POSITION

Director of Legal Advocacy (Legal Director)

LOCATION

While ACLU-SC is headquartered in Charleston, the position could be based anywhere within South Carolina. 

DEADLINE DATE

Open Until Filled. Projected Start Date of June 1, 2021. 

ABOUT THE ACLU-SC

The ACLU-SC works daily in communities, courts, and the South Carolina Legislature to defend and advance the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the U.S. and South Carolina Constitutions. The ACLU-SC is a highly rewarding place to work for those interested in protecting our fundamental civil rights and civil liberties. Founded in 1968, the ACLU of South Carolina has 9 full-time staff positions. To learn more about the work of the ACLU-SC and ACLU, please visit www.aclusc.org and www.aclu.org.

APPROACH TO ADVOCACY

ACLU of South Carolina takes an integrated advocacy approach to the work of advancing civil rights and civil liberties, meaning we deploy multi-pronged, multi-year strategies that include impact litigation, policy advocacy, legislative advocacy, organizing, and communications. 

ABOUT THE JOB

Reporting to the Executive Director, and working in close collaboration with Senior Staff, the Director of Legal Advocacy will help to set and coordinate overall organizational and legal strategy to advance the ACLU of South Carolina's strategic priorities and mission.

The Director of Legal Advocacy is responsible for day-to-day management of staff, volunteers, and cooperating attorneys, as well as working in close coordination with our policy, communications, development, and organizing teams, National ACLU colleagues, and other local and national partners to advance our strategic priorities.

POSITION OVERVIEW

You are an experienced advocate and leader who thrives in a busy, mission-driven environment.

You are an experienced litigator and supervisor and have led impact work on a statewide, regional, or national level, and can effectively support high-achieving individuals and teams to advance their work strategically and effectively.

You are a leader who trusts and inspires trust in supervisees, and also can share responsibility and authority with others.  You are a strategic thinker with enough experience in substantive areas in which the ACLU of South Carolina works to be a thought partner in the affiliate. 

You have worked collegially on management teams and understand the value of inclusive, equitable leadership approaches.  You work well under pressure, are professional and personable, and committed to racial and social justice in the work and interpersonal work relationships.

RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Overall Strategy
    • In partnership with the Executive Director and Senior Staff, serve as a principal strategist for our advocacy campaigns.   
    • Coordinate and collaborate with ACLU of South Carolina staff to implement integrated advocacy campaigns and high-impact strategies utilizing legal, policy, communications, and organizing teams. 
    • Develop equitable and reciprocal relationships with community organizations and networks and help advance the organization’s commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion in both its internal and external-facing work.
  • Litigation Advocacy
    • Maintain and develop an ambitious docket that advances the ACLU of South Carolina’s strategic priorities and responds to immediate or emerging threats to rights and liberties.
    • Direct all aspects of the ACLU of South Carolina’s litigation team, including coordinating the selection of cases; overseeing the investigation and development of cases before commencing litigation; building litigation teams with national ACLU attorneys, private attorneys, and nonprofit partners; directly engaging in litigation in federal and state court; and overseeing ongoing litigation.
    • Maintain an individual caseload of developing and active litigation and amicus briefs, including pre-litigation investigations, discovery, motion practice, brief writing, hearings and trials, and appellate work.
  • Non-Litigation Advocacy
    • Broaden and deepen relationships with the ACLU of South Carolina’s volunteer attorneys and other lawyers in the state to ensure the visibility of the ACLU in the South Carolina legal community (and beyond) and help build our legal docket, including by engaging lawyers in ACLU litigation and non-litigation activities including developing and overseeing legal observers, election integrity, and other volunteer programs.
    • Broaden and deepen relationships with South Carolina’s law schools and law student volunteers, interns, and externs to help support and educate the next generation of civil rights lawyers.
    • Serve as a spokesperson for the ACLU, working closely with our policy, communications, development, and organizing teams to regularly engage in strategic public forums, advocacy discussions, and media opportunities.
    • Support communications team on publications addressing legal issues and cases and serve as a resource on legal matters for staff, partners, and other constituents.
    • Support policy team on legislative and policy research and other matters; occasionally testify before legislative and administrative bodies.
  • Management
    • Support and model a culture of shared purpose, mentorship and mutual respect in the team, across the organization, and with our partners.
    • Supervise and review staff attorney and any law fellows or interns; handle recruiting and hiring for additional legal staff (budget permitting); and foster a collaborative organizational culture within the legal team that encourages staff development through internal and external resources.    
    • Oversee implementation of legal team policies and procedures including intake review, case selection process, paper and electronic filing systems, legal docket, timekeeping, retainer agreements, malpractice prevention and insurance, and cooperating attorney agreements.
    • Provide systemic and strategic planning and reporting, including developing budgets, providing quarterly reports on legal team activities, and supporting reporting on grants with legal team deliverables.
    • Present a positive and professional face at all times when representing the ACLU of South Carolina and help maintain a welcoming environment for employees and volunteers.
    • Develop and maintain relationships with staff at the ACLU’s National office and state affiliate staff.
    • Consult the Executive Director on all litigation that will require significant resources and/or is potentially controversial; Keep the Executive Director and other staff informed about significant legal developments and controversies. 
  • Other duties as assigned by the Executive Director.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS

  • Demonstrated ability to provide support, supervision, and strategic guidance to experienced colleagues across a range of issue areas. 
  • Significant experience in legal advocacy and litigation required.
  • Broad substantive knowledge of constitutional law, civil rights law, civil procedure, and ethical obligations.
  • Experience working with marginalized or impacted communities, grassroots organizations, and non-governmental organizations.
  • Demonstrated ability to share authority and responsibility in high stakes, complex and fast-moving work environment. 
  • Extremely strong project and time management skills, including a high level of organization, attention to detail, and follow-through, while balancing and prioritizing multiple activities and responsibilities.
  • Excellent relationship-building skills and ability to inspire collaboration, including success leading teams, projects, and people towards action through persuasion.
  • Proven commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Demonstrated experience engaging in creative problem solving and taking initiative, while utilizing a solutions-oriented approach and exhibiting flexibility and good judgement in a complex organizational ecosystem. 
  • Excellent verbal and written communications skills.
  • Willingness to travel within South Carolina, and occasionally to other parts of the country for speaking events, meetings, and conferences.
  • South Carolina Bar membership or must obtain South Carolina Bar admission within a year of employment.
  • Supervision experience required.
  • Experience coordinating litigation within an integrated advocacy model preferred.

WE OFFER

The salary range for this position is $70,000 – $90,000. To preserve the opportunity for advancement, we do not typically hire above the mid-point. Excellent benefits include generous paid vacation, sick, and holiday leave, 100% employer-paid family medical and dental insurance, 401 (k) plan with an employer match, and life and long-term disability insurance. Relocation expenses up to $5,000 will also be provided.

HOW TO APPLY

Email a cover letter describing your interest in this position and the ways in which you satisfy the qualifications specified above, resume, and two legal writing samples. Email Information: info@aclusc.org | Please write “Director of Legal Advocacy” in the subject line. 

Applications are being accepted until the position is filled.

The ACLU of South Carolina is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU of South Carolina 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, veteran status, involvement with the criminal legal system, or differently-abled status.