September 27, 2023

Salary: $78,428 to $115,161, depending on experience and qualifications.

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:


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 on 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.


The Racial Justice Center was established in 2023 to expand and deepen the NYCLU racial justice portfolio. The NYCLU Racial Justice Center approach is both intersectional with all of the NYCLU priorities, and goal in of itself and will hold its own docket that will include, NYCLU’s issue expertise, litigation, advocacy, and community and coalition engagement.

The Racial Justice Center is seeking Assistant Director to be a thought partners with the Director in firmly establishing the Center and contribute significantly to its priorities identified in the 2024 strategic priorities, including the 5-year strategic goals set organizational wide. 

The Assistant Director will serve as a key member of the management cohort that is a cross departmental group responsible for contributing to the direction of the organization, implementing goals set by the Senior Leadership Team, and relaying the RJC priorities and goals to Senior Leaders and the NYCLU Board. The Assistant Director’s responsibilities may include supporting major cases; supervising staff, interns, fellows; and leading the department’s work in a specific subject area.


  • Mid-Level Management:
    • Assume significant responsibility for managing the RJC, including supervising legal and other staff; designing and implementing systems to promote equity, opportunity, and accountability; and providing feedback, conducting performance evaluations, training, and developing professional-development plans for staff under their supervision.
    • Become a leader of the organization, develop relationships with peers across departments, help set the tone for the NYCLU internally, support the Senior Leadership Team in formulating and implementing programmatic and organizational initiatives; and
    • Collaborate and lead when appropriate cross-departmental ad hoc racial justice campaigns and/or issue spotting when rapid response civil rights violations occur.
  • Program Leadership:
    • Strategic Planning- participate in strategic planning for the programmatic and organizational work of the RJC and of the NYCLU.  
    • Non-Litigation Advocacy- play a leading role in the advocacy work which includes working with the NYCLU’s Education Policy Center and the Policy, Field and Communications departments; working with NYCLU offices around New York; collaborating with other advocacy organizations and elected officials; presenting testimony before legislative bodies and administrative agencies; and participating in public education on civil-liberties issues by speaking at public events and publishing articles and essays;
    • Policy- support with a wide range of legislative campaigns and policy initiatives that seek to ameliorate harms created by race-based policies and continuing harm; and
    • Litigation- support a wide range of state, and administrative litigation, including complex, class-action litigation and cases undertaken with the national ACLU, with other advocacy organizations and with cooperating attorneys; play a leading role in developing new litigation.
  • Community Engagement:
    • Representing the NYCLU to external audiences in a way that promotes positive relationships and helps achieve our goals.
    • Staying abreast of developments in the field, including legal developments, research, and theory; maintaining close connections with thought leaders and other key players in the field.
    • Centering a practical commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in all aspects of the work.
    • Identifying coalition groups with similar goals and mission; and
    • Represent the RJC in testifying at hearings, public speaking at community and coalition events, and collaborating with the Communications department to draft blogs, provide quotes and interview with reports as needed.


  • At least 5 years of experience with racial justice advocacy including civil rights, legislative advocacy, policy initiatives and/or litigation; specific experience in one of the following areas is a plus: indigenous justice; environmental racism; restorative policies or reparative frameworks; and emerging racial justice areas.
  • A minimum of 3 years of experience supervising and supporting teams; specific supervision of lawyers and/or non-lawyers in the public-interest sector is preferred.
  • A minimum higher education degree required, preferred Juris Doctorate or Master’s degree in relevant subject area.
  • Demonstrated ability to think strategically and to advocate effectively.
  • Demonstrated ability to support the professional development of staff.
  • Demonstrated ability to address diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace.
  • Demonstrated commitment to civil rights and the priorities of the NYCLU.  
  • Demonstrate willingness to work unconventional hours that may include evenings and weekends; and
  • Strong preference for candidates who are admitted practice law in New York State and in good standing, with a preferred movement lawyering approach.


If you would like to be considered for this position, please submit via as a single PDF document (1) a cover letter explaining your interest in the position and describing your qualifications, (2) an up-to-date resume, and (3) a writing sample of your choosing, not to exceed 5 pages. We strongly prefer writing samples that are recent and entirely or largely your work. A wide variety of writing samples may be submitted such as blogs, advocacy letters, creative writing, or legal briefings. The NYCLU will start considering applications on September 21, 2023, and will continue to review them until the position is filled.

The NYCLU is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and having a workforce that reflects the population that we serve. We are an equal opportunity employer and encourages applications from all qualified individuals regardless of race, sex, gender identity or expression, age, disability, religion, national origin, citizenship, marital status, sexual orientation, veteran status, record of arrest or conviction or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.

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

This position may be eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program.