Deadline date

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until filled.

The ACLU-NC Legal Foundation (ACLU-NCLF) seeks to hire two full-time Staff Attorneys to work out of our office in Raleigh and join a passionate and dedicated team. The Staff Attorneys will work under the legal director’s supervision and in close collaboration with other attorneys, paralegals, law student interns, and co-counsel, as well as staff from the policy and advocacy and communications departments. Staff Attorneys work in a fast-paced environment to address emerging and ongoing civil rights issues through complex litigation, community education, and integrated advocacy. They work as part of a multi-disciplinary team whose leadership includes community organizers and other directly impacted people. The ideal Staff Attorney will be able to move fluidly from the courtroom to the community and will be able to work with diverse allies and coalitions to achieve our ambitious goals.

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 of North Carolina 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, LGBTQ 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’ll help us protect and advance the rights of all North Carolinians by:

  • Investigating, developing, and litigating high-impact civil rights cases in federal and state courts. This includes conducting effective community outreach to impacted people; drafting and filing pleadings, motions, and briefs; conducting written and oral discovery; and presenting oral argument and evidence in hearings and trials.
  • Developing and implementing non-litigation advocacy campaigns in partnership with colleagues and coalition partners who are not lawyers.
  • Organizing and leading community education events and trainings to advance our strategic priorities. 
  • Providing expert legal analysis of legislation and in support of campaigns.
  • Working under the leadership of non-lawyer staff and coalition partners to implement integrated advocacy campaigns.
  • Representing the ACLU of North Carolina in coalition spaces.
  • Serving as a spokesperson for the ACLU of North Carolina at public forums, meetings and in the media.
  • Providing administrative support in recruiting and managing interns and legal fellows as needed. Occasional other administrative support is required of all team members as needed.
  • Engaging in occasional travel, and occasionally working evenings, weekends and holidays as needed.

Who You Are

The ideal candidate will be ready to hit the ground running to expand the organization’s work as a leading advocate for the civil rights of all North Carolinians. Other requirements and preferences include:

  • J.D. degree required.
  • At least 3 years of law practice is preferred. Significant complex civil litigation experience, especially experience litigating civil rights cases, is strongly preferred.
  • Membership in good standing with the North Carolina Bar or admission to the North Carolina Bar within one year of hire is required.
  • Demonstrated ability to meet tight deadlines while managing a docket that includes multiple cases in various stages of active litigation is strongly preferred. The ability to proactively communicate as part of a team, ask for support and delegate as needed to ensure all work is completed on time is critical in this role.
  • Demonstrated ability to participate in all stages of complex litigation, from initial investigation through trial and appeal, and readiness to take a leading role in cases is strongly preferred. Successful applicants will be able to identify both well established and novel legal theories and build cases to advance state and federal constitutional jurisprudence on behalf of marginalized communities.
  • Demonstrated commitment to the civil liberties mission and social justice principles of the ACLU is required, especially in one or more of the ACLU of North Carolina's strategic priority areas: racial justice, immigrants’ rights, criminal law reform, gender equity, reproductive freedom, or LGBTQI+ equality. “Demonstrated commitment” can include, but is not limited to, prior employment. It can also include significant experience in law school clinics or other volunteer efforts, such as unpaid activism or pro bono work.
  • Experience working with diverse and marginalized communities is strongly preferred, including immigrant, incarcerated, and/or indigent people, people of color, and LGBTQI+ people.
  • Ability to consistently turn in work product that meets deadlines, reflects thorough legal research and ability to self-edit, and contains concise, up-to-date analysis of the law is required.
  • Demonstrated ability to make successful arguments to courts based on established law, to develop creative legal theories, and to write clearly and persuasively is required.
  • 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.
  • Ability to think creatively and to use non-litigation strategies to promote objectives is strongly preferred, including building coalitions with ally organizations, engaging in public advocacy, and working under the leadership of non-lawyers and directly impacted people. High levels of emotional intelligence, humility, personal accountability, and well-developed listening skills are required in this role to successfully build relationships with clients, co-counsel, and coalition partners.
  • Commitment to working collaboratively and respectfully toward resolving obstacles and conflicts is required.
  • Fluency in Spanish is a plus but not required.
  • Excellent computer skills, including knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite, are required.


The salary range for this position starts at $60,600 and is commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits include paid vacation and holidays; sick leave; medical, vision and dental insurance; life, short-term and long-term disability insurance; 12 weeks of paid parental leave; and 401(k) plan.

To Apply

Applications should include a cover letter that explains your specific interest in litigating complex civil rights cases in North Carolina and addresses why, based on your experience, you will be an effective advocate for social justice in this setting. Your application should also include your resume, one legal writing sample (no more than 15 pages, with a strong preference for examples of recent court filings), and a list of at least three professional references, including at least one who has directly supervised your legal work. Your writing sample should be something that you primarily authored and edited, without significant drafting or editing by others. Please send all materials in a single PDF file to HR@acluofnc.org.  To facilitate our review, your emails should have the subject line: “[Your last name] 2020 Staff Attorney Application.” We will review applications on a rolling basis beginning July 6, 2020, until the position is filled.

The ACLU-NCLF is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. Recognizing that strict minimum requirements tend to disproportionately discourage women and people of color from applying for jobs for which they would otherwise be competitive, 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.