Civil Liberties Staff Attorney



The ACLU’s civil liberties program seeks, through coordinated litigation, public education and legislative advocacy, to secure the rights of equality, due process, expression, association, belief and privacy for all people. In recent years, the program has focused on issues including police reform, health care in prisons and detention facilities, juvenile justice, and stop and frisk reform. We work in collaboration with local and national organizations as well as the ACLU’s National Office and the ACLU’s nationwide network of state affiliates.



ACLU seeks an attorney with substantial legal ability for a full-time Staff Attorney position. We invite applications from attorneys who have demonstrated a commitment to civil rights and civil liberties, and who would be interested in, and capable of, playing a key role in complex innovative litigation and policy advocacy. Under the supervision of the Directors of the Roger Baldwin Foundation’s Police Practices and Corrections Reform Projects and other senior staff attorneys, the Staff Attorney will work to develop and implement advocacy strategies in identified areas. Litigation tasks include legal research and drafting of pleadings, briefs, discovery, motions, and status reports in both state and federal courts. The attorney will also be involved in developing and implementing non-litigation advocacy campaigns, including pursuing program objectives through legislative efforts. In this context, the Staff Attorney will collaborate with the ACLU legislative staff and Communications and Public Policy staff. The attorney will also represent the ACLU in coalitions seeking change through advocacy campaigns. This attorney also will work with volunteer lawyers who assist in program activities, and will engage in public speaking and media appearances.


This is a two-year position subject to renewal.



  • 0-5 years of legal experience
  • Self-motivated and committed to civil liberties advocacy
  • Ability to participate in all stages of complex litigation and to formulate and implement sophisticated legal strategies
  • Excellent writing and analytical skills
  • Ability to work in coalition with policy and community-based organizations.
  • Ability to collaborate with cooperating counsel
  • Ability to work cooperatively on a variety of projects with clients, lawyers, other staff members and diverse community organizations and coalitions
  • Ability to communicate effectively in legal and non-legal settings with a wide range of individuals and organizations



The salary will be in accordance with the ACLU salary scale. Excellent benefits include four weeks paid vacation after first year; fully employer-paid medical, vision and dental insurance for staff and their eligible dependents; retirement plan; life insurance; and long-term disability insurance.



Applicants should send a resume, letter of interest, list of litigation experience, references, law school transcript, and legal writing samples to and use the subject line: Civil Liberties Staff Attorney. No calls or snail mail please. Applications will be accepted immediately until the position is filled.


The ACLU of Illinois is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and encourage 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, and veteran status.