Legal Director

The American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada seeks a Legal Director to lead its litigation and legal advocacy programs. The Legal Director is a visionary strategic thinker with the passion, drive, and creativity to lead a dynamic, progressive team focused on using reform litigation to defend and expand civil rights and civil liberties. The Legal Director possesses supervisory and litigation experience; will be able to adeptly serve as a spokesperson for the ACLU of Nevada when appropriate; and is a key member of the senior management team that shapes the work of the ACLU of Nevada.

Background

The ACLU of Nevada, the state’s premier public advocacy organization, is a not-for-profit, nonpartisan organization that employs public policy advocacy, litigation, and public education and communications to protect and promote a broad range of individual rights and freedoms, including freedom of speech, voting rights, racial justice, privacy, religious liberty, reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights, and immigrants’ rights.

The ACLUNV is an affiliate of the national ACLU, the leading defender of civil liberties guaranteed by our nation’s Bill of Rights. The national ACLU implements its vital civil liberties mission in all 50 states in large part through affiliate entities such as the ACLUNV. Operating out of Las Vegas with a satellite office in Reno, the Nevada affiliate has a $1M operating budget and 11 staff positions.

The Executive Director is responsible for and leads the day-to-day operations and oversees the senior leadership team in shaping the work of the ACLU of Nevada. The Legal Director, a critical member of the organization’s senior management team, reports directly to the Executive Director and provides strategic leadership and coordination regarding both litigation and non-litigation legal advocacy undertaken by the ACLU of Nevada. In addition, the Legal Director works in close coordination with the policy team, education and communications programs, as well as with the national ACLU staff, through an integrated advocacy model.

Role of the Legal Director

The Legal Director is based in the ACLUNV’s Las Vegas office and is responsible for helping to set overall legal strategy to advance the mission of the organization and for the day-to-day litigation work and management of the legal staff and the ACLUNV legal docket. The Legal Director, who will come to the role with some management experience, is ultimately responsible for the supervision of a team of four, including one staff attorney, one paralegal, and one part-time Intake Coordinator, as well as legal interns, and the organization’s intake system. The Legal Director also works with a Board-appointed Legal Committee of advisors to ensure a robust and responsive legal docket for the organization.

The ACLU of Nevada Legal Director has primary responsibility for coordinating the selection of cases based on ACLU policy, organizational priorities, and capacity. The Legal Director also oversees the development of cases prior to the commencement of litigation and the conduct of litigation thereafter.

The Legal Director must be a strategic, creative, and tactical thinker with a courageous and imaginative approach to advocacy. The Legal Director will maintain an individual caseload, and will primarily work with the legal staff and cooperating attorneys on litigation and advocacy efforts, aiding in case preparation, trial work, and appellate work.

In addition, the Legal Director serves as a spokesperson for the ACLU when appropriate, working closely with the executive director, communications, and public policy departments, speaking to print and broadcast journalists, and at public forums. At times, the Legal Director assists in fundraising efforts by participating in meetings with major donors and otherwise working with ACLUNV’s development staff to ensure funding for our work.

Major Objectives

The ACLUNV expects the Legal Director to lead and manage the legal staff collegially in a manner that is respectful, collaborative, and consistent with the mission, vision, and values of the ACLU.

 Specifically, the Legal Director will:

  • Maintain the affiliates current litigation, track time, and donated legal hours;

  • Successfully manage legal staff;

  • Participate actively in regular strategic and tactical advocacy sessions in close partnership with the Executive Director, Senior Staff, Board, and National Office;

  • Continue to develop an aggressive impact litigation and advocacy docket that advances the ACLUNV’s strategic priorities and respond to civil rights and civil liberties threats;

  • Support the Policy Director on local and statewide policy, including lobbying as needed;

  • Provide systematic planning and reporting, including items such as budgets, intake reports, regular litigation status reports, and communication with government agencies;

  • Continue to build an organizational culture within the legal program that encourages and mentors the staff, while holding them accountable for their work product;

  • Attends and represents the ACLUNV at state bar functions and meetings and continuing legal education seminars;

  • Develops and maintains relationships with partner organizations, public interest law firms, legal service agencies, and other members of the Nevada legal community;

  • Meets with individual donors to discuss the Litigation Program;

  • Adheres to the “Conducts and Ethics” section of the ACLUNV Employee Handbook; and

  • Other duties as assigned by the Executive Director.

