ACLU Foundation of Southern California – Policy Advocate and Organizer or Staff Attorney

About The Company
Founded in 1923, the ACLU SoCal has been at the forefront of many major efforts to protect civil liberties, civil rights, and equal justice in California. Principled and nonpartisan, the ACLU SoCal has offices in Los Angeles, Orange County (Orange), the Inland Empire (San Bernardino), and Kern County (Bakersfield). The ACLU SoCal tackles a vast array of issues, including police practices, criminal justice, First Amendment rights, voting rights, gender equity, reproductive justice, LGBTQ rights, immigrants’ rights, education equity, and economic justice.

Job Description/Duties
The ACLU Foundation of Southern California (ACLU SoCal) seeks a policy advocate and organizer or a staff attorney for the Police Practices project. While a hire with any background will engage in legislative and policy advocacy, a hire who is an attorney licensed to practice in California will additionally participate in developing and litigating state and federal cases and providing technical legal support to partner organizations, government bodies and others. This position will represent ACLU SoCal in statewide and Orange County-based advocacy on issues related to policing including agency transparency, officer accountability, supporting the development of alternatives to policing, reduction of police budgets, addressing bias in policing and reducing or eliminating unnecessary police contacts.

Attorneys are encouraged to apply. Please review the following for more information.


The incumbent will plan and execute policy advocacy campaigns to effect changes at the local and state levels. The hire will organize and attend lobbying visits with state and local officials, provide testimony to administrative agencies and governing bodies, provide “know your rights trainings” and other public education via webinars or other methods, develop strategy and lead field organizing activities for policy campaigns, and analyze and respond to state and local legislation. The hire will also submit policy letters to government entities, represent ACLU SoCal in public hearings to provide comment or testimony, and occasionally write reports, toolkits, or other advocacy material to advance our policy goals.

The ACLU SoCal’s “integrated advocacy” model unites legal advocacy, policy advocacy, organizing, and base building for maximum impact. In keeping with that approach, the hire will work on advocacy projects, public education, and policy campaigns. While a Policy Advocate and Organizer would not litigate, they may work on other elements of a campaign to support litigation, including helping to identify potential plaintiffs and matters to be litigated. A hire that is an attorney licensed to practice in California will assist in and ultimately lead litigation projects.

The hire will also work with other attorneys, policy advocates and organizers from other ACLU of SoCal Projects as needed and when intersectional issues arise and will work collaboratively with the Activist Engagement and Development team and Communications team on campaigns.

The hire will report to the Director of Police Practices and will work within the SoCal and statewide Policing Team. The hire will work closely with intersectional issue-based coalitions throughout Southern California and California, with an emphasis on Orange County.

Travel throughout the Southern California region and occasional trips to Sacramento may be required.

We recognize that ACLU SoCal’s integrated advocacy approach in which advocacy staff utilize diverse tactics to advance our goals, including litigating, drafting legislation, and lobbying elected officials, working in coalition with grassroots organizations, and engaging in public education campaigns including report writing and issue-based trainings, is not typical. While candidates must meet the minimum qualifications, we do not expect candidates to have experience performing the entire range of tasks that would comprise the job responsibilities for this position. We encourage interested candidates to consider the transferrable skills that they have developed, particularly those related to written and oral communication, collective action, and advocacy on behalf of others–and assess whether they are willing to gain experience with new job functions–when applying to this position.


Full-Time, Exempt
This is a bargaining unit position in the National Organization of Legal Services Workers union.


• Serve as an expert on various issues related to legislation and campaigns at the state and local levels, with a focus on criminal justice. Tasks include a range of activities such as public engagement, media interactions, and communication outreach. Additionally, there will be responsibilities related to content creation in various formats.
• Serve as a press spokesperson for the ACLU SoCal and as a public speaker on Project issues and related topics.
• Provide technical support to community groups, advocates, and organizers in the region.
• Conduct outreach, advocacy, and provide technical assistance to public officials and government bodies.
• Organize and attend lobbying visits with state and local officials, provide testimony to administrative agencies and governing bodies, and develop and cultivate relationships with lawmakers and decisionmakers to advance organizing and policy advocacy objectives.
• Collaborate with and provide support to people in other ACLU affiliates in California and the Sacramento legislative office, as well as colleagues at the national ACLU.
• Develop advocacy sign-on letters and public comment letters, fact sheets, advocacy materials, toolkits, action alerts, op-eds, blog posts, reports, and social media content.
• Devise and present engaging presentations, trainings, and engage in public speaking.
• Organize, lead, and participate in community education events and meetings, including conducting trainings for activists and organizers.
• Support the ACLU SoCal’s base building and volunteer leadership development work.
• Build, facilitate, and participate in coalitions and attend and actively participate in community partner meetings and coalitions.
• Establish and cultivate collaborative relationships with community partners, coalitions, stakeholders, and ACLU members.
• Connect with individuals affected by the systems we aim to change, as well as government officials, allied organizations, and academics to drive collaborative projects.
• Meaningfully incorporate people who have been impacted by the legal system we are working to change, helping to elevate and center their expertise and leadership whenever possible.
• Plan and execute grassroots and policy advocacy campaigns to effect changes at the local and state levels through legislation, changes in government policy and ballot measures.
· Provide trainings for community members and coalition partners on how to conduct policy advocacy with decision makers.
· Develop fact sheets, advocacy materials, toolkits, action alerts, op-eds, blog posts, and social media content.
· Help identify and tell compelling human stories to center the experiences of communities impacted by civil and human rights abuses.
· Assist with client communication and intakes.
· Provide logistical support for meetings, both in and out of the office, and policy advocacy efforts, including helping to organize the ACLU’s involvement in coalitions and coordinated policy advocacy efforts.
· Attend community meetings.
· Manage and maintain various databases through data entry, generating reports, etc.
· Develop strategy and lead field organizing activities for policy campaigns.
· Supervise the work of interns, and support intern hiring.
· Other duties, as needed and assigned.
· Occasional work evenings and weekends.
· Occasional travel throughout the region and other parts of the state.


