Staff Attorney

The Staff Attorney position can be based anywhere within South Carolina but will require weekly attendance at ACLU-SC offices in Columbia, 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 a compliment of full-time, part-time staff, contingent partners, and volunteers. To learn more about the work of the ACLU-SC and ACLU, please visit www.aclusc.org and

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.

The ACLU-SC legal team is actively engaged in multiple issue areas, including: public safety and policing, jail and prison reform, juvenile justice reform, freedom of speech, disability rights, and
voting rights. We also carry an evolving docket of amicus cases that touch many different civil rights issues. A successful Staff Attorney will have competence in some or many of these areas,
with a demonstrated ability to learn new areas of doctrinal law quickly and without heavy supervision.

The Staff Attorney will report to the Legal Director and will be responsible for investigating, filing, and litigating civil liberties and civil rights cases in both federal and state courts on a wide
range of issues, typically in collaboration with attorneys from cooperating law firms and organizations. This includes legal research, investigative work, identifying plaintiffs, complaint
drafting, discovery and motion practice, and handling trials and appeals. The Staff Attorney will also be responsible for representing the ACLU of South Carolina publicly, through media
inquiries, interviews, and at other public events.

In addition to litigation responsibilities, the Staff Attorney will also be expected to work closely with ACLU-SC organizers, communications, and policy staff to ensure that we follow a
“integrated advocacy” model that unites legal, policy, organizing, and communications for maximum impact.



  • Investigate, develop, and litigate civil rights and civil liberties cases in federal and state courts. This includes conducting factual and legal research, leading litigation teams potentially with multiple co-counsel, interviewing clients and potential witnesses, writing demand letters, drafting pleadings and briefs, conducting discovery, arguing motions, trying cases in court, handling appeals and amicus briefs, and negotiating settlements.
  • Respond quickly to late-breaking events, master new areas of law in a short amount of time, and otherwise work in a fast-paced environment.
  • Develop creative approaches to litigation or legal arguments regardless of whether they have been previously attempted.
  • Communicate with government attorneys or other government officials in attempts to resolve civil rights and civil liberties issues in an amicable and practical manner without resorting to litigation.
  • Occasionally provide legal research and analysis on legislative proposals and public education materials.
  • Work with the ACLU of South Carolina communications team to facilitate messaging and media coverage about ACLU-SC’s issue positions and legal actions.
  • Recruit and supervise law fellows and legal interns (together with the Legal Director and other Staff Attorneys).



  • Juris Doctorate from accredited law school.
  • Membership in good standing with the South Carolina Bar or eligible for admission within 1 year.
  • Three or more years of experience in civil litigation or appellate advocacy. Federal clerkship will be counted as one year of relevant experience.
  • Meticulous attention to factual and legal detail.
  • Ability to work gracefully with historically marginalized or oppressed communities of different cultures and backgrounds. This includes having a mature understanding of how structural racism, sexism, and prejudice against all kinds of marginalized communities pervade our society; how people who wear privilege or authority (e.g., attorneys) participate in and perpetuate such prejudice; and how to skillfully navigate such dynamics with humility and openness.
  • Commitment to publicly support and advocate for the civil rights and civil liberties positions adopted by the ACLU-SC, regardless of any personal beliefs to the contrary.
  • Willingness to occasionally travel, work evenings, weekends, and holidays.
  • Other duties as assigned.


The salary range for this position is $55,000 – $65,000, with room to advance as our affiliate grows. 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, employer-paid medical and dental insurance for employee, 401 (k) plan with an employer match, and life and
long-term disability insurance.


Email a cover letter, resume, and professional writing sample to achaney@aclusc.org with “STAFF ATTORNEY APPLICATION” in the subject line. Applications are being accepted until the position is filled. Applications received before December 3, 3021 will receive priority review.


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.