September 18, 2019

The ACLU of Illinois 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 to play a key role in complex, innovative litigation and policy advocacy. Under the supervision of the Senior Staff Attorney for General Civil Liberties and other experienced lawyers, the Staff Attorney will work on a broad range of civil liberties issues, which may include free speech, freedom of religion, voting rights, racial justice, and privacy. While the Staff Attorney will be responsible for engaging in pro-active litigation around our strategic priority areas, they also will be expected to work closely with communications staff and policy advocates in support of our integrated advocacy model, which unites legal advocacy, public communications, and policy advocacy for maximum impact.


  • Investigating, developing, and litigating high-impact cases at the trial and appellate levels in federal and state courts.
  • Developing and implementing non-litigation advocacy campaigns, including pursuing program objectives through legislative efforts.
  • Serving as a policy expert and advocate ACLU issues in support of legislation and other campaigns, with responsibilities including public speaking, media interviews, outreach, and “know your rights” presentations, as well as writing op-eds, newsletter articles, and reports.
  • Representing the ACLU in coalitions seeking change through advocacy campaigns.
  • Working with volunteer lawyers who assist in program activities.

This is a two-year position subject to renewal.


  • Three or more years of legal experience.
  • Self-motivated with the ability to take initiative, manage a variety of tasks and see projects through to completion.
  • Demonstrated ability to participate in all stages of complex litigation and to formulate and implement sophisticated legal strategies.
  • Excellent legal analytical and research skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to write and speak clearly and persuasively in legal and non-legal settings, and with a wide range of individuals and organizations.
  • Demonstrated commitment to civil rights and civil liberties consistent with the mission and goals of the ACLU.
  • Commitment to work collaboratively and respectfully toward resolving obstacles.
  • Excellent track record of working with diverse teams.
  • A demonstrated commitment to meeting a high bar and a history of getting things done despite obstacles.
  • Experience working in coalition with policy and community-based organizations is optional, but preferred.


The salary will be in accordance with the ACLU salary scale. Excellent benefits include four weeks paid vacation; 100% employer-paid medical, vision, and dental insurance for staff and eligible dependents; a 403(b) retirement benefits plan with employer match; 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.

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