Understanding and Applying Racial Equity
· Demonstrate commitment to building or deepening understanding of racial equity.
· Core terms and concepts such as structural racism, white privilege, and anti-Blackness.
· The role that racial inequity has played and continues to play in our society.
· How race impacts supervisory relationships, team dynamics, and organizational culture.
· Personal/implicit/unconscious bias.

Working for Racial Equity
· Consistently assess structural implications and racially disproportionate impacts of policies, activities, and decisions within the context of their job responsibilities; race/ethnicity, intersection of race/ethnicity, gender, identity, and/or sexual orientation.
· Consistently adhere to organization’s racial equity policies and procedures, including those that relate to hiring, retention, and promotion.
· Consistently identify and disrupt ways in which bias plays out in work and/or team.

Leading on Racial Equity
· Effectively encourage people to have honest conversations about racial equity, and accept feedback openly, non-defensively, and from a posture of learning.
· Consistently address structural implications and racially disproportionate impacts of policies, activities, and decisions by identifying and implementing changes that can produce more equitable outcomes. This applies not only in terms of race/ethnicity, but also at the intersection of race/ethnicity, gender identity, and/or sexual orientation.
Consistently set racial equity outcomes, goals, and performance measures for team, department, or organization, and develop and successfully implement plans to achieve them.

Job Criteria
· At least 3 years of organizing, campaign, and/or advocacy experience, including legal advocacy experience.
· A demonstrated commitment to the cause of civil liberties and civil rights, including policing issues.
· Excellent research, writing, analytic, and communication skills (both written and verbal).
· Extremely strong project and time management skills, including a high level of organization, attention to detail and follow-through, while balancing and prioritizing multiple activities and responsibilities.
· Flexible team player and comfortable working independently and taking initiative.
· Ability to participate in, create and sustain inclusive and engaging spaces for all races/ethnicities, genders, ages, classes, and geographies.
· Ability to work in diverse coalitions and develop and implement advocacy campaigns.
· Ability to lead projects, build strong relationships, and work well in collaboration with others.
· Willingness to work occasional weekend and evening hours, as needed.
· Willingness to travel within Southern California as well as occasionally to other parts of the state.
· Ability to supervise interns.

• Familiarity working in the area of Policing, civil rights, and/or social justice issues in Southern California. Experience implementing successful grassroots and/or legislative advocacy campaigns at the school district, city/county, state and/or federal level.
• Experience developing and implementing organizing and/or policy campaigns to make reforms.
• Experience using social media and developing educational materials, including creating graphics.
• Experience working effectively with coalitions and building coalitions.
• A demonstrated commitment and track record of doing intersectional advocacy.
• Experience planning and facilitating workshops, trainings, meetings, and other community events.
• Spanish language fluency.

Attorneys are encouraged to apply. If the qualified candidate has their J.D, the Staff Attorney will also be responsible for serving as co-counsel, and work in conjunction with other legal, policy, and organizing staff within the ACLU SoCal, the other two California ACLU affiliates, and partner organizations. The incumbent will also conduct legal advocacy and investigate, develop, and litigate high-impact cases at the trial and appellate level in federal and state courts.

Additional qualifications for those with a J.D are as follows:
• At least 2 years of experience practicing law, including clerkships.
• Ability to develop and litigate impact cases.
• Admitted to practice law in the state of California or willingness to promptly take and pass the California bar exam.

Salary Range/Hourly Rate
The salary range for the Policy Advocate position is $69,014.77- $74,348.51 based on years of relevant experience. Qualified candidates that meet the Staff Attorney requirements will have a salary range of $84,872.00 – $101,341.61 based on year of law school graduation. Attorneys with more than 10 years of experience with at least 10 years of experience supervising staff attorneys and managing litigation teams may be eligible for higher compensation. Based on year of Law School graduation up to $150,280.48.

Other Benefits and Perks
Benefits include medical, vision, and dental insurance for staff members and their eligible dependents; life and long-term, short-term disability insurance; 401(k) plan with employer match; ample vacation and sick leave and twenty-two paid holidays.

Job Category: Non-profit
Job Type: Full Time
Job Location: Bakersfield Los Angeles Orange Riverside