Border Litigation Staff Attorney
ACLU - United States

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Posted January 2013

The ACLU and ACLU Foundation of San Diego & Imperial Counties (ACLU-SDIC) seeks an attorney with at least two years litigation experience for a full-time staff attorney position focused on litigating cases involving border-related abuses.

ACLU-SDIC is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, public interest organization dedicated to the defense and expansion of civil liberties and civil rights along California’s southern border. Located in San Diego, this ACLU affiliate has 21 staff members, 19 board members, approximately 9,000 members, an annual budget of $1,300,000, and a $2.3 million endowment.

ACLU-SDIC works in close collaboration with ACLU offices in Brownsville, Houston, Las Cruces, Albuquerque, Phoenix, and Los Angeles, as well as the ACLU’s National Immigrants’ Rights Project.

Position Description:

Under supervision of the Legal Director, the border litigation attorney will be responsible for screening and developing impact litigation to challenge abusive practices and develop precedent in the U.S.-Mexico border region, including direct representation and amicus curiae briefing. This first-of-its-kind position responds to the routine violations by U.S. law enforcement agencies—especially federal agencies—of the rights of migrants and U.S. citizens alike in the region. The roots of such abuse are practices that have never been subjected to effective oversight, review, and accountability. In addition to impact litigation, the attorney will also pursue non-litigation strategies for integrated advocacy, in coordination with ACLU staff and community allies.

  • a strong and demonstrated commitment to civil liberties and civil rights;.
  • relevant expertise on border, immigration, national security, or other related issues;
  • ability to litigate independently and under pressure;
  • minimum of two to four years civil or criminal litigation experience;
  • excellent research, writing, and analytical ability;
  • strong interpersonal, interviewing, and investigative skills;
  • bilingual Spanish ability required;
  • ability to develop and implement non-litigation strategies;
  • ability to work cooperatively on a variety of projects with lawyers, other staff members, and diverse community organizations and coalitions; and
  • membership in the California State Bar or plans to take the California State Bar Examination in February or July 2013.

Salary & Benefits: Competitive public interest legal salary commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits.

Application Procedure: Interested individuals must send a cover letter, CV, list of references, and legal writing sample (no more than 5 pages, double-spaced, which may be an excerpt from a brief), preferably by e-mail to , or by mail to:

ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties
ATTN: Legal Program Manager
PO Box 87131
San Diego, CA 92138-7131

We encourage applicants to send materials as soon as possible, but applications will be accepted until a candidate is selected. Please indicate in your cover letter where you found this job posting.

The ACLU is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and encourages women, people of color, persons with disabilities, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals, and veterans to apply.

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