Federal Policy and Research Associate [IRI-16]
American Civil Liberties Union - Washington, DC

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Federal Policy and Research Associate [IRI-16]


Washington Legislative Office, D.C.

For more than 92 years, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has been at the forefront of virtually every major battle for civil liberties and equal justice in this country. Principled and nonpartisan, the ACLU has offices in all 50 states, Washington, DC and Puerto Rico, and brings together the country's largest team of public interest lawyers, lobbyists, communication strategists, and members and activists in the advancement of equality, fairness, and freedom, especially for the most vulnerable in our society.

The Washington Legislative Office (WLO) seeks applicants for a full-time Federal Policy and Research Associate in Washington, DC. This position is limited to a term not to exceed two years from the date of hire.


The ACLU's Washington Legislative Office (WLO) is responsible for advancing the civil liberties agenda of the national ACLU before Congress and the Executive Branch. The Federal Policy and Research Associate will work under the direct supervision of an ACLU Legislative Counsel/Lobbyist and, indirectly, under senior WLO managers on pending federal legislation, regulatory matters, research, and policy proposals. The Federal Policy and Research Associate will be knowledgeable on a wide range of civil liberties issues but will focus particular attention at the outset on immigrants' rights generally and on proposed reforms to the nation's immigration laws and policies.

  • Review and analyze current and proposed federal legislation, regulations and policies.
  • Research and draft memoranda on federal bills and policy initiatives impacting civil liberties; research and draft other documents including legal memos, regulatory submissions, legislative and policy proposals.
  • Draft, review and edit documents for WLO, Communications, and Advocacy staff including public education materials, talking points, and informal advocacy pieces.
  • Research and draft testimony, formal communications, and informal guides on pending legislation or policy proposals to be presented to Congress or federal agencies.
  • Prepare briefing materials in coordination with other lobbying and policy staff.
  • Monitor legislation and report ongoing floor developments on pending legislation.
  • Coordinate in-depth civil liberties briefings for congressional and Executive Branch staff.
  • Assist as directed in lobbying members of Congress, administration officials, and their staff to support ACLU positions on pending federal legislation or executive branch policy initiatives.
  • Assist as directed in representing the ACLU in external and internal meetings with coalition partners, other stakeholders, and ACLU colleagues regarding pending federal issues.
  • Assist in coordinating efforts with other branches of the ACLU national organization, including its legal projects, communications staff, state strategists, and state affiliate staff around the country.
  • Provide administrative support to federal lobbyists and policy counsels as assigned by management, including such tasks as photocopying, filing, mailings, meeting and travel arrangements, and screening phone calls.
  • Supervise ACLU volunteers and interns as directed.
  • Perform other duties as assigned by supervising counsels and by management.
  • Bachelor's degree and a minimum of 2 years work experience researching and analyzing legislative and policy issues, with particular focus on immigrants' rights issues.
  • Demonstrated ability to analyze legislative and administrative policy and communicate such analysis effectively.
  • Ability to work effectively both independently and as part of a team.
  • A solid understanding of issues related to federal immigration law and, in particular, legislative and policy proposals for immigration law reform, and the ability to communicate on such issues coherently and concisely.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Strong organizational skills with superb attention to detail.
  • Ability to multitask and meet strict deadlines.
  • Expertise with legal and legislative research tools including Westlaw, LEXIS/NEXUS, CQ, Knowlegis. Applicants with a law degree or formal training in legal research and analysis, as well as knowledge of Bluebook citation form, will also be considered.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office software and Internet research tools.
  • Commitment to the mission and goals of the ACLU, including civil liberties, civil rights, and constitutional law.

The ACLU offers a generous and comprehensive compensation and benefits package, commensurate with experience and within parameters of the ACLU compensation scale.


Applicants should send a cover letter (with salary requirement), resume, a writing sample, and three references via email to hrjobsWLO@aclu.org . Reference [IRI-16-/ID] in subject line.

Please note that this is not the general ACLU applicant email address. This email address is specific to this posting. In order to ensure your application is received please make certain it is sent to the correct e-mail address. You can expect to receive an automatic response that acknowledges the submission of application materials.

Alternatively applications can be sent by mail to :

American Civil Liberties Union
RE: Federal Policy and Research Associate [IRI-16/ID]
915 15 th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

Please indicate in your cover letter where you learned of this job posting.

This job description provides a general but not comprehensive list of the essential responsibilities and qualifications required. It does not represent a contract of employment. The ACLU reserves the right to change the description and/or posting at any time without advance notice.

The ACLU is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, and veteran status. We encourage applicants with disabilities who may need accommodations in the application process to contact: Recruitment@aclu.org .

Correspondence sent to the Recruitment@aclu.org address that is not related to requests for accommodations will not be reviewed. Applicants should follow the instructions above regarding how to apply.

The ACLU comprises two separate corporate entities, the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU Foundation. Both the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU Foundation are national organizations with the same overall mission, and share office space and employees. The ACLU has two separate corporate entities in order to do a broad range of work to protect civil liberties. This job posting refers collectively to the two organizations under the name "ACLU."

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