The ACLU-NC Legal Foundation (ACLU-NCLF) seeks to sponsor a candidate to apply for public interest legal fellowships from funders including but not limited to Skadden, Equal Justice Works, Open Society, and Justice Catalyst, to begin work in Fall 2021 or sooner, if the applicable funding source allows.
The Legal Fellow will work to advance one of our major issue areas: criminal law reform, racial justice, LGBTQI+ equality, reproductive freedom, or the rights of immigrants. Proposed projects often combine litigation and advocacy with community outreach and public education. The candidate will be responsible for identifying potential sources of funding for the proposed fellowship and preparing fellowship application materials with the approval, guidance, and support of ACLU-NC legal staff.
Who We Are
Founded in 1965, the ACLU of North Carolina, an affiliate of the national American Civil Liberties Union, is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that stands as the state’s guardian of liberty – working in courts, the General Assembly, and communities to protect and advance civil rights and civil liberties for all North Carolinians. The ACLU-NC brings together litigation, legislative advocacy, communications, and organizing strategies to empower communities and achieve our objectives in major issue areas including criminal law reform, racial justice, LGBTQI+ equality, reproductive freedom, and the rights of immigrants. With nearly 23,000 members and supporters across the state, the ACLU-NC has a staff of more than 20 people with a central office in Raleigh and a satellite office in Charlotte.
What You’ll Do
You will help us protect and advance the rights of all North Carolinians by:
- Coordinating and preparing applications for funding and all reporting needed to sustain or comply with conditions of funding.
- Consulting closely with the ACLU-NCLF throughout the funding application process.
- Conducting factual investigations to identify policies and practices that can be challenged through litigation, including through court observation, interviews of clients, potential clients, and witnesses, or public records requests.
- Drafting legal memoranda, pleadings, affidavits, motions, and briefs.
- Reviewing and analyzing documents to support litigation and advocacy.
- Participating in discovery and trial practice.
- Providing as-needed legal research, writing, and editing support for ACLU-NCLF.
- Drafting and editing public education and non-litigation advocacy materials.
- Conducting community outreach and know-your-rights presentations.
- Performing occasional administrative work as necessary to support litigation efforts.
- Occasionally traveling for work and working on the weekends and evenings if needed.
Who You Are
Our requirements for the person who fills this position are:
- J.D. degree at the start of the fellowship.
- Admission to the North Carolina bar or pending efforts to seek admission to the North Carolina bar at the start of the fellowship.
- Demonstrated commitment to public interest law, civil liberties, and racial justice, and to the mission and goals of the ACLU-NC.
- Excellent research, writing and verbal communication skills, and ability to explain complex legal concepts in plain language.
- Ability to conduct complex legal analysis and fact-finding in a fast-faced litigation environment.
- Excellent interpersonal skills, including respect for others’ lived experiences, and ability to work and interact respectfully and thoughtfully with people from backgrounds different from your own.
- Ability to work collaboratively as part of a multidisciplinary team of legal staff, communications, policy, and advocacy colleagues, as well as in coalition with outside organizations/law firms.
- Self-motivated with the ability to take initiative, manage a variety of tasks, and meet deadlines.
- Ability to think creatively and to use non-litigation strategies to promote objectives is strongly preferred.
- Demonstrated personal commitment to social justice, equity, and inclusion is required, including a personal approach that values individual lived experience and respects differences of race, ethnicity, nationality, age, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, ability, and socio-economic circumstances.
- Commitment to working collaboratively and respectfully toward resolving obstacles and conflicts.
- Excellent computer skills including knowledge of Microsoft Office suite.
If you would like to be considered for a sponsorship opportunity, please submit: a cover letter explaining your interest in working with the ACLU-NC to advance one of our issue areas and a brief description of any ideas for a project proposal; a resume; a legal writing sample (15 pages or less); a law school transcript, and the names and telephone numbers of three professional references. Your writing sample should be something that you primarily authored and edited, without significant drafting or editing by others.
Materials should be sent to HR@acluofnc.org - please reference “[Your Name] - Legal Fellow Sponsorship” in the subject line. We will review applications on a rolling basis, but priority consideration will be given to applicants who submit applications by July 6, 2020.
What Else You Should Know
The ACLU-NCLF is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. We encourage all qualified individuals to apply -- especially people of color; women; people from low-income backgrounds; people with disabilities; people who identify as LGBTQI+; and people who are formerly incarcerated or otherwise directly impacted by the criminal legal system.