The ACLU of Nebraska is seeking an experienced Legal Director committed to living our diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging values with strong litigation, advocacy, and management skills to lead our high-impact legal program. The Legal Director plays a key leadership role within the organization and reports to the Executive Director. The Legal Director coordinates with communications, policy, development, and administrative teams in addition to national ACLU colleagues and other local and national partners to advance litigation and advocacy goals.
The Legal Director will supervise and administer a statewide legal program covering a wide range of statutory and constitutional issues to bring about systemic change through impact litigation in federal and state courts, administrative advocacy, and other strategies. The Legal Director will maintain an active and diverse docket to further the priorities established in the organizational strategic plan, including, but not limited to, racial justice, free expression, criminal justice reform, reproductive freedom, LGBTQ equality, voting rights, and immigrants’ rights. The position is based in Lincoln and requires periodic in-state and out-of-state travel. This is a full time exempt position.
Maintain and develop our aggressive impact litigation and advocacy docket, which advances the ACLU’s strategic priorities and responds to civil rights and civil liberties threats;
Manage all aspects of the ACLU’s litigation program, including coordinating case selection with the Executive Director; overseeing the investigation and development of cases prior to filing litigation; and building litigation teams with in-house lawyers, cooperating counsel, and other partners;
Oversee litigation in federal and state court and ensure effective client counseling;
Maintain an individual caseload and manage demand letters, public records requests, legal and policy reports and analysis, pre-litigation investigations, discovery, motion practice, brief writing, hearings and trials, appellate work, and amicus briefs;
Supervise a team of five staff attorneys, a contract paralegal, and multiple law clerks; coordinate recruitment and onboarding of additional legal staff with team members; and foster an organizational culture that empowers staff, encourages professional development, and emphasizes a commitment to upholding the highest ethical ideals of the legal profession and our diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging values;
Broaden and deepen relationships among ACLU’s attorneys, cooperating and pro bono counsel, and other lawyers to elevate the visibility of the ACLU in the legal community and to help build capacity in our legal docket by engaging lawyers in pre-litigation investigations, amicus briefs, active litigation, and other ACLU activities;
Serve as a spokesperson for the ACLU, working closely with our communications team to engage in strategic public forums, advocacy discussions, and media opportunities; and
Assist with administrative matters including but not limited to developing budgets, providing regular reports on legal department activities, assisting with file retention policy implementation, managing intake and correspondence, and coordinating and supporting other activities as needed.
Compensation & Benefits
Salary range is approximately $110,000 to $135,000 and is based on experience. Excellent benefits include generous vacation, sick leave, family leave, paid life insurance, generous health and dental insurance with premiums paid 100% by the employer including family coverage, a 401k match, cell phone reimbursement, remote work options, and paid parking.
For over 50 years in Nebraska, the ACLU has worked in courts, the legislature, and communities to protect the constitutional and individual rights of all people. With a nationwide network of offices and millions of members and supporters, including an ever-growing presence in Nebraska, we take up the toughest civil liberties fights. Beyond one person, one party, or one side — we the people dare?to create a more perfect union. Our offices are in the heart of Nebraska’s capital city of Lincoln. Our twelve person team is complimented by dozens of volunteers, and thousands of supporters statewide.
Commitment to Equal Opportunity
The ACLU is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU encourages applications from all qualified and eligible individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status and record of arrest or conviction, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law. The ACLU makes every effort to assure that its recruitment and employment provide all qualified and eligible persons, including persons with disabilities, with full opportunities for employment in all positions. The ACLU is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to people with disabilities. If you are a person with a disability and need assistance applying, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 402-476-8091. If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.
Civil rights and civil liberties violations disproportionately hurt the most marginalized people in society – including Black people, Indigenous people, people of color, immigrants, women, and LGBTQ people. These communities must be centered in the work we do. Hence, we strongly encourage applications from people with these identities or those whom are members of other marginalized communities.
Application & Search Process
Please email a cover letter and resume or CV to email@example.com with the subject “Legal Director.” Please state in your cover letter how you learned of this position. The search process typically includes a review of candidate submissions by the search committee, invitations for an initial phone interviews of about 30-60 minutes to top candidates, a final in-person interview (or via Zoom) for about 60 minutes with the hiring committee and a request to provide a writing sample and/or completion of a skills test. We will consider and accept applications until we fill the position. Once filled, we will remove the announcement from our website.
10+ years of trial and appellate litigation experience in state and/or federal courts with a strong background in constitutional law and civil rights;
Admitted to the Nebraska Bar or eligible for admission; ACLU of Nebraska will pay for processing reciprocity admissions, professional dues and fees, professional development, CLE, and training opportunities.
Values diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. A personal and professional commitment to understanding and prioritizing how held identities and lived experiences impact and show up in our work. May be illustrated through training, learning, and lived experiences.
Passion for civil rights and civil liberties consistent with the mission of the ACLU;
5+ years of experience in recruiting, training, and managing a diverse, high-performing team of attorneys and support staff;
Record of moving cases forward from investigation through all stages of federal and/or state courts and administrative forums;
Excellent organizational, leadership, communication, and analytical skills.
Extensive federal court experience
Fluency in languages other than English
Experience with public policy, government, nonprofit organizations, community organizing, or electoral campaigns.
For over 50 years in Nebraska, the ACLU has worked in courts, the legislature, and communities to protect the constitutional and individual rights of all people. With a nationwide network of offices and millions of members and supporters, including an ever-growing presence in Nebraska, we take up the toughest civil liberties fights. Beyond one person, one party, or one side — we the people dare?to create a more perfect union. Our offices are in the heart of Nebraska’s capital city of Lincoln. Our small but mighty eight-person staff is complimented by a contract lobbyist, dozens of volunteers, and thousands of supporters statewide. The ACLU of Nebraska is an equal opportunity employer and values a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. We encourage 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, veteran status, and record of arrest or conviction.