About the ACLU of North Carolina
Founded in 1965, the ACLU of North Carolina (ACLU-NC), an affiliate of the national American Civil Liberties Union, is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that stands as the state’s guardian of liberty – working in courts, the General Assembly, and communities to protect and advance civil rights and civil liberties for all North Carolinians.
The ACLU-NC brings together litigation, legislative advocacy, communications, and organizing strategies to empower communities and achieve our objectives in major issue areas including criminal law reform, racial justice, LGBTQIA+ equality, reproductive freedom, and the rights of immigrants. With nearly 30,000 members and supporters across the state, the ACLU-NC has a staff of almost 20 people with an office in Raleigh.
The ACLU-NC seeks to hire one full-time Policy Counsel to join a growing team. The Policy Counsel will report to the Policy Director, work in close collaboration with other team members, as well as staff from the legal and communications departments. The Policy Counsel supports the ACLU of North Carolina’s legislative program and other policy advocacy efforts and will be responsible for advancing the proactive civil liberties agenda of the ACLU-NC at the state and local level, lobbying to defeat proposed legislation that threatens to undermine constitutional rights and individual liberty, and mobilizing coalition partners and community groups to achieve our objectives.
- Policy Oversight: Assist with the preparation of talking points, bill summaries, position papers, internal reports and presentations for ACLU-NC staff and lay leaders, or other documents as necessary. Draft and prepare proposed legislation or amendments preserving and advancing civil liberties.
- Coalition Building: Work in coalitions as aligned with the organizational strategic plan and represent the ACLU-NC in coalition meetings and community discussions.
- Research and Analytics: Assist with tracking, monitoring, and analyzing proposed legislation. Assist with monitoring the legislative calendar for committee meetings and actions involving tracked legislation. Conduct legal and policy research into civil liberties issues raised by proposed legislation at the state and local level and draft legal memoranda analyzing these issues.
- Legislative Reports: Work with the Senior Policy Counsel and Policy Director on overall legislative program including annual legislative agenda. Report to and advise policy and advocacy team on strategic elevation of legislative and policy priorities as needed.
- Legislative Outreach: Lobby members of legislative bodies and their staff in support of ACLU-NC positions on pending legislation. Lobby administrative agency and Office of the Governor officials and their staff in support of ACLU NC positions on administrative and regulatory matters. Collaborate with staff to implement integrated advocacy policy initiatives involving a combination of policy, legal, communication, public education, and organizing strategies. Seek to develop ACLU-NC champions in advocacy, policy communications and negotiations including government, women leaders, and civil society. Policy Counsel will be required to register as a lobbyist for the ACLU-NC and for the ACLU-NC Legal Foundation.
- Media Outreach & Education: Participate in interviews to the media regarding the civil liberties implications of proposed legislation or policy initiatives. Participate in public education efforts, including making presentations to ACLU-NC members and other organizations or groups about civil liberties related legislation, the legislative process, or other ACLU-NC priorities. Assist in organizing events, trainings, or membership activities, such as lobby days, related to our legislative or policy goals. Represent the ACLU-NC in a professional manner externally as well as within the organization.
- Project Management and Participation: Lead, manage, and/or participate on cross-functional project teams.
To Be Successful in This Role, the Candidate Will Have
- Commitment to Mission: Demonstrated commitment to and a strong understanding of civil rights, civil liberties, social justice, and the ACLU-NC’s mission, goals, and programs.
- Commitment to Values: Alignment with the values of the ACLU-NC and professional commitment to advancing them.
- Commitment to Diversity: Ability to work in an environment that respects differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability, and socioeconomic circumstances.
- Strategies on Legislative Issues: Advanced skills in strategic communications with the public sector, private organizations and policy makers about relevant legislation, policies and procedures relating to ACLU of NC.
- Advocacy Technical Solutions: Advanced skills providing technical assistance, writing technical reports, and policy briefs targeted to decision makers.
- Advocacy: Strong written and oral advocacy skills with advocacy assignments and tasks in the development sector projects.
- Communication: Strong ability to communicate and work effectively and respectfully with staff, board members, volunteers, and the general public. Skilled in communicating both orally and in writing.
- Self-Management: Self-starter with strong follow-through and the ability to meet deadlines.
- Teamwork: Mastery level ability to build effective working relationships inside and outside the organization. Ability to think creatively and use non-litigation strategies to promote objectives, including building coalitions with ally organizations and public advocacy.
- Education: J.D. degree required.
To Stand Out from Others, You Will Have:
- 3-5 years of experience post juris doctorate degree.
- Membership in good standing with the North Carolina Bar or admission to the North Carolina Bar within one year of hire.
- Extensive writing and editing experience with a variety of print and online communications media, as well as experience working with media outlets at the national, regional, and local levels.
- Advanced experience for design, page layout, font, and general presentation.
- Experience creating advocacy and membership materials including content for newsletters and member/activist email alerts, blog, and website.
- Media relations experience.
- Demonstrated ability to handle and prioritize multiple activities and responsibilities in a fast-paced environment with minimal supervision.
- Experience with one or more of the ACLU of North Carolina's strategic priority areas: racial justice, immigrants’ rights, criminal law reform, gender equity, reproductive freedom, or LGBTQIA+ equality.
- Fluency in Spanish is a plus but not required.
What Else You Should Know
You are welcome here! The ACLU-NC is committed to an inclusive work environment that reflects the population that we serve. We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer and are committed to building an organization where all employees and North Carolinians can be proud. We eagerly anticipate applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, parental status, veteran status, or record of arrest or conviction.
The salary for this position is $74,000, depending on experience. Excellent benefits include but are not limited to:
- Three weeks paid vacation at time of hire (increasing to four weeks after two years).
- 10 paid office holidays, 1 floating holiday, and winter recess (December 25-January 1).
- 10 paid sick days.
- Hybrid work environment.
- Generous medical, dental and vision insurance options for staff members, their dependents and spouse/domestic partner.
- Flexible spending and dependent care accounts.
- Up to twelve weeks of paid medical leave.
- Life and accidental death and dismemberment insurance.
- Short-term disability and long-term disability insurance.
- 401(k) defined contribution retirement plan with employer match.
- Paid annual state bar membership and related fees.
- Free on-site parking.
This is a position that is exempt from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
The ACLU-NC/LF is a unionized employer, and the policy counsel position is part of the union bargaining unit. Salary and benefits are subject to a collective bargaining agreement.
Applications should include a cover letter that explains your specific interest in joining the ACLU-NCLF and addresses why, based on your experience, you will be an effective advocate for social justice in this setting. Your application should also include your resume along with your responses to the application questions.
Applications may be submitted via this link (Policy Counsel - American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina - Career Page (applytojob.com)) and should include all materials outlined above. Please note that we will only be able to follow up with those candidates under consideration. Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis beginning August 31st, 2023 until the position is filled.
The ACLU-NC is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. Recognizing that strict minimum requirements tend to disproportionately discourage women and people of color from applying for jobs for which they would otherwise be competitive, we encourage all qualified individuals to apply -- especially people of color; women; people from low-income backgrounds; people with disabilities; people who identify as LGBTQIA+; and people who are formerly incarcerated or otherwise directly impacted by the criminal legal system.
The ACLU-NC and the ACLU-NCLF is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. Recognizing that strict minimum requirements tend to disproportionately discourage women and people of color from applying for jobs for which they would otherwise be competitive, we encourage all qualified individuals to apply -- especially people of color; women; people from low-income backgrounds; people with disabilities; people who identify as LGBTQIA+; and people who are formerly incarcerated or otherwise directly impacted by the criminal legal system.