Terms of Employment: Full-Time/Exempt
Salary: Subject to the NYCLU’s salary scale and commensurate with experience and qualifications (salary for an attorney with two years of experience is $72,000; for an attorney with five years of experience, $87,000)
The New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) is one of the nation's leading advocates on behalf of constitutional rights and liberties. Founded in 1951, as the New York affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union, the NYCLU is a not-for-profit, nonpartisan organization with more than 180,000 members and supporters, and eight offices statewide. We work in the courts, in the legislatures and on the streets to advocate for racial and economic justice, free speech, freedom of religion, privacy and equality before the law for all New Yorkers. For more information please visit our website: www.nyclu.org.
The NYCLU is seeking a Policy Counsel who will play an important role in the organization's efforts to promote and defend civil rights and civil liberties through public policy, including public education, testimony, lobbying, coalition work, and legislative advocacy. The NYCLU's Policy Counsel conduct research, writing, and advocacy on a wide range of civil rights and civil liberties issues in the New York State Legislature, the New York City Council, and (working closely with the NYCLU’s chapter offices across the state) at the municipal or county level. They also participate in the public education and communications work of the NYCLU.
The Policy Counsel will be responsible for a docket designed to enhance New Yorkers’ civil rights and civil liberties. This position is designed as an “all-purpose” docket to support a broad range of the NYCLU’s civil rights priorities through legislative and policy advocacy. Among other topics, this position will likely include proactive campaigns to reform the criminal legal system, enhance New Yorkers’ privacy rights, expand immigrants’ rights, and improve our democracy – as well as defensive work to uphold civil liberties in the face of the criminalization of homelessness, DNA collection, and over incarceration.
This position will be based in NYCLU's main office in New York City, but some travel is required between the Albany legislative office and New York City, and on occasion to other locations in New York State. The Policy Counsel reports to the Policy Director and, as appropriate, the Assistant Director for Legislative Affairs or the Assistant Policy Director for Privacy & Technology.
Roles & Responsibilities
- Track and analyze legislation introduced in the New York State Legislature and before local governments across the state, including the New York City Council.
- Produce internal position papers and external bill memoranda based on research and analysis of state and local legislation and proposed rules and regulations that implicate civil rights and civil liberties;
- Draft, analyze, and edit legislation and regulations, as well as proposed amendments to bills and regulatory proposals;
- Win support for NYCLU's positions on legislative and public policy matters through direct lobbying of state and local legislators, public officials and their staff;
- Produce and deliver testimony at public hearings conducted by the New York State Legislature, New York City Council, and other policy-making bodies;
- Produce briefing papers and draft public education materials on pending legislation and legislative proposals;
- Draft and oversee public records request projects to increase information and transparency surrounding new technologies.
- Work with NYCLU Policy Staff and Chapter Directors on local legislative matters;
- Build and maintain relationships with experts, public interest groups, government officials, community stakeholders, and academics to engage them in our work and implement collaborative projects, and foster positive working relationships with coalition partners and national ACLU staff;
- Serve as a spokesperson and resource for the NYCLU in the press, in internal discussions and strategy development, and in NYCLU publications;
- Supervise fellows and interns of the Policy department;
- Comply with lobbying record-keeping and reporting requirements; assist in strategic planning and the development of annual work plans; and support other organizational needs as they arise.
The ideal candidate for this position will have outstanding writing and analytical skills; strong inter-personal communication skills; creative approaches to public policy advocacy; experience working on civil liberties or constitutional advocacy; and fluency in technological concepts and vocabulary. Experience working within the State Legislature, New York City Council or other legislative body is desirable, but not required. Experience working successfully with a multicultural workforce or communities that are diverse with regard to age, race, disability, gender and gender expression is helpful. Demonstrated experience engaging in creative problem solving, exhibiting good judgment, and the ability to shift course when circumstances require is a must. The ideal candidate will bring a diversity of experience and perspective to the position and will have a demonstrated commitment to working well independently, within a team, and with broad and diverse coalitions.
- Law degree and 2+ years of experience in lobbying, public policy advocacy, legislative analysis or civil rights litigation. Litigation experience is a plus, but not required.
- Excellent writing, research, analytical, and communication skills;
- Three years of substantial experience in lobbying or legislative work;
- Strong ability to prioritize and complete tasks, with a proven ability to meet deadlines;
- A demonstrated ability to advocate effectively, including an ability to initiate and follow through on a lobbying or legislative effort;
- Demonstrated knowledge of and passion for civil liberties, civil rights, and the goals and priorities of the NYCLU;
- Self-motivation and an ability to work collaboratively;
- Willingness to travel within New York State for work-related meetings and events.
How to Apply
Please submit your resume and cover letter that includes your unique qualifications for this position, and your salary requirements via https://recruiting.paylocity.com/recruiting/jobs/Details/246707/New-York-Civil-Liberties-Union-Foundation/Policy-Counsel
The NYCLU is proud to be an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and encourages all applicants regardless of race, sex, gender identity, age, disability, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, veteran status or record of arrest or conviction. We are committed to diversity, equity and inclusion, and having a workforce that reflects the population that we serve.