The ACLU Foundation of Southern California (ACLU SoCal) seeks a Senior Staff Attorney or experienced Staff Attorney to work on the Economic Justice Project's Dignity for All Project to build and lead litigation, legal, and policy advocacy needed to end homelessness, protect the rights and human dignity of people who are unhoused, and advance housing justice in Southern California communities and beyond. The attorney will also provide technical assistance to impacted individuals and community groups, develop advocacy strategies, and equip community members and ACLU supporters with knowledge and narrative change tools to build power and advance the affirmative right to housing.
California is ground-zero for the nation's homelessness crisis. With over 150,000 of its residents experiencing homelessness, the state is by far the largest contributor to the increase in homelessness across the nation. The Attorney position provides a unique and exciting opportunity to make a real impact on the many facets of this crisis. The attorney will develop and litigate state and federal cases; create, implement, and participate in campaigns that protect and expand the civil and human rights of people experiencing homelessness and advance the human right to housing and basic human needs; engage in public education; and provide technical assistance on housing justice issues to coalitions, community partners, government officials, and government bodies.
While the position is based in Orange County, the attorney will advocate on the full range of homelessness justice issues on which the ACLU SoCal engages locally and statewide. Litigation, advocacy, and public education campaigns might include: protecting unhoused people's rights to exist; defending and expanding the rights of people who are unhoused; holding government accountable for the provision of their basic human needs and well-being; addressing the criminalization of poverty and homelessness with humane and effective policies that prioritize housing and healthcare access, including challenging the unconstitutional municipal policies and laws that obstruct unhoused individuals' paths to achieving economic security and stable housing; helping to lead statewide work to advance the affirmative right to housing through litigation and/or policy advocacy; and shifting attitudes and the dominant narrative regarding people experiencing homelessness, centering and lifting up the voices of people impacted by homelessness and unaffordable housing, to educate our community and advance a "Housing First" policy solution. The attorney will also work on other economic justice team priorities, as needed.
6-9 years' experience who have a demonstrated track record of independently developing and leading impact litigation cases.
Demonstrated commitment to civil and human rights, racial justice, and strong advocacy and litigation skills.
Hard-working leader with a proven record of accomplishments working with, advocating with, and/or organizing with people experiencing homelessness, marginalized populations, and community-based organizations.
Demonstrated ability to develop and litigate impact cases.
Excellent research, writing, analytic, and speaking skills.
Demonstrated ability to work in diverse coalitions and develop advocacy campaigns.
Demonstrated ability to participate in, create, and sustain inclusive and engaging spaces for all.
Demonstrated ability to lead projects, build strong relationships, and work well in collaboration with others.
A deep commitment to the cause of civil liberties and civil rights.
Willingness to work occasional weekend and evening hours, as needed.
Willingness to travel within Southern California as well as occasionally to other parts of the state.
Extremely strong project and time management skills, including a high level of organization, attention to detail and follow-through, while balancing and prioritizing multiple activities and responsibilities.
Admitted to practice law in the state of California or willingness to promptly take the California bar exam
About ACLU SoCal
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) defends the fundamental rights outlined in the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. These include the right to freedom of speech and assembly, the right to religious freedom, due process of law, equality before the law and the right to privacy. The ACLU also relies on state constitutional provisions and federal and state laws that further these and similar rights.
Today, the ACLU has affiliates in 50 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico. California is unique in that it has three affiliates: ACLU of Northern California, ACLU of Southern California and the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties. Often, the three affiliates work in collaboration on statewide initiatives under the "ACLU of California."
Generally, the ACLU of Southern California works on behalf of people in the Southern California region, namely in Los Angeles, Kern, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties.