Location

Mississippi

Department

Legal

POSITION OVERVIEW

ACLU of Mississippi seeks an outstanding attorney to drive our new LGBTQ Justice Project. Under the supervision of the ACLU of Mississippi legal director, the successful candidate will work in communities across the state to ensure that local laws reflect and protect LGBTQ residents.

The justice project will: 1) offer free legal services to LGBTQ Mississippians, including the areas of consumer law, family law, civil rights, housing & employment discrimination. 2) connect attorneys to statewide expertise on LGBTQ issues and best practices in working with LGBTQ clients, and will receive opportunities to earn CLEs. 3) Advocate before state, national, and local lawmakers for laws and policy that expand civil rights to marginalized communities, in particular Mississippi’s LGBTQ community; while also opposing discriminatory legislation.

The Staff Attorney will litigate cases and engage in non-litigation advocacy to advance civil liberties and civil rights throughout Mississippi. Responsibilities include developing and litigating cutting-edge impact cases on a wide range of issues, primarily in federal courts and often in partnership with cooperating counsel and/or National ACLU lawyers. The Staff Attorney will represent the ACLU publicly through media interviews and speaking engagements and will collaborate extensively with our Advocacy and Communications departments to set goals and implement strategies that advance ACLU of Mississippi priorities.

PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES

Legal

  • Investigate, develop and litigate impact civil liberties and civil rights cases in federal and state court.
  • Identify and recruit plaintiffs, conduct factual and legal research, prepare memorandums, write demand letters, draft pleadings and briefs, conduct discovery, argue motions, try cases, write appellate briefs and amicus briefs.

  • Supervise, lead, or participate in a team of associated attorneys; co-counsel cases with other public interest groups and the national staff.

  • Develop and run LGBTQ legal clinic.

  • Recruit and work successfully with ACLU volunteer attorneys. Comment on and edit letters and briefs of co-counsel and other ACLU staff. 

  • Work with local lawyers committees to screen and develop promising cases.

Leadership, Public Advocacy and Teamwork

  • Serve as a spokesperson for the ACLU with the press and as a public speaker and educator.

  • Work with ACLU staff to implement integrated advocacy campaigns and high-impact strategies utilizing the ACLU’s legislative, policy, and communications programs.

  • Engage with partners working in legal and advocacy capacities to build and mobilize issue networks statewide as appropriate.

  • Support the work of the Advocacy and Communications Departments by collaborating on policy and legislative materials, as well as by writing editorials, blogs and public education documents.

Administration, Supervision and Support

  • Recruit and supervise law students and interns.

  • Proactively communicate with all staff so they are well-informed of upcoming hearings, judicial decisions, and important developments in the legal arena.

  • Ensure that the Legal and Executive Directors are adequately informed of work and solicit direction and input appropriately and consistent with professional standards.

  • Prepare administrative and grant reports, provide administrative and organizational support as needed, and adhere to internal systems for attorney recordkeeping and information sharing.

Supervision: The Staff Attorney will report to the Legal Director, who is responsible for implementation of the statewide legal program.

QUALIFICATIONS

  • J.D. preferably with experience litigating federal civil rights and civil liberties cases.

  • Must be a member in good standing of a state bar and must pass the July 2021 state bar exam, or be able to waive in, if not already barred in Mississippi.

  • A strong understanding of, and demonstrated commitment to, civil liberties, civil rights and the mission of the ACLU.

  • Judicial clerkship is a plus.

  • Substantive knowledge and understanding of constitutional law and civil liberties issues.

  • Demonstrated skills in litigating independently, jointly, and under pressure.

  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively with both legal and non-legal audiences.

  • Demonstrated skills in legal analysis, research, and strategic thinking.

  • Demonstrated ability to work cooperatively on a variety of projects with lawyers, other staff members, and with community organizations and coalitions.

  • A commitment to diversity; a personal approach that values the individual and respects differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, ability, and socio-economic circumstance.

  • Creative, result-oriented, self-starting, willing to learn, and able to manage an aggressive schedule, working beyond 9-5 as needed.

  • Willingness to travel across the state for litigation and engagements.

  • Proficiency with computers, Windows, and Microsoft Office in particular.

COMPENSATION

Salary is commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits including health insurance and a 401(k) plan.

HOW TO APPLY

Please submit in digital form, by email, a detailed letter of interest, resume, writing sample, and contact information for three references. Send with the subject line of “LGBTQ Justice Project Attorney Application” to Jarvis Dortch at jdortch@aclu-ms.org , and copy Joshua Tom at jtom@aclu-ms.org.  Application may also be mailed to P.O. Box 2242, Jackson, MS 39225.

The position will remain open until filled, at which point this posting will be taken down.