support the ACLU-WA in lobbying for organizational priorities.

·        In collaboration with other ACLU-WA team members, identify and respond to emerging issues involving youth and civil liberties.

·        Represent the ACLU-WA in community coalitions, the state legislative process, and before school boards and other local decision makers.

·        Advance the ACLU-WA’s goal to conduct its work through a racial equity lens.

·        Serve as a strategic advisor and participant to ACLU-WA litigation teams and ACLU-WA attorneys working on amicus briefs.

·        Conduct public education through trainings, presentations, drafting and publishing reports, and know your rights guides.

·        Speak regularly with reporters and represent the ACLU-WA on various media platforms.

·        Supervise interns, fellows, volunteers, and other staff as needed.

·        Travel throughout the state; attend ACLU-WA events, including some work on nights and weekends.



·        Ideal candidates will have an awareness of, and willingness to engage in, the difficult and transformative work of challenging systems of oppression, institutional and structural racism, and implicit bias.

·        2+ years of significant policy advocacy experience, with a strong understanding of legal concepts and a demonstrated ability to develop and lead policy initiatives. Experience in civil rights policy and experience in education policy, disability policy, juvenile justice policy or a combination. Willingness and ability to develop expertise in these or other policy areas.

·        Strong writing, research, and communications skills in presenting both to lawyers and the public. The ability to distill complex information.

·        A track record of successfully directing and completing long-term projects. Strong leadership and organizational skills; the ability to independently manage one’s own work as well as others.

·        Experience working with BIPOC communities, people with disabilities, young people and parents. The ability to bring diverse people together to address multifaceted issues.

·        A high degree of emotional intelligence; a personal approach that values the individual and respects differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability, and socio-economic circumstance.

·        A demonstrated commitment to racial equity; experience developing and implementing advocacy strategies that center the voices and lived experiences of directly impacted communities.



The ACLU-WA office is generally open between the hours of 9a.m. and 5p.m. and is located in downtown Seattle. 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.

·        Able to input information into a computer for long periods of time.

·        Able to remain stationary for extended periods.

·        Able to occasionally work long and extended hours.

·        Able to assess information communicated through a computer.

·        Able to travel across the state occasionally.


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.



The ACLU of WA is dedicated to centering equity in all aspects of the organization and, as such, has adopted a salary scale for measuring how to best compensate its employees. The salary for this position will be between $75,080 and $133,323. The range indicates the intention to accommodate those with varying years of relevant experience, as determined by the salary scale.


Benefits include three weeks of vacation, thirteen sick days, fifteen holidays, fully paid employee medical, dental, vision, and disability insurance, a generous retirement plan, student loan reimbursement, family care and adoption assistance, life insurance, and an ORCA card, the regional transportation pass.



To apply, email a cover letter and resume to “Hiring Team” at and include in the subject line of the email: your name and Youth Policy Manager or Counsel. In your cover letter, please indicate where you learned of the posting. Applications will be accepted until May 15, 2022, at which time the job announcement will be removed from our website at



We will schedule interviews with qualified candidates after the close date and hope to have the selected candidate start in early July.


The ACLU of Washington comprises two separate corporate entities, the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington, Inc. and the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington Foundation. The two corporations share the same overall mission, office space, and employees. This job posting refers collectively to the two organizations under the name “ACLU of Washington”.

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