Baltimore, MD (Hybrid, Annapolis, and Maryland residence required within six months of start date)


Public Policy

Deadline date

Open until filled. Interviews will be scheduled on a rolling basis.


The ACLU of Maryland exists to empower Marylanders to exercise their rights so that the law values and uplifts their humanity.

The Public Policy Counsel’s primary purpose is to work with the policy team to develop and execute the organization's policy and legislative advocacy agenda, including drafting legislation, testifying in front of government bodies, and lobbying local and state legislators to pass laws protecting and expanding civil rights and civil liberties, and opposing laws infringing on civil rights and civil liberties. In addition to managing a larger portfolio of policy issues, the Public Policy Counsel conducts extensive legal and policy research and analysis, answers legal questions, and drafts a variety of legal memos, letters, and other documents that require an understanding of many different aspects of law, particularly constitutional law and civil rights and civil liberties protections.


The information provided below encompasses the essential functions and capabilities linked with this position:

  • Lobby legislators and draft bill language for the organization’s priorities.
  • Perform legal analysis to determine the Constitutionality of existing and proposed laws and policies.
  • Recommend revisions to team procedures and practices to incorporate best practices and address changes in the legal landscape and cultural environment.
  • Disseminate, implement, and enforce organization and team standards, policies, and procedures, including providing proper guidance to those carrying out related duties.
  • Draft legislative testimony for various bills and initiatives.
  • Assist with developing and executing plans and strategies to meet team goals and objectives.


  • Actively elevate the work and leadership of communities directly impacted by injustice.
  • Conduct legal research to identify key issues related to proposed legislation.
  • Identify, track, and advise on introduced and proposed legislation before the Maryland General Assembly and other local legislative bodies that affect civil rights and civil liberties.
  • Maintain bill tracking database and hearing schedule, program calendars, and docket information.
  • Monitor implementation of priority laws that passed from the previous session.
  • Attend hearings, briefings, and other proceedings before the General Assembly.
  • Draft testimony on a wide range of bills to explain the constitutional, civil rights, and civil liberties implications of legislation and the organization's position.
  • Deliver verbal testimony at the state and local level to represent the organization in front of government bodies.
  • Draft reports, memos, letters, and documents to different audiences to explain complex legal and policy matters and provide recommendations.
  • Draft policy briefs, fact sheets, one-pagers, talking points, communications and education materials, and other documents to synthesize complex issues into persuasive language that is easy to understand.
  • Build and maintain relationships with key legislators, coalitions, and advocates to advance the organization's legislative agenda.
  • Identify, recruit, and prepare witnesses for hearings on key bills.
  • Assist members of the legal department on an ad hoc basis by conducting legal research, writing, and analysis.
  • Assist with development of and facilitate meetings with members of different departments and outside coalitions and advocates.
  • Collaborate with the engagement team on outreach and organizing strategies.
  • Collaborate with the communications team on media and communication strategies.
  • Assist with developing and executing plans and strategies to meet team goals and objectives.

Collaborative Work Plans and Organizational Communications:

  • This position is expected to perform work assigned and outlined in the annual organizational strategic operating plan, departmental operational plans, and/or in project/programmatic area workplans in addition to the position’s other work.
  • This position primarily supports the following strategic priorities on an ongoing basis: Individual Autonomy, Immigrant Rights, Government Accountability and Voting Rights.
  • Upon request, collaborate with the development team and program staff on grant proposals and reports; meet with funders; and provide information to funders.
  • This position may be required to speak at public events and represent the organization as a spokesperson with media representatives upon request.
  • This position is expected to maintain and manage regular communications channels with immediate supervisors, management, and coworkers to ensure the smooth and efficient operations of the organization. Communications include but are not limited to email, telephone inquiries, letters of correspondence, video conferencing, and organizational meetings; this position is also expected to complete regular operational administrative tasks, such as timekeeping for payroll purposes, etc.
  • This position participates on the strategic planning committee(s).

Optional Organizational Commitments:

  • All individuals are encouraged to participate in voluntary work assignments and engage in extra work activities at their discretion and based on their availability and workload.
  • Elective work performed should not interfere or pose a conflict with an individual’s normal workload or ability to function in their organizational role.
  • Optional organizational commitments include but are not limited to aspirational work, organizational committees, organizational programs, employee resource and affinity groups, organizational membership groups, etc.

