This fellowship is for one year with the option of extending for a second year. It is open to recent law graduates and third year law students, conditioned upon graduation and passing the bar.
This position is based in Oklahoma.
Compensation for this position is $65,000 with benefits that include paid vacation, medical, dental, and vision insurance, 401(k), life and long-term disability insurance, and generous paid holidays.
All staff are required to have the COVID-19 vaccine unless an employee has a medical or religious exemption that makes them unable to receive the vaccine. Reasonable accommodations will be made with staff and their direct supervisor with final determination made by the Executive Director.
The Work of the ACLU of Oklahoma
The American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma is a nonprofit, non-partisan, privately funded organization devoted exclusively to the defense and promotion of the individual rights secured by the U.S. and Oklahoma constitutions.
The ACLU-OK comprises of two separate corporate entities, the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma, Inc, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma Foundation. The two corporations share the same overall mission, office space, and employees. The job posting refers collectively to the two organizations under the name “ACLU of Oklahoma.”
The ACLU-OK is an affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union, a national not-for-profit, non-partisan, voluntary organization founded in 1920. The ACLU is a nationwide network of staffed offices in every state, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. Its purpose is to protect those rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The Oklahoma affiliate was established in 1964 and opened its first headquarters in 1973.
The ACLU-OK has a proud history of advocating in Oklahoma for the rights of institutionalized persons; educators; students; persons who speak out against governmental abuse; women; and minorities of religious, ethnic, or racial character.
The ACLU-OK works closely with its national headquarters in New York, its national lobbying office in Washington, D.C., and affiliates in every state across the country and Puerto Rico. It also works in coalition with many other organizations to improve the quality of life for all by preserving freedom.
The ACLU-OK is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU-OK encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status, socio- economic circumstance, or record of arrest or conviction. We do not conduct criminal background checks on our candidates.
- Investigating, developing, and litigating impact cases, including conducting factual and legal research; interviewing clients and potential witnesses; preparing memoranda; drafting pleadings, briefs, and correspondence; conducting discovery and motions practice, including depositions; drafting pleadings; trying cases; handling appeals; and negotiating settlements.
- Developing and implementing non-litigation strategies for reform, which may include filing public records requests, administrative complaints, and amicus briefs.
- Monitoring civil rights and social justice issues across the state and collaborating with ACLU-OK staff, allied civil rights organizations, community groups, and activists to construct and implement strategic, integrated solutions.
- Building relationships with allied organizations and representing ACLU-OK in key coalitions.
- Providing legal technical assistance and strategic collaboration to community groups and activists including facilitating “Know Your Rights” trainings.
- Acting as a public spokesperson to advance the ACLU-OK’s vision of the constitutional and civil liberties principles, including responding to media inquiries regarding timely topics.
- Partnering with the National ACLU and other ACLU affiliates to develop and coordinate the ACLUOK’s litigation and legal advocacy.
- Coordinating and collaborating with other ACLU-OK staff in carrying out the ACLU’s “integrated advocacy” approach.
- In all responsibilities, including case and co-counsel selection, litigation strategy, intern supervision, community support, and integrated advocacy, prioritizing racial justice and systemic equality.
- At the Legal Director’s discretion, contributing to administrative tasks necessary to ensure the smooth functioning of the department.
- Traveling, as well as some work on nights and weekends, may be necessary.
- Along with all employees, maintaining a positive, respectful, welcoming, and professional work environment for employees and volunteers.
EXPERIENCE AND QUALIFICATIONS
- JD from an ABA accredited law school
- Membership in the Oklahoma Bar or eligibility for admission on motion
- Excellent research, writing, analytic, and speaking skills
- Commitment to centering the voices and leadership of directly impacted people
- A collaborative mindset and ability to work effectively with organizing, policy, and communications staff to achieve shared goals
- Ability to analyze and articulate complex issues and concisely communicate them to a variety of audiences
- Ability to keep organized in a fast-paced environment, to manage several projects simultaneously, and to adjust to frequently changing demands
- Commitment to civil rights, civil liberties, and social justice consistent with the mission and goals of the ACLU
- Commitment to diversity that values all individuals and respects differences in race, ethnicity, age, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, ability, socio-economic circumstance, and record of arrest or conviction
- Commitment to building or deepening understanding of racial equity
- Commitment to non-partisanship per ACLU policy that stipulates the ACLU will not endorse or oppose a candidate or political party
- Willingness to travel within Oklahoma
- Willingness to, as necessary, work evenings and weekends
- Fluency with computers, Microsoft Office, and Westlaw
- Background in constitutional law, civil rights, and/or public interest
- Familiarity with or experience working on social justice issues in Oklahoma
- Persons who have been impacted by legal systems are encouraged to apply
Submit a resume, cover letter, and writing sample in a combined pdf in that order to firstname.lastname@example.org. Name PDF with your full name and “Legal Fellow Application.”
Include “Legal Fellow Application” in the subject line. We will review applications on a rolling basis, but priority consideration will be given to applications received by December 1, 2022. No in-person applications or phone calls, please. All applications will be treated confidentially.