Professional Qualifications

While no one person will embody all of the qualities enumerated below, the successful candidate will bring many of the following qualifications and attributes:

  • Demonstrated commitment to civil rights and civil liberties consistent with the mission and goals of the ACLU;

  • Five years or more of trial and appellate litigation experience and the state and federal levels with a strong background in constitutional, civil rights, and/or criminal law litigation;

  • Experience in recruiting, training, managing, and motivating a diverse, high-performing legal team;

  • Demonstrated record of moving legal cases forward at all levels of the judiciary, with experience working with clients from diverse constituencies;

  • Excellent communication skills, including written, spoken, and analytical skills;

  • Experience representing and working with activists in grassroots organizations and non-governmental organizations;

  • Experience working in nonprofit settings that are governed by a volunteer board of directors;

  • Familiarity and/or experience with raising funds from foundations and in solicitations of donors.

Nevada Bar admission is required. An attorney not admitted the Nevada Bar shall seek admission as soon as feasible and must be admitted within a year of employment.

Personal Characteristics

 The following characteristics are sought in the Legal Director:

  • A deep personal commitment to and passion for advancing civil right and civil liberties;

  • Excellent organizational skills and a creative approach to problem-solving and litigation;

  • A creative thinker with an ability to recognize and maximize opportunities for the organization;

  • A team-building and collegial management style, including effective communications skills, a warm personal style that commands respect, and a sense of humor;

  • Integrity.

COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS

Salary is commensurate with similarly-situated nonprofit advocacy organizations, based on experience and qualifications. Excellent benefits include health and dental insurance, a defined contribution retirement plan, and generous vacation, holiday, and medical leave policies.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE

To apply, visit, http://www.aclunv.bamboohr.com/jobs and submit: (1) a letter of interest; (2) resume; and (3) a legal writing sample. Upload the cover letter and writing sample in one PDF through the link marked "Cover Letter” when submitting your application.  If you are unable to do so, please send all materials to haverda@aclunv.org, with the subject line "Legal Director Application".

The ACLU is an equal opportunity employer.  We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture.  The ACLU encourages 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, veteran status, and record of arrest or conviction.

 

 

Internship Opportunities

Legal Intern

The ACLU of Nevada seeks legal interns for Fall 2018 and Spring 2019. As a legal intern you will be supervised directly by the ACLU of Nevada’s Legal Director and work with the entire legal team while developing advanced skills in brief writing, client communication, civic engagement and research. You will gain an understanding of the U.S. Constitution, as well as civil liberties and civil rights laws in the U.S. and the State of Nevada.

Required Qualifications: 

  • A desire and a passion to learn about the ACLU of Nevada’s work

  • Demonstrated commitment to civil liberties and civil rights

  • Excellent academic credentials

  • Superior legal research and writing skills

  • Ability to work professionally, cooperatively, and collegially on wide-ranging projects with lawyers, staff members, and other diverse individuals

  • Current enrollment in a J.D. program 

Apply online here and be prepared to submit: 

  1. A letter of interest;
  2. resume;
  3. legal writing sample; and
  4. transcripts. 

Upload all the required documents in one PDF through the link marked "Resume."  when submitting your application.  If you are unable to do so, please send all materials to aclunv@aclunv.org, with the subject line "Legal Intern Application." Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. 

 

Volunteer

The ACLU of Nevada is a nonprofit organization and volunteers help expand the reach of the work we do to protect civil liberties. 

The ACLU of Nevada is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU of Nevada encourages 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, veteran status and record of arrest or conviction

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