Staff Attorney

American Civil Liberties Union   •  

Phoenix, AZ

Industry: Education, Government & Non-Profit


5 - 7 years

Posted 29 days ago


The staff attorney will be responsible for maintaining an active docket of their own cases, typically with assistance from outside cooperating attorneys. The staff attorney will investigate, file, and litigate civil liberties and civil rights cases in both federal and state courts on a wide range of issues. Duties include legal research, investigative work, identifying and signing up plaintiffs, complaint drafting, discovery and motion practice, and handling trials and appeals. The staff attorney will also conduct community outreach as needed and supervise law students and volunteer attorneys. Along with other professional staff members, the staff attorney will represent the ACLU publicly, speaking to the media and others.

While the staff attorney will be responsible for engaging in pro-active litigation around our strategic priority areas, they also will be expected to work closely with communications staff and policy advocates in support of the ACLU of Arizona's integrated advocacy model, which unites legal advocacy, policy advocacy, organizing, and base building for maximum impact. Much of that work will focus on immigration-related litigation and advocacy, including addressing unlawful immigration enforcement practices, challenging inhumane conditions of confinement in short- and long-term immigration detention facilities, reducing immigration detention, protecting the due process rights of detained immigrants, and disentangling local law enforcement from immigration enforcement.


  • Investigate, develop, and litigate high-impact cases at the trial and appellate levels in federal and state courts.
  • Serve as co-counsel and work in conjunction with other staff within the ACLU of Arizona, the National ACLU, other ACLU affiliates, and partner organizations to bring pro-active litigation around immigrants' rights and other strategic priority issues.
  • Follow-up with individuals who file complaints with the ACLU, including interviewing them, drafting affidavits or testimonies on their behalf, and conducting research to determine whether further action by the ACLU is warranted.
  • File administrative complaints with governmental agencies and records requests to obtain information about civil rights violations along the U.S.-Mexico border and across the state.
  • Serve as a policy expert and advocate on state and local immigration issues in support of legislation and other campaigns, with responsibilities including public speaking, media interviews, outreach, and "know your rights" presentations, as well as writing op-eds, newsletter articles, and reports.
  • Provide technical support and strategic leadership to community groups, advocates, and organizers in the Tucson/border region.
  • Develop legal strategies with senior ACLU staff to advance our litigation and advocacy efforts around strategic priority issues.
  • Conduct outreach and advocacy to public officials.


  • A commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion; a personal approach that values the individual and respects differences.
  • Demonstrated commitment to civil rights and civil liberties consistent with the mission and goals of the ACLU.
  • Five or more years of trial and appellate litigation experience in state and federal courts, including class actions, with a strong background in constitutional law and civil rights.
  • Admitted to the Arizona Bar or eligible for admission under Arizona Supreme Court Rule 34(f) (admission on motion) or 38(f) (employment by approved legal services organization).
  • Excellent research, writing, analytic, and speaking skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to independently develop and litigate impact cases.
  • Demonstrated ability to work in diverse coalitions and develop advocacy campaigns.
  • Willingness to work beyond a standard 8-hour workday, including evening and weekend meetings, and to work weeks commonly in excess of 40 hours.
  • Willingness to travel regularly within Arizona.
  • Experience working with vulnerable communities, preferably with immigrants, incarcerated people, or indigent populations.
  • Spanish language fluency.