Legal-Policy Assistant (San Francisco, Sacramento, or Fresno)

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ACLU of Northern CA

The Opportunity

The ACLU of Northern California (ACLU NorCal) is seeking a Legal-Policy Assistant to join the Democratic and Civic Engagement team in its Legal-Policy Department for the San Francisco, Sacramento, or Fresno offices. ACLU NorCal focuses its legal-policy work across six broad program areas: Criminal Justice; Democracy & Civic Engagement; Gender, Sexuality & Reproductive Justice; Immigrants’ Rights; Racial & Economic Justice; and Technology & Civil Liberties.

The Approach

Our work is guided by the principles of freedom, equality, and justice enumerated in the Constitution. However, we know that because of historic and systemic racism and other forms of oppression, these principles are not equitably applied to all. In an ideal world, everyone would have equal access to justice and equal protection under the law. Unfortunately, neither our world nor our country is ideal. Our work involves hard subject matters that can be emotionally draining for some people. Ideal candidates will understand that as a mission driven organization; we strive to make the world a better place knowing that the road is long and hard. At the same time, we understand the importance of self-care, and do our best to reflect that in our practices and values.

The Position 

We are seeking a Legal-Policy Assistant to help support and strengthen work in the Democracy & Civic Engagement, program area.  The Legal-Policy Assistant will work closely with our staff attorneys to support policy advocacy and litigation involving voting rights, open government and accountability, and First Amendment issues. In your application materials, please identify any experience you may have in this subject area.

The Legal-Policy Assistant will assist in a range of diverse legal and policy projects, including supporting litigation in both state and federal court, at all stages of litigation, from initial pleadings to appeals.  The work of the Legal-Policy Assistants will also involve assisting with the coordination of public records requests and e-discovery solutions for various advocacy matters. The Legal-Policy Assistants are supervised by a Program Director. The location of the positions is flexible and may be based in ACLU NorCal’s San Francisco, Sacramento, or Fresno offices.

About the Organization

The ACLU of Northern California is an affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union, a nationwide, non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to the defense and expansion of civil liberties and civil rights. The ACLU of Northern California (ACLU NorCal) is comprised of two distinct corporations, the ACLU Foundation of Northern California (the “Foundation”, a 501c3) and the ACLU of Northern California (the “Union”, a 501c4). The incumbent is a joint employee of both corporations. For most of the last century, ACLU NorCal has been part of many of the most major – and sometimes controversial – struggles for civil liberties and civil rights in our state.

Our mission is to ensure that Constitutional rights don’t just exist on paper but are protected in practice. As we move into a new era, we face dangerous policies that threaten our civil rights and civil liberties, we must use our decades of experience in impact litigation, legislative advocacy, and fearless organizing to fight these policies and protect our most cherished rights and freedoms. At the same time, ACLU NorCal is committed to advancing proactive and positive change to transform laws and institutions to advance our values. We are committed to fostering an anti-racist work culture and to anti-racist principles and learning.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Direct Support of Ongoing and Emerging Legal Advocacy / Litigation
    • Serve and file legal pleadings in state and federal court;
    • Create and generate Table of Contents and Table of Authorities in legal briefs;
    • Proof, format, and/or cite check legal briefs and pleadings;
    • Assist with discovery, including eDiscovery, and the organization, case management, collection, review strategy, and production of documents obtained from clients and opposing parties;
    • Assist with fact development and collection, including interviewing clients and drafting declarations;
    • Monitor relevant deadlines, calculate court deadlines, and update case calendars; and Conduct Westlaw and PACER searches and document retrievals; other internet research.
  • Direct Support of Ongoing and Emerging Policy Advocacy
    • Prepare and maintain documents for tracking legislation and/or media coverage;
    • Track Public Records Act and Freedom of Information Act requests and responses, and where necessary, follow-up to ensure complete responses and assist with review of responses;
    • Provide meeting and logistical support for coalition and programmatic meetings, including scheduling video and/or conference calls, meeting set-up, catering, and note-taking;
    • Format documents such as letters and reports, and assisting in the creation of PowerPoint or other presentations; and
    • Maintaining email listservs for coalition work.
  • Administrative Tasks
    • Facilitate conflicts checks and case opening procedures for litigation matters; and
    • Prepare expense reports, reconcile credit card statements, book travel arrangements, mail and photocopy bulk materials.

