Summary Description:
The NYCLU seeks a senior staff attorney (6 or more years of legal experience) or a staff attorney (up to 5 years of legal experience) to conduct litigation and related advocacy in the NYCLU's legal department. The senior staff attorney and/or staff attorney will focus on environmental justice, with an emphasis on the intersections of environmental justice and racism, which is a new priority area for the NYCLU, but also will work on the full range of NYCLU work, including challenging institutional and systemic racism that undermines civil rights and civil liberties, government transparency, free expression, equal protection, reproductive justice, criminal legal system, the rights of LGBTQ communities and gender equity, police misconduct, student rights, and privacy.

The NYCLU's Legal department Is comprised of fifteen lawyers, a legal department manager, an investigator, three paralegals, a data analyst, and a legal assistant. Legal Department staff work on a wide range of civil rights and civil liberties cases in federal and state courts and in administrative tribunals. They also support the legislative, advocacy, communications, and field work of the NYCLU.

DEI Vision Statement
The NYCLU affirmatively values the humanity and contributions of those we work with, inside and outside of the organization; and will take action to build and sustain an equitable, anti-racist culture that centers the voices and experiences of marginalized and directly impacted people and communities, and an organizational environment where all people feel valued, trusted, and respected. We are committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and having a workforce that reflects the population that we serve and actively recruit people of color, women, people with disabilities, formerly incarcerated people, and LGBTQ and gender non-conforming people.

Roles & Responsibilities:
  • Conduct litigation in federal and state courts and in administrative forums. Senior staff attorneys and staff attorneys are responsible for NYCLU litigation and advocacy, preparing pleadings, motions, and briefs; conducting discovery; presenting oral arguments; and handling appeals;
  • Engage in pre-litigation analysis and advocacy, including evaluating and following up on intakes; conducting factual investigations and legal analyses; utilizing the Freedom of Information Law and the Freedom of Information Act; and preparing demand letters;
  • Participate in public education on civil liberties and civil rights issues in the form of speaking engagements and published writings;
  • Collaborate with the Environmental Justice Project, including leaders and staff across the NYCLU— including the Education Policy Center, Policy and Field Departments —to ensure that the NYCLU has an integrated approach to address environmental injustice;
  • Supervise and mentor law students as part of the NYCLU summer-intern program and contribute to the professional development of other members of the legal department; and
  • For senior staff attorneys, mentor NYCLU staff attorneys.

  • Excellent writing, research, analytical, and communication skills;
  • Two or more years of public-interest litigation experience;
  • Demonstrated ability to think strategically and advocate effectively, including an ability to initiate and follow through on public-interest litigation or advocacy;
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively in a diverse public-interest setting and to foster and support diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace;
  • Demonstrated commitment to the goals and priorities of the NYCLU;
  • Prior experience with environmental justice litigation is a significant plus;
  • Admission to the New York Bar; and
  • Fluency in Spanish is a plus.