Jobs

Legislative Attorneys or Legislative Advocates

The Opportunity:

ACLU California Action protects civil liberties and civil rights, advances equity, justice, and freedom, and dismantles systems rooted in oppression and discrimination. Our organization uses rigorous policy analysis, advocacy, and strategic communications to achieve policy change on a statewide level. ACLU California Action is a 501(c)(4)* organization governed by and associated with the three ACLU affiliates in California—ACLU of Northern California, ACLU of Southern California, and ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties.  

We are seeking to add multiple Legislative Attorneys or Legislative Advocates to our Sacramento-based team. As critical partners in our work, Legislative Attorneys/Advocates influence policy and policy makers in the legislative, executive, and judicial branches.  We are looking for thoughtful, mission-driven collaborators eager to build relationships and coalitions, develop creative strategies for advocacy, and make persuasive appeals to public officials and their staff. We welcome applications from applicants at all levels from emerging professionals to seasoned experts.

Job Functions

  • Develops and maintains effective bipartisan working relationships with members of the California legislature, the executive branch, the judicial branch, regulatory agencies, and other state-level policy makers, and their staffs. 
  • Generates and executes advocacy strategy in collaboration with internal staff and external partners and allies.
  • Researches and analyzes state-wide policy issues and outcomes, legislation, rules, and regulations to inform the policy team as it shapes ACLU California Action’s position.
  • Identifies and investigates legal issues and impacts, examines constitutionality of legislative and other policy proposals, and provides expert testimony on legal issues orally and in writing, on own (Legislative Attorney) or in partnership with legal staff (Legislative Advocate).
  • Negotiates, articulates, and composes legislative and other policy proposals and amendments, as well as advocacy materials, and generates and presents testimony, working collaboratively with the policy and communications teams.
  • Collaborates with ACLU affiliate staff, responding to requests, participating in statewide issue team meetings, and preparing written summaries of the work.
  • Facilitates alignment and communication around legislative objectives and strategy between coalition partners, affiliate teams, legislators and their staff, and other interested stakeholders.
  • Serves as a representative of California Action, presenting ACLU California Action’s positions in a clear and persuasive manner with partners at conferences, conventions, meetings, and other events.
  • Serves as a spokesperson on ACLU issues in the media and at public events as directed.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities

  • Demonstrated experience in policy advocacy, preferably in California and particularly at the State Capitol (2-3 years for emerging professional level applicants; 7+ years for senior level applicants).
  • Juris doctorate or equivalent legal education (Legislative Attorney only, if hired in Advocate role this will not apply).
  • Demonstrated ability to research and develop persuasive legal arguments (Legislative Attorney).
  • Demonstrated ability to analyze and articulate policy positions and communicate them to a variety of audiences.
  • Exceptional analytical and research skills.
  • Experience working on civil liberties and civil rights issues, preferably in California.
  • Knowledge and familiarity with equity, inclusion, diversity, and belonging principles; proactively prioritizes these principles in one’s work and approach to relationship building
  • Demonstrated commitment to dismantling systems rooted in oppression and discrimination; solid social justice and human rights knowledgebase.
  • Strong knowledge of the California policy making process and governmental systems.
  • Superior written, oral, visual communication skills to convey complex policy positions in simple terms and preparing documents and presentations.
  • Willingness to work on variety of tasks and projects to advance our advocacy agenda. 
  • Resourceful, diplomatic, team-oriented, accountable, and sensitive to the needs our partners and staff.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively within a team environment and independently, with internal and external stakeholders, in large coalitions, and with diverse staff, activists, and public officials.
  • Strong relationship-building and interpersonal skills, enthusiasm, optimism, and a sense of humor.
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment and balance a large portfolio of work; ability to manage one’s time independently and respect agreements, especially around due dates, timeliness, communications, and strategy.
  • Ability to work from Sacramento when the legislature is in session; note that we are temporarily remote due to COVID-19 conditions.
  • Proficient in common office communication and presentation software, such as Microsoft Office, Outlook, and Teams.
  • Leadership and management skills sufficient to lead large policy projects with complex and nuanced coalitions, positions, and stakeholders (senior level only).

Preferred Skills, Knowledge and Experience

  • Expertise and/or lived experience in one or more key advocacy areas such as criminal justice; immigrant rights; racial and economic justice; gender, sexuality, and reproductive justice; education equity; or voting rights.
  • Strong relationships with California policymakers, including members of the legislature, Governor’s Office and other executive branch officials, and their staffs.
  • Experience as a registered lobbyist in the State of California and Fair Political Practices Commission regulations.**

Compensation & Benefits

Competitive compensation and benefits package includes employer sponsored medical, dental and vision coverage for you and your family, a retirement plan with a 2% employer contribution with additional employer match, 22 paid vacation days, 10 days of sick time, and 14 paid holidays a year. Salary ranges from $85,000-120,000.

Selection Process

Please submit your resume no later than October 4, 2021 to [email protected] for consideration. If you have any questions about the position or our process, please reach out to Lindsay Cooper Martin at [email protected] or 916-249-2500.

ACLU California Action is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities. If you are a qualified individual with a disability and need assistance applying online, please contact Lindsay Cooper Martin at [email protected] or 916-249-2500.  If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request accommodation during the interview process.

ACLU Cal Action advances equity and inclusion in the workplace by providing equal employment opportunity to all as part of a work environment free from discrimination. We encourage and welcome applicants who will work to further this commitment and add to the diversity of our organization on multiple dimensions including race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, exercising the right to family care and medical leave, genetic information, marital status, sex (includes pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and related medical conditions), gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, military and veteran status, political affiliation, or arrest or conviction record. 

*Note that at a 501(c)(4) organization, our team members are not eligible to participate in most student loan forgiveness programs.

** Selected candidate will be required to register as part of ACLU Cal Action’s lobbyist team within 10 days of hire.