Staff Attorney

Position Overview

Facing the historic challenge of protecting and advancing civil liberties and civil rights in an era of new threats, the ACLU of Wisconsin is looking for a dynamic, creative, and thoughtful attorney who will focus on a range of civil liberties and civil rights issues using litigation and other advocacy strategies. This person will investigate and analyze civil liberties and civil rights violations, and devise and implement litigation and other approaches -- including policy advocacy, community education and organizing, and digital and media advocacy -– to address those violations. The staff attorney will report to the ACLU of Wisconsin’s legal director.

Applicants must have a law degree from an accredited law school and be admitted to practice law in Wisconsin, or, if not currently licensed in Wisconsin, be licensed and in good standing in another state and willing and able to obtain a Wisconsin law license within six months, or be a recent graduate of an accredited law school willing and able to obtain a Wisconsin law license within six months. 

The successful applicant must also have a demonstrated commitment to civil rights and civil liberties, along with excellent legal research, writing, and oral advocacy skills, as well as strong analytic, interpersonal, and time-management skills. The individual must be an outstanding communicator who is able to effectively convey the mission and activities of the ACLU to a variety of constituencies, as well as to the broader public.

We are looking for a flexible team player, who is also comfortable working independently and taking initiative.  Applicants must also have patience, emotional intelligence and cultural competency. Applicants must be able to occasionally work evenings and weekends, and to travel throughout the region and, occasionally, other parts of the country. 

Strong candidates will have demonstrated experience using litigation, advocacy, and community engagement as part of a creative response to civil rights and civil liberties violations in affected communities.  Applicants with fluency in languages besides English spoken widely in the community and with current or recent experience with litigation in civil rights or related fields will be given preference.

The ACLU of Wisconsin has made historic achievements, including overturning Wisconsin’s constitutional ban on marriage for lesbian and gay couples in 2014. Our affiliate has legal challenges underway against Wisconsin’s voter ID law; against Milwaukee police practices that lead to tens of thousands of stops and searches each year without reasonable suspicion; and against the State of Wisconsin for issues such as the cruel treatment of children in state detention facilities, as well as the denial of necessary health coverage to transgender state employees. We work closely with other state and national organizations that share goals. To achieve our mission we deploy legal, legislative, advocacy, and public education programs on a broad range of constitutional issues including discrimination, policing, conditions of confinement, free speech, religious freedom, reproductive rights, LGBT rights, and information privacy.

The ACLU‐WI is composed of separate 501(c)(3) (the ACLU of Wisconsin Foundation) and 501(c)(4) (the “Union”) organizations.  The organizations share the same overall mission, office space, and employees. Our headquarters are located in Milwaukee’s historic Third Ward, where we have a diverse staff of 10 individuals.  To learn more about the work of the ACLU and the civil liberties principles we uphold, please visit, or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.



Compensation is $50,000 per year.  Benefits include paid vacation and sick leave, medical and dental coverage, life insurance, short and long term disability insurance; and a 401(K).  Expected start date is August 1, 2017.


To Apply:

Please submit a resume, three references, a recent writing sample (no more than 5 pages, which can be an excerpt from a brief), and a brief cover letter describing your interest in the position by July 17th to:

The ACLU of Wisconsin & ACLU of Wisconsin Foundation are equal opportunity/affirmative action employers and encourage applications from all qualified individuals including women, people of color, persons with disabilities, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals.