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21 Jun 2022

Full-Time Staff Attorney/Senior Staff Attorney, LGBTQ & HIV Project

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) – Posted by New York, New York, United States

Job Description


The ACLU seeks a full-time position of Staff Attorney or Senior Staff Attorney in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer & HIV Project of the ACLU’s national office in New York, NY.   

Through the LGBTQ & HIV Project, founded in 1986, the ACLU seeks to create a just society for all LGBTQ people and people living with HIV regardless of race or income. Through litigation, lobbying, public education, and organizing, we work to build a country where our communities can live openly without discrimination and enjoy equal rights, personal autonomy, and freedom of expression and association. The ACLU has been a leading advocate for LGBTQ rights for decades, having brought its first gay rights case in 1936, its first transgender rights case in 1967, and having served as counsel in seven of the past nine United States Supreme Court cases involving LGBTQ-related issues. Our advocacy strategies are built around the idea that fighting for civil rights means not just persuading judges but ultimately changing the way people think about us and our issues.  

Today, the ACLU and its 50+ state affiliate offices do more litigation, policy advocacy, legislative lobbying, ballot campaigns, and public education work on LGBTQ issues than any other national civil rights organization. We currently are prioritizing our work for transgender justice in particular. Doing this work as part of the broad civil liberties agenda of the ACLU reflects the reality that the LGBTQ and HIV communities are part of other social change movements and that we must work together if we are to achieve a just society for all. The ACLU strives to ensure that the full diversity of the LGBTQ and HIV-affected communities is reflected in its work and continues to explore ways to make our efforts more impactful for disabled people, people of color, people living in poverty, and others who have been historically excluded by our movements.   

Reporting to the Deputy Project Director, the Staff Attorney or Senior Staff Attorney will be responsible for creating and implementing multi-pronged strategies using litigation, legislative and policy advocacy, and public education to further the ACLU’s strategic plans. 


  • Litigation in federal and state courts, including writing pleadings and briefs, conducting discovery and motion practice, handling hearings and trials, and arguing appeals 
  • Working with ACLU political advocacy and affiliate staff on bills in state legislatures and in Congress 
  • Policy advocacy to effect change in state and federal administrative agencies 
  • Engaging in community outreach and public speaking, including representing ACLU positions to the media and the public generally 
  • Working closely with legal and non-legal program staff, particularly legislative, communications, advocacy, and fundraising professionals
  • Developing strong relationships with other public interest lawyers and ACLU volunteer lawyers
  • Traveling as required for litigation, legislative and policy advocacy, conferences, and public speaking
  • Engage in special projects and other duties as assigned
  • Center principles of equity, inclusion, and belonging in all work, embedding the values in program development, policy application, and organizational practices and processes
  • Commitment to the mission of the ACLU
  • Demonstrate a commitment to diversity within the office using a personal approach that values all individuals and respects differences in regards to race, ethnicity, age, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, disability and socio-economic circumstance
  • Commitment to work collaboratively and respectfully toward resolving obstacles and/or conflicts


  • J.D. degree and admission to practice in one state is required. If the candidate is not already admitted to practice in New York, admission to the New York Bar is required within one year of hire
  • Previous litigation experience, and preferably some federal court experience
  • Demonstrated capacity to perform complex legal analytical work
  • Excellent research skills
  • Demonstrated ability to write and to speak clearly and persuasively
  • Applicants should be self-starters, be diligent, and have the proven ability to work with a wide range of people and to perform under pressure
  • Experience with advocacy campaigns at the local, state or federal level is preferred
  • Experience with community-based organizing around concrete policy demands is preferred
  • Experience with constitutional issues is preferred
  • Familiarity with and commitment to LGBTQ rights, HIV/AIDS and other civil liberties issues is required 


The ACLU has a litigator scale that determines pay for attorneys in our Legal Department. The range of salaries are the following, based on year of law school graduation (please consult the hiring manager for specific salary details, based on individual circumstances):

  • 0-2 years since law school graduation: $76,320-$87,787
  • 3-5 years since law school graduation: $93,493-$104,553
  • 6-10 years since law school graduation: $107,690- $121,206
  • 11-15 years since law school graduation: $124,843-$140,511
  • 16-20 years since law school graduation: $144,726-$162,891
  • 21-25 years since law school graduation: $167,778-$188,835
  • 26-30+ years since law school graduation: $194,500- $218,912

These salaries are reflective of positions based in New York, NY. The salary will be subject to a locality adjustment (according to a specific city and state), if an authorization is granted to work outside of the location listed in this posting. Note that most of the salaries listed on our job postings reflect New York, NY salaries, where our National offices are headquartered.


The ACLU dares to create a more perfect union – beyond one person, party, or side. Our mission is to realize this promise of the United States Constitution for all and expand the reach of its guarantees.

For over 100 years, the ACLU has worked to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States. Whether it’s ending mass incarceration, achieving full equality for the LGBTQ+ community, establishing new privacy protections for our digital age, or preserving the right to vote or the right to have an abortion, the ACLU takes up the toughest civil liberties cases and issues to defend all people from government abuse and overreach.

Equity, diversity, and inclusion are core values of the ACLU and central to our work to advance liberty, equality, and justice for all. We are a community committed to learning and growth, humility and grace, transparency and accountability. We believe in a collective responsibility to create a culture of belonging for all people within our organization – one that respects and embraces difference; treats everyone equitably; and empowers our colleagues to do the best work possible. We are as committed to anti-oppression and anti-racism internally as we are externally. Because whether we’re in the courts or in the office, we believe ‘We the People’ means all of us.

The ACLU is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU encourages 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, veteran status and record of arrest or conviction, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law. Black people, Indigenous people, people of color; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex people; women; people with disabilities, protected veterans, and formerly incarcerated individuals are all strongly encouraged to apply.

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

The ACLU 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 If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.

How to Apply  

Job Categories: LGBT. Job Types: Full-Time. Salaries: 100,000 and above.

Job expires in 54 days.

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