The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida seeks an immigrants’-rights attorney to combat pressing civil rights and liberties issues affecting communities across the state. This position may be located in Miami, Orlando, or Tampa and may include some travel. This position is funded for two years with the possibility for an extension.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida is an affiliate of the national ACLU, a national public interest organization devoted to the defense of the Bill of Rights. For over 100 years, the ACLU has served as the nation’s primary protector of the liberties that define our democracy. The organization implements its vital civil liberties mission in all 50 states in large part through affiliate entities such as the ACLU of Florida. Operating out of six offices—Miami (main), Tampa, Pensacola, Orlando, Tallahassee, and Jacksonville—the Florida affiliate has a budget of over $8 million and 55 staff members, placing it among the larger ACLU affiliates in the nation.
The ACLU of Florida, the state’s largest civil rights and civil liberties organization, employs litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education to protect and promote a broad range of constitutional values and individual rights, such as freedom of speech, racial justice, right to privacy, religious liberty, criminal justice reform, voting rights, reproductive rights, LGBTQ+ rights, disability rights, and immigrants’ rights. The ACLU of Florida litigates a broad range of complex constitutional cases in federal and state courts through direct representation, filing amicus briefs, and submitting administrative complaints to state and federal agencies.
Attorneys at the ACLU of Florida play a critical leadership role in advancing the ACLU’s mission to uphold constitutional rights by developing and managing impact litigation and engaging in integrated advocacy. Attorneys work collaboratively with the national office’s various legal projects as well as with the ACLU of Florida’s communications, policy and advocacy, field, and development departments. Attorneys also play an important role in community outreach and education.
The immigrants’-rights attorney is a staff position within the Affiliate’s Legal Department. The position reports to the Deputy Legal Director. The position is focused on immigrants’ rights but will include some work in other areas.
The primary programmatic focus of this position will be the development of litigation and other legal advocacy projects in the area of immigrants’ rights. The staff attorney will:
- Develop, prepare, and litigate immigrants’-rights cases at all stages in federal district and appellate courts.
- Engage in pre-litigation, post-litigation, and non-litigation advocacy, including preparing demand letters, conducting settlement negotiations and enforcement, preparing advocacy materials and public-education resources, and delivering public testimony.
- Work closely with and provide policy analysis and legal expertise to non-legal program staff at the ACLU of Florida and ACLU National.
- Engage regularly with the media on immigrants’-rights issues.
In addition to the primary responsibilities above, the staff attorney will also:
- Develop and strengthen relationships with community partners, coalitions, stakeholders, and affected communities.
- Prepare and deliver “know your rights” information to affected communities.
- Respond to the legal needs of affected communities, potentially on an emergency and immediate basis.
- Participate in legal and advocacy conferences and develop and provide CLE presentations on pertinent topics.
- Communicate ACLU views and positions to a variety of audiences, including judges, community residents, and policymakers, through public speaking, traditional and social media, and other means.
- Assist the ACLU of Florida’s volunteer chapters across the state regarding local immigrants’-rights issues.
At times, the staff attorney will also be called upon to support the ACLU of Florida’s work in areas other than immigrants’ rights.
While no one person will have all of the qualities listed below, the successful candidate will bring many of the following qualifications and attributes:
- Significant expertise and experience in the area of immigrants’ rights.
- At least five years of federal district court or appellate litigation experience.
- Strong and demonstrated commitment to civil rights and civil liberties consistent with the mission and goals of the ACLU.
- Broad substantive knowledge of constitutional law.
- Exceptional oral-advocacy skills.
- Demonstrated experience working in a fast-paced environment with a keen ability to simultaneously work on and manage multiple projects and deadlines and set priorities.
- Enthusiasm, patience, and cultural competence to work cooperatively on a variety of projects with lawyers, organizers, and other staff members, as well as with diverse community organizations and coalitions.
- Experience working and communicating with marginalized or vulnerable communities.
- Collaborative spirit and a sense of humor.
- Demonstrated ability to work effectively and professionally with lawyers, paralegals, legal assistants, and clients.
- A commitment to diversity; a personal approach that values the individual and respects differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, religion, ability, and socio-economic circumstance.
- Ability and willingness to travel and work extended hours, including nights and weekends, as needed.
- Fluency in Spanish.
Compensation will be commensurate with experience, within a starting range of $61,000-$84,000. The ACLU of Florida provides excellent benefits, including health and dental insurance with generous vacation, holiday, and sick leave policies, as well as a Defined Contribution 401K Retirement Plan. Base vacation leave is five weeks per year.
Please send an email to [email protected] and attach a cover letter, resume, and two substantial writing samples demonstrating thorough legal analysis. All inquiries should include “Immigrants’ Rights Staff Attorney position” in the subject line, and all attachments should be in Microsoft Word or PDF format. Applicants should specify in their application their desired locations in order of preference. Ultimate location will depend on office availability.
Applicants who proceed beyond a first interview will be required to complete a research-and-writing assignment.
Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Please indicate where you learned of this job posting. No phone calls, please.
This job description provides a general but not comprehensive list of the essential responsibilities and qualifications required. It does not represent a contract of employment. The ACLU of Florida reserves the right to change the job description and/or posting at any time without advance notice.
The ACLU of Florida is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU of Florida encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, LGBTQIA+ status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, or veteran status. We encourage formerly incarcerated individuals to apply. If selected for an in-person interview, please inquire if financial assistance is needed in order to attend.
The ACLU of Florida undertakes affirmative action strategies in its recruitment and employment efforts to assure that persons with disabilities have full opportunities for employment in all positions.