ABOUT THE ACLU OF KANSAS
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Kansas is a non-profit and non-partisan organization dedicated to preserving and advancing the civil rights and legal freedoms guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The ACLU of Kansas works in the state legislature, the courts, and local communities to protect the rights of all people living in Kansas. The organization’s work includes efforts to strengthen and defend First Amendment rights, voting rights, reproductive rights, racial justice, LGBT rights, immigrants’ rights, stopping government surveillance, and reforming the criminal justice system. The ACLU of Kansas often works in broad-based coalitions made up of individuals and organizations from across the political, partisan, and ideological spectrum. The ACLU of Kansas is an affiliate of the national American Civil Liberties Union, has an annual budget of approximately $1 million, and has more than 30,000 supporters across the state. The headquarters of the ACLU of Kansas is in Overland Park, Kansas, and there is also a small office in Wichita.
The ACLU of Kansas comprises two separate corporate entities, the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas and the ACLU Foundation of Kansas. Both entities have the same overall mission, and share office space and employees. The ACLU has two separate corporate entities in order to do a broad range of work to protect civil liberties. The ACLU Foundation of Kansas is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation that primarily engages in litigation and public education. The ACLU of Kansas is a 501(c)(4) non-profit corporation that primarily engages in lobbying and advocacy.
More information about the ACLU of Kansas is available at www.aclukansas.org.
The ACLU of Kansas seeks a dynamic, creative, and self-motivated staff attorney who is passionate about civil rights and civil liberties and can work effectively under time pressure.
The staff attorney position is based in the Wichita, however, we will consider applicants seeking to work from the Overland Park office. The staff attorney will report to the legal director and will be responsible for working on a wide range of civil liberties issues, including racial justice, privacy, student rights, religious liberty, freedom of speech, gay and lesbian rights, criminal justice, prisoner’s rights, police accountability, and an array of other issues that are a current priority for the organization. Job duties will also include non-litigation advocacy involving community outreach, coalition building, writing and publishing reports, planning and participating in public meetings, legislative research and lobbying, and media interviews.
- Participate directly in litigating civil liberties and civil rights cases in federal and state court, either as co-counsel or, when appropriate, as lead counsel.
- Conduct factual and legal research, prepare memoranda, draft Open Records Act requests, write demand letters, draft pleadings and briefs, and help write appellate and amicus briefs.
- Handle discovery matters and depositions, including preparing discovery requests and responses, analyzing documents, and taking and defending depositions.
- Monitor litigation being handled by cooperating attorneys and provide assistance as needed.
- Develop and maintain working relationships with the legal staff at the national ACLU, its projects, and other affiliates and collaborate on litigation and investigations that arise in Kansas.
- Review, comment, and edit letters and briefs of co-counsel and other ACLU-KS staff.
- Work with and supervise law students, interns, and legal department volunteers.
- Support the work of the Legal Director, as needed.
- Advocate for civil liberties and represent the ACLU-KS at events, speaking engagements, public forums, CLEs and in coalitions, as appropriate.
- Communicate effectively with print and visual media concerning litigation as well as important constitutional issues.
- Work with ACLU-KS staff to implement integrated advocacy campaigns and high-impact strategies utilizing ACLU-KS’s communication, legislative, advocacy, and legal programs.
- Perform other duties as assigned by the Legal Director.
- J.D. from an accredited law school.
- Admission to the Kansas bar, eligibility for admission into the Kansas bar based on national bar exam scores, or admission within nine months of hire for candidates who do not have a Kansas law license and are otherwise ineligible for immediate admission.
- An unwavering and demonstrated commitment to civil liberties and civil rights and strong support for the goals of the ACLU.
- Ideal candidate will have at least 2 years of litigation and/or judicial clerkship experience with a preference for experience in civil litigation of constitutional issues. Will consider exceptional candidates with less experience.
- Demonstrated excellence in research, writing, and analytical skills.
- Substantive knowledge and understanding of constitutional law and civil liberties issues.
- Demonstrated ability to work independently, collaboratively, and under time pressure.
- Ability to do complex analytic work.
- Strong interpersonal skills, including the ability to work collaboratively.
- Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively with both legal and lay audiences.
- Demonstrated ability to work cooperatively on a variety of projects with lawyers, other staff members, and community organizations and coalitions.
- Ability to travel across the state, as necessary, and participate in occasional evening and weekend meetings.
Salary is commensurate with experience in accordance with the ACLU of Kansas compensation scale. Benefits include medical and disability insurance (fully paid by employer), a 401(k) program, and generous vacation, holiday, and sick leave.
Please submit a detailed letter of interest, a current resume, a legal writing sample of no longer than 10 pages, and three professional references (identifying each reference’s relationship to you and each reference’s email address and phone number). Email your application to:
Legal Director, ACLU of Kansas
Please include “Staff Attorney” in the subject line. Applications accepted until position is filled. No calls or in-person applications, please.
Applicants will be reviewed beginning the week of January 15, 2018 and will be accepted until the position is filled, at which time the job announcement will be removed from our website.
The ACLU of Kansas is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU of Kansas encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, criminal history, and veteran status.