Education / Experience:

  • At least 2 years’ experience working in a law firm, legal non-profit or legal services organization, or providing paralegal or other legal support.
  • We welcome you to include any lived experience you are comfortable sharing in your cover letter or an additional attachment.

Required Skills / Competencies:

  • Strong project and time management skills, including ability to manage and prioritize competing projects and complete assignments under deadlines;
  • Strong working knowledge of ECF and other filing and service procedures in federal and CA state courts;
  • Strong working knowledge of Westlaw and PACER;
  • Ability to cite check using both Blue Book and California styles of citation;
  • Ability to assist with discovery, including eDiscovery, and the organization, case management, collection, review strategy, and production of documents obtained over the course of litigation;
  • High level of organization, attention to detail, and follow-through;
  • Good judgment, dependable, punctual, and able to maintain a high level of confidentiality;
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills, including strong interpersonal skills;
  • Commitment to pursuing public interest advocacy work, particularly in the ACLU NorCal’s six core Program Areas;
  • Solutions-oriented approach, including the ability to work independently and on a team, and willingness to take initiative while juggling several priorities all with personal enthusiasm, optimism, and a sense of humor; and
  • Ability to occasionally work evenings to effectuate filings.

Technical Skills:

  • Strong working knowledge of Microsoft Word, Outlook, Adobe Acrobat, PowerPoint, Excel and other Office programs, including facility with mail merge, spreadsheets, tables, and charts; and
  • Familiarity and comfort with e-discovery databases and case management software.

Preferred Skills / Competencies:

  • Experience and effectiveness in coordinating and organizing logistics, meetings, employee onboarding, and trainings; and
  • Familiarity with conducting database searches in e-discovery databases (e.g., IPRO Eclipse, Relativity, Concordance, etc.) and reviewing documents within these programs for relevance, responsiveness, and privilege; facility with organizing large volumes of data.

Total Compensation

We are committed to creating and maintaining a diverse workforce through equity initiatives, which includes equitable pay practices. Competitive compensation is commensurate with experience. Starting salary range for this position is $26.47-$30.89 Hourly.

We understand how vital our work is and at the same time understand the toll engaged activism can take. Our goal is to retain staff and we believe that having a robust benefit offering is vital in meeting that goal. Our benefits include four weeks paid vacation in addition to 14 office holidays; fully employer-paid medical, vision and dental insurance for staff members, their dependents and spouse or domestic partner; life and long-term disability insurance; and 401(k) plan with employer match. We have a robust Employee Assistance Program and emerging Employee Resource Groups.

This position is represented by IFTPE Local 20.

To Apply

Applications will be accepted until the position has been filled. We encourage you to apply as soon as possible as we will be evaluating applications on a rolling basis.  Applications must include (1) resume, (2) a cover letter, and (3) a list of three references. Applicants concurrently applying to any other position with the ACLU should state what other position they are applying for in the cover letter. Please submit your application online at: https://boards.greenhouse.io/aclunc/jobs/5546133002

The ACLU NorCal 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 e-mail hr@aclunc.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 Northern California advances equity and inclusion in the workplace by providing equal employment opportunity to support a work environment free from discrimination on the basis of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age (over 40), sexual orientation, military and veteran status, and any other basis prohibited by law. The organization also provides reasonable accommodations for qualified applicants and employees with disabilities. This equal employment opportunity policy applies to all aspects of employment, including recruitment, selection, advancement, training, problem resolution, and separation from employment. Through this policy, the ACLU NorCal strives to establish and maintain an equitable and accessible work environment that is free from discrimination and supportive of a workforce that reflects the rich diversity of our communities and the people we serve.

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