News & Updates

The American Civil Liberties Union of Washington seeks Staff Attorney/Senior Staff Attorney
February 21, 2023 | Chinami Arai

Application Deadline: March 15, 2023


The American Civil Liberties Union of Washington (ACLU-WA) is seeking up to 2 experienced attorneys to build, file, and litigate through trial complex civil actions in state and federal courts to protect and advance civil liberties for all Washingtonians—work that is important now more than ever.

The ACLU-WA has increased its level of operations during the previous federal administration to fight broad attacks on civil liberties while continuing to vigorously move forward the work of our existing projects. While we are continuing to hold the new administration accountable, we are also excited to move ahead on our agenda to protect the rights of immigrants; implement policing and criminal justice changes; end the school to prison pipeline; fight technological invasions of privacy; protect free speech and promote race equity; and expand and protect the civil and human rights of all.

This attorney position will give us the capacity to push forward our affirmative agenda as well as engage in fast-moving, defensive battles against attacks on civil liberties.


Staff Attorney Responsibilities

Participation in ACLU-WA’s race equity work. This may include utilizing ACLU-WA race equity tools, adopting ACLU-WA race equity practices, serving on the Race Equity Team or subcommittees, etc.

The staff attorney will be responsible for investigating, filing, and litigating through trial civil liberties and civil rights cases in both federal and state courts. This includes legal research, investigative work, identifying and signing up named plaintiffs, complaint drafting, discovery and motion practice, and handling trials and appeals, as well as participating in work on amicus briefs.

The staff attorney will be responsible for maintaining an active docket of their own cases, typically with assistance from outside cooperating attorneys and a senior staff attorney, as well as helping to supervise interns and fellows in the department as applicable and needed.

The staff attorney will also engage in advocacy, coordinate with the various policy-focused attorneys and other staff in the office, provide legal analysis to advance other ACLU-WA policy work, and conduct community outreach as needed. Along with other staff members, the staff attorney will represent the ACLU-WA publicly, speaking to the media and others, as assigned.

Travel, as well as some work on nights and weekends, may be necessary. Along with all employees, the staff attorney is expected to help maintain a positive, respectful, and welcoming work environment for employees and volunteers.

Senior Staff Attorney Responsibilities

In addition to the above primary responsibilities, the senior staff attorney may also be asked to assist in the supervision and management of cases brought by other attorneys inside and outside the office, the drafting and review of internal and external department reports, and other non-litigation tasks essential for the smooth running of the Legal Department as needed.



We know that no attorney can specialize in everything. At the ACLU-WA, we work with staff to develop skills and support each other’s work. If the position sounds like a good fit, please do not let fear of not having every qualification deter you from applying.

Staff Attorney

2 years or more of litigation experience. Previous experience such as Plaintiffs’ side work, constitutional law litigation, trial experience, and experience litigating in Washington is a plus.   Please describe your litigation experience in your cover letter.

Must have ability to build, file, and litigate cases through discovery, motions practice and trial independently and collaboratively; excellent problem-solving skills; ability to juggle multiple on-going projects and exercise good judgment under stressful situations; and ability to affirmatively challenge civil rights violations.

Must also have superior writing, research and verbal skills in presenting both to lawyers and to the non-lawyer public; leadership and organizational skills in order to encourage volunteer lawyers and work cooperatively in coalitions on complicated cases; the ability to take initiative, think strategically, take responsibility and share credit.

Must have an awareness of, and willingness to engage in, the difficult and transformative work of challenging systems of oppression, institutional and structural racism, and implicit bias. Must have ability to work with and have work driven or directed by communities impacted by systems of oppression; established relationships with Washington communities preferred.

Must be a member of the Washington State Bar (or willing to take the next bar examination or be admitted by motion).

Senior Staff Attorney

In addition to high proficiency in the desired qualifications for the staff attorney role, the senior staff attorney position requires at least ten (10) years of significant civil litigation experience, with demonstrated ability to develop and litigate complex litigation and/or class actions through trial.

Plaintiffs’ side work and/or previous experience in constitutional law litigation are strongly preferred, as is experience supervising.


We will schedule interviews with qualified candidates after the close date and hope to have the selected candidate start in April.

For more information, click here.