Voluntary Organizational Leadership:

  • Performance evaluations will consider the individual’s overall job-related performance based upon the job description. However, other unique competencies may also be identified relevant to this position due to work performed and specific or special skills demonstrated that are required by staff to fulfill voluntary organizational leadership roles. The recognition and appraisal of added organizational value achieved through non-mandatory work will also be considered in completing annual performance evaluations.

Management Repsonsibilities:

This position is designated as non-management and do not encompass supervisory responsibility. This position may function as a team leader and monitor interns and volunteer work assignments as directed by their immediate supervisor.


Values Agreement:

  • Demonstrated personal commitment to advancing the ACLU’s values, mission, goals, and programs, with an understanding of the range of civil rights and civil liberties issues and their implications through previous experiences.

Race Equity Commitment:

  • Demonstrated commitment to racial equity, dismantling white supremacy, and incorporating a structural power analysis into work.
  • Must have knowledge and understanding of how power is manifested in matters of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, religion, ability, and socio-economic circumstances.

Typical Education & Work Experience:

(Relevant education/experience may substitute for required education/experience at a rate of one-year relevant education/experience per year of required education/experience.)

  • Juris Doctorate Degree
  • A minimum of 3 to 7 years’ experience in a similar position.

Certification or License Requirements:  

  • None.

Typical Functional Experience:

  • Prior work experience or knowledge about the legal issues that are the focus of our legal and policy work.
  • Ability to contribute legal knowledge and expertise in support of community-generated initiatives.
  • Ability to be proactive and work effectively on civil rights and civil liberties issues.
  • Negotiation skills and the ability to articulate complex issues and communicate them effectively to a variety of audiences.
  • Ability to think strategically and conceptually with a self-awareness to dismantle your biases in order to approach to solutions using a race equity lens.
  • Proactively identify issues and analyze qualitative and quantitative data to make policy recommendations.  
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills; ability to use professional judgment and practice patience.  
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with coalitions and community groups, motivate volunteers, and work across the political spectrum.
  • Willingness to take direction from directly impacted people and to contribute public policy and legal knowledge with the purpose of empowering community members and making the law accessible and useful to disenfranchised communities.
  • Ability to give presentations and engage diverse audiences.
  • Adaptable team player with the ability to engage various constituencies in a complex environment.
  • Familiarity with Maryland communities, state, and local government racial equity and social injustice issues that impact our stakeholders.
  • Ability to work independently and keep organized in a fast-paced environment; manage several projects simultaneously; and adjust strategy to frequently changing demands.
  • Working knowledge of relevant current and proposed federal and local laws, regulations, and other legal directives related to assigned program area and rules governing civil and appellate litigation.
  • Working knowledge on effective policy development and advocacy practices as well as internal policies and procedures.
  • Working knowledge of advocacy campaigns, including legislative advocacy, coalition building, and community outreach.    
  • Working knowledge of communications best practices, cross-programmatic policy changes, and legislative updates.

Technical Aptitude:

  • Maintain advanced working knowledge of office-related software, including Apple and Microsoft office products and any industry-specific technology or other internet research tools.

Work Schedule & Travel Obligation:

  • The ability to work frequent evening, weekend, and irregular hours during session, and occasional work in those time frames during other parts of the year, and to travel within the state as needed.
  • The Public Policy Counsel must work in-person in Annapolis during the state’s three-month General Assembly session.
  • Maryland residency is required within six months of employment for all ACLU-MD positions.

Physical Demands:

The following capabilities are general requirements necessary to perform the essential functions of this position related to work schedule, physical demands, working environment, travel, etc.

  • Effectively communicate with others verbally and in writing, including by phone, e-mail, or in person.
  • Understand, remember, communicate, and apply complex oral and/or written instructions and factual information.
  • Maintain sustained concentration on computer screens and use keyboards and a variety of peripherals.
  • Ability to push, pull, lift up to 25 pounds in the course of the workday in the normal performance of their duties.

