Location

Jackson, Mississippi

Department

Advocacy

Deadline date

Open until filled

ACLU of Mississippi works to combat voter suppression, advance pro-voter reforms, broaden access to the political process, and ensure fair political representation of marginalized communities and communities of color.  Our methods include legislative and policy advocacy, litigation, community organizing and media and communications. 

POSITION OVERVIEW

ACLU of Mississippi seeks a justice-minded, talented attorney to join our team working to ensure equitable political representation and unabridged access to voting and participation in the political process.  Through advocacy and litigation, the Voting Rights Policy Counsel will assist our affiliate’s efforts to advance civil liberties and civil rights throughout Mississippi. Responsibilities include developing and litigating cutting-edge impact cases on a wide range of voting issues, primarily in federal courts and often in partnership with the ACLU of Mississippi staff, cooperating counsel and/or National ACLU lawyers.  

The Voting Rights Policy Counsel will also represent the ACLU of Mississippi 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

  • Work across the state to ensure a transparent redistricting process that results in the adoption of racially and geographically balanced legislative districts and fair municipal ward maps.
  • Work collaboratively with other departments to drive ACLU of Mississippi’s overall Voting Rights goals, including but not limited, to policy recommendations and community education.
  • Investigate, develop and litigate impact Voting Rights and related cases 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.
  • Serve as co-counsel on cases with other public interest groups and the national staff.
  • Recruit and work successfully with ACLU volunteer attorneys.
  • 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.
  • Assist with preparation of policy briefs and public writing in support of policy advocacy, legislative reform and communications initiatives.

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 Executive and Deputy 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 Voting Rights Policy Counsel will report directly to the Deputy Director/Policy Counsel but work closely with the Executive Director and ACLU of Mississippi Legal team.

QUALIFICATIONS

Required: Must be a member in good standing of a state bar and must pass the February 2022 Mississippi bar exam, or be able to waive in, if not already barred in Mississippi.

Ideal: The ideal candidate will have some combination of the following experience and qualifications.

  • A minimum of 3 years’ legal work experience, including clerkships.
  •  Experience litigating federal civil rights and civil liberties cases.
  • A strong understanding of, and demonstrated commitment to, civil liberties, civil rights and the mission of the ACLU.  
  • Federal Judicial clerkship is a plus.
  • Substantive knowledge and understanding of constitutional law and civil liberties issues. Knowledge of voting rights litigation is a plus.
  • 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.
  • Strong ability and desire to write for legal, policy, and public audiences.
  • 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 “Voting Rights Policy Counsel” to Jarvis Dortch at jdortch@aclu-ms.org , and copy Alicia Netterville at anetterville@aclu-ms.org.  Applications may also be mailed to P.O. Box 2242, Jackson, MS 39225.

The position will remain open until filled.