Location

Baltimore, MD (Remote)

Department

Public Policy

Deadline date

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

The American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland / ACLU Foundation of Maryland seeks a talented Senior Public Policy Counsel who provides required legal support to all levels and groups within ACLU to ensure compliance with laws and guidelines established by federal, state, and local legislative bodies, regulatory agencies, and courts.

IN THIS POST:


THE ROLE

ABOUT THE POSITION

The Senior Legislative 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 state legislators to pass laws concerning civil rights and civil liberties. In addition to managing a larger portfolio of policy issues, the Senior Legislative 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. The Senior Legislative Counsel will be a principal strategist and help guide and manage contacts with the Maryland General Assembly, municipal and county level officials, as well as statewide, county, and municipal governmental agencies. This includes helping to plan and facilitate outreach and coordination with allies focused on government, legislative, and policy issues to develop effective policy recommendations.

This is a full-time position. The position is based in Baltimore, Maryland at the ACLU of Maryland Affiliate Office. This position is eligible for remote-work during the current Novella Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS, DUTIES, AND RESPONSIBILITIES

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

  • Maintain a current knowledge of legal developments and what effect the law will have on ACLU entities and employees/clients.
  • Ensure compliance with laws and guidelines established by federal, state, and local legislative bodies, regulatory agencies, and courts including lobbyist registration and reporting.
  • 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.
  • Assist with developing and executing plans and strategies to meet team goals and objectives.
  • Develop and disseminate policy and advocacy resources; work with communications staff to bring and build awareness of policy positions to the public.
  • Provide strategic advice and guidance on the development of department priorities in collaboration with team.
  • Work with state and local advocates, organizers, and practitioners to formulate strategy around policy campaigns that connect to national and state policy priorities; help to translate all efforts to state and local political leaders and partners.
  • Promote and support strategies and approaches for effective advocacy.
  • Advocate and coordinate support for the organization’s positions on governmental policies and legislation.
  • Build and maintain relationships with key policymakers and their staff, legislators and their staff, coalitions, and advocates to advance the organization's legislative agenda.
  • Research, analyze, and evaluate legislative issues related to government action.
  • 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 liberties.
  • Review, evaluate, edit, and draft federal, state, and local legislation.
  • Assist in identifying legislative trends and developing strategies and policy language to further public interests.
  • Collaborate with Public Policy team members on market-specific legislative efforts.
  • Coordinate with compliance, legal, and operations teams as new regulatory frameworks are implemented.
  • Work to actively elevate the work and leadership of communities directly impacted by injustice.
  • Maintain bill tracking database and hearing schedule, program calendars, and docket information.
  • Perform legal analysis to determine the Constitutionality of existing and proposed laws and policies.
  • Monitor implementation of laws.
  • Attend hearings, briefings, and other proceedings before the General Assembly.
  • Draft verbal and written testimony on a wide range of bills to explain the Constitutional implications of legislation and the organization's position.
  • Deliver verbal and written testimony at the state and local level to represent the organization in front of government bodies and provide legislative testimony on the legal implications of proposed legislation.
  • 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.
  • Encourage and facilitate effective working relationships with key government and policy allies.
  • Travel to meet with policy groups, legislative staff, and other stakeholders to discuss policy, strategy, and how to effectively advocate to government officials and the public.
  • Assist members of the legal department on an ad hoc basis by conducting legal research, writing, and analysis.
  • Assist with development 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 program organization and operations.

MANAGEMENT AND SUPERVISORY RESPONSIBILITIES

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

  • Community volunteers
  • Interns

POSITION QUALIFICATIONS

Minimum Entry Requirements

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.

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 or equivalent.
  • A minimum of 7 years experience in a similar position, or equivalent combination of experience and education.
  • Certification or License Requirements:
    • Licensed to Practice Law in State of Maryland or ability to receive a license through reciprocity process.

