The ACLU of DC is hiring a policy counsel!
ACLU District of Columbia

The Policy Counsel will engage in local policy advocacy before the DC Council, the Mayor, and with administrative agencies to advance the ACLU-DC’s strategic work on issues related to First Amendment rights, criminal justice, racial justice, LGBTQ+ equality, privacy, religious freedom, immigrant rights, federal workers’ rights, and reproductive rights. This includes, but is not limited to, conducting policy research and analyzing legislation, engaging in lobbying with the DC Council, and representing the ACLU-DC in various coalitions and with stakeholder groups to advance shared policy goals.

Under the direction and supervision of the Policy Director, the Policy Counsel will also work closely with other members of the Policy Department, including the Policy Associate, Managing Organizer, and Campaign Organizer, as well as with members of the Communications, Development, and Legal departments, coalition partners, and the ACLU National Office.

Essential Functions

Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform these essential functions.

Primary Responsibilities

·       Conduct legal and policy research and analysis related to the ACLU-DC’s advocacy campaigns and other public policy goals.

·       Serve as a policy expert and advocate on civil rights and civil liberties issues, and lobby members in the DC Council, the Mayor’s office, and local agency officials to further the ACLU-DC’s policy goals.

·       Prepare and review written materials including legislative testimony, memoranda, policy papers and reports, talking points and fact sheets, advocacy letters, know-your-rights guides, public commentary, and web content that further the legislative priorities of the organization.

·       Testify before the D.C. Council and engage in public speaking at organizational or community events.

·       Build and maintain trusted, respectful relationships with elected and appointed local officials, agency decision-makers, the mayor’s office, lobbyists and community stakeholders by providing clear, fact-based analysis and resources and identifying opportunities for collaboration on ACLU issues.

·       Maintain clear and quantifiable systems for tracking policy progress in and out of legislative session.

·       Coordinate and collaborate with ACLU-DC staff to build and implement effective multidisciplinary and integrated advocacy initiatives, involving a combination of policy, legal, communications, public education and organizing strategies.

·       Represent ACLU- DC in various community and stakeholder groups, help build and lead coalitions with diverse stakeholders to advance shared policy goals, and work in partnership with other organizations.

·       Monitor and respond to policy initiatives under consideration by the local District government.


Education and Experience


·       Law degree or other graduate degree in public policy or a related field.

·       A minimum of three (3) years’ relevant work experience at the federal, state, or local level developing, leading, and implementing legislative or issue-based campaigns.


·       Experience in political strategic planning, including power-mapping and developing messaging and tactics for legislative campaigns.

·       Experience with advocacy on civil rights and civil liberties matters.

·       Knowledge of criminal legal system and legislative or litigation experience in criminal justice issues a plus


·       Excellent legal and policy analysis and research skills and demonstrated experience with legislative advocacy/lobbying.

·       Excellent communication skills, including comfort with public speaking and the ability to articulate legal concepts and complex issues tactfully and effectively to a variety of audiences.

·       Ability to build and maintain strong working relationships.

·       Demonstrated experience working effectively in and with coalitions to achieve public policy goals, including navigating internal political dynamics among partner groups.

·       Strong time management skills.

·       Ability to work effectively under pressure and to prioritize multiple activities and responsibilities.

·       Strong organizational skills.

·       Demonstrated ability to manage details, work independently, and follow through with minimal direct supervision.

·       Commitment to the highest ethical and professional standards.

·       Desire to receive and incorporate feedback.

·       Exceptional interpersonal skills, including ability to work collaboratively (including the ability to work effectively with colleagues remotely), share responsibility and credit, and navigate and resolve conflict in a manner that values and respects relationships with colleagues inside and outside of the ACLU.

·       Ability to be flexible and adapt to a fast-paced, constantly changing environment.

·       Demonstrated passion for civil rights and civil liberties issues.

·       Proficiency with Microsoft Office, Google Drive, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

·       Individuals who have been directly impacted by the criminal just system strongly encouraged to apply.

Additional Information


The salary range of this position is $70,000 to $90,000 per year, with the final offered salary depending on experience and qualifications. Benefits currently provided to all ACLU-DC employees (including externally-funded fellows) include employer-paid health insurance, vacation and sick leave, and 401(k) availability with employer match.


Submit the following items with your application via Smartrecruiter:
1.    A copy of your resume that lists relevant experience.
2.    A detailed cover letter explaining your interest in this position and in joining the ACLU-DC.
3.    A list of three references, including a sentence about each one identifying what information the person can provide.
4.    A writing sample, which should ideally be an analysis of a piece of legislation or government policy.

The ACLU-DC is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU-DC encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status, or any other classification protected by the D.C. Human Rights Act or federal employment law. If you have a disability and need a reasonable accommodation regarding any part of the application process, please email operations (at) or call at 202-457-0800 for assistance.

*The application deadline can be disregarded*

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