Bonus Considerations:

The following are the desired competencies, characteristics, or traits for this position:

  • Bar Certification.
  • Bilingual ability to interpret or translate in a non-English language, preferably Spanish.
  • Experience working in non-profit, advocacy, or political organization.
  • Experience with statutory and legislative analysis, legal research and writing, and legislative and budget processes in Maryland; experience with advocacy and policy change tools; awareness of the political landscape.
  • Criminal defense trial experience.


The salary range for this position $84,233.76– $104,650.56, which per the agreement between ACLU Maryland and OPEIU Local 2, correlates to Category C, on the approved compensation scale for base salary.

Actual starting salary is a set calculation based on the individual candidate’s prior relevant work experience (including full-time and part-time internships and volunteer work), education, certification, and required foreign language skills (if applicable) per the agreed upon OPEIU Local 2 Union Compensation Scale, and therefore is not negotiable upon hire. For any questions, please reach out to the People and Culture team.

Excellent benefits include:

  • Three weeks paid vacation at time of hire (increasing to four weeks after two years);
  • 13 paid office holidays;
  • 12 paid sick days;
  • 2 weeks of office closure (one  week during the summer, and one week at the end of the year);
  • 2 weeks paid time off following session;
  • This position is eligible for 2 weeks paid leave at the close of the Maryland legislative session;
  • Telework and flex-time;
  • Generous medical insurance including two health, dental and vision insurance options for staff members, their dependents and spouse/domestic partner;
  • Flexible spending accounts employee assistance plan;
  • Six 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;
  • Free on-site parking;
  • Additional commuter benefits with access to commuter rail station; and
  • Direct exposure to cutting-edge civil liberties and civil rights work.

This is a position that is exempt from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.


The position will remain open until filled. Interviews will be scheduled on a rolling basis.


Please submit a cover letter, resume, three professional references, and a writing sample (no more than 5 pages).


We discourage applicants from applying through third-party websites. We strongly encourage early applications. It will not be possible for us to respond to telephone or email inquiries.

We will not consider resumes or applications sent via other avenues.

Request an Accommodation

The ACLU of Maryland makes every effort to assure that its recruitment, selection, hiring, and employment practices provide all qualified persons, including persons with disabilities, with full opportunities for employment in all positions.

We are committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities. If you are a qualified individual with a disability and need assistance applying online, please email human resources at PandC@aclu-md.org. If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process. We encourage individuals of all abilities to request reasonable job accommodations through our office of human resources.

Requesting a reasonable accommodation will not automatically be perceived as a disqualifying factor that would prevent an employee from performing the essential duties of the job.


The ACLU of Maryland is a non-partisan, non-profit public interest organization devoted to protecting civil rights and civil liberties. The ACLU of MD is an affiliate of the national ACLU, a key defender of civil liberties guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. The ACLU works in the courts, legislature and in communities to defend and expand individual rights and personal freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and civil rights laws. The ACLU of Maryland is committed to centering race equity in our work, internally and externally, to better support and be accountable to communities of color, whose civil rights and civil liberties are systematically threatened by white supremacy.

We put people first! The ACLU of Maryland is a Person, Family and Community - Centric Organization with Transparency, Collaboration, Equity, Integrity, and Accountability as our core values. The entire workforce helps to promote a culture of continuous improvement where everyone works toward improving the quality of the services we provide as well as the quality of our work environment. All individuals in our organization are expected to carry out their job tasks in a manner that is consistent with our core organizational values.

The ACLU of Maryland is an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to diversity and inclusion in our work and on our teams. We encourage applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, gender, sexual orientation or preference, gender identity and expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran, or formerly incarcerated person status. Persons with disabilities may request accommodations.

Organization Commitment to Race Equity:

All individuals in our organization are expected to support and maintain our organizational commitment to centering race equity in their work, internally and externally. We practice accountability and allyship to Black, Indigenous, People of Color, LGBTQ+, and disability communities, whose civil rights and civil liberties are systematically threatened. Application of this principle requires the conscious use of a race equity lens at all levels of work to both identify and understand implications of structural racism, challenge or confront systemic conditions or resulting issues, and dismantle overall institutional systems related to white privilege and white supremacy when engaging, advocating, and defending the civil liberties and civil rights of all Marylanders.