Typical Functional Experience:

  • Experience drafting local, state, and/or federal legislation.
  • Demonstrated understanding and knowledge of and commitment to civil liberties, civil rights, and the ACLU of Maryland’s mission.
  • Specialized experience in one of more of the follow areas of concentration within the field of law: Civil Rights, Corporate Law, Education Law, Family and Juvenile Law, Health Law, Immigration Law, International Law, Municipal Law, Real Estate Law, Securities Law, or Tax Law.
  • Experience with statutory and legislative analysis, legal research and writing, and legislative processes in Maryland; experience with advocacy and policy change tools; awareness of the political landscape.
  • Working knowledge of relevant current and proposed federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and other legal directives; knowledge of effective civil litigation, policy/legislative development, community lawyering and advocacy practices.
  • Strong ability to contribute legal knowledge and expertise in support of community-generated initiatives and make the law accessible and useful to disenfranchised communities.
  • Ability to be proactive and work effectively on issues that require bipartisan support.
  • Experience working in a non-profit, advocacy, or political organization.
  • Exceptional ability to critically analyze policy issues.
  • Experience with and understanding of Maryland legislative and budget process.
  • Ability to analyze governmental budget and legal documents.
  • Analytical, negotiation, writing, and oral advocacy skills; ability to articulate complex issues and communicate them respectfully and effectively to a variety of audiences.
  • Ability to think strategically and conceptually with an unbiased approach to solutions using a race equity lens.
  • Recognize and define problems, collect data, establish facts, and draw valid conclusions in the context of a variety of situations with multiple variables, both predictable and unpredictable.
  • Ability to use professional judgment and practice patience.
  • Demonstrated ability to work respectfully and 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 legal knowledge and expertise in support of community-based initiatives, 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 keep organized and thrive in a fast-paced, demanding (and sometimes unstructured) environment.
  • Ability to manage several projects simultaneously and adjust strategy to frequently changing demands.
  • Advanced ability to read, analyze, and interpret complex legal and policy documents, including laws, regulations, statutes, contracts, and court opinions.
  • Make sound and timely informed decisions in complex situations.
  • Demonstrate initiative, including pro-actively identifying and addressing issues and making recommendations.
  • Creative, self-starting, willingness to learn; ability to handle and prioritize multiple activities and responsibilities with deliberate time management skills; ability to work under pressure.
  • Compose precise, effective, and grammatically correct reports, procedures, legal documents, and business correspondence appropriate for the intended audience.
  • Demonstrate flexibility and adaptability in a fast-paced environment.
  • Superb organizational skills; detail-oriented with strong follow through to complete assignments.
  • Work independently with minimum direction while also working as part of a team and collaborating with others.

Supervisory/Managerial Practice:

  • None

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:

  • Ability to frequently consistently travel locally, regionally, and nationally as needed.
  • Ability to frequently work days, evenings, weekends, and nights as needed.
  • Ability to work long hours and evenings during certain key campaigns.

Bonus Considerations

  • Advanced Doctorate or equivalent post-Secondary credentials.
  • Excellent interviewing or assessment skills with the confidence to ask tough questions and the empathy to understand hardship.

THE TOTAL REWARDS

Compensation & Benefits:

Salary is commensurate with experience (up to $87,500.00). Excellent benefits include three weeks paid vacation at time of hire (increasing to four weeks after four years); 13 paid office holidays; 12 paid sick days, 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; and 401(k) defined contribution retirement plan with employer match, free on-site parking, additional commuter benefits with access to commuter rail station. Direct exposure to cutting-edge civil liberties and civil rights work. This is a position is in the bargaining unit represented by OPEIU Local 2 and is exempt from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

THE APPLICATION

Deadline/Start Date:

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

How to Apply:

Please submit a cover letter, resume, three professional references, and a short (no longer than 5 pages) writing sample at this website. We discourage applicants from applying through third-party websites. Early applications are strongly encouraged. It will not be possible for us to respond to telephone or email inquiries. Resumes or applications sent via other avenues will not be considered.

Apply Here

THE ORGANIZATION

About the ACLU of Maryland:

The ACLU of Maryland is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture that promotes equity. 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 status and record of arrest or conviction, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.

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. The ACLU of Maryland 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 email human resources at HR@aclu.org. If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.

The ACLU of Maryland is a non-partisan, non-profit racial justice, social and public interest organization that works in the courts, legislature, and in support of communities to affect structural change. We exist to empower Marylanders to exercise their rights so that the law values and uplifts their humanity. Our vision is a Maryland where people are united in affirming and exercising their rights in order to address inequities and fulfill the country’s unrealized promise of justice and freedom for all. We are committed to centering race equity in our work, internally and externally, in order to better support and be accountable to Black, Indigenous, and Communities of Color, whose civil rights and civil liberties are systematically threatened by white supremacy. ACLU of Maryland is an affiliate of the national ACLU.