The ACLU seeks a full-time position of Legal Director in the ACLU of North Dakota, South Dakota & Wyoming of the ACLU’s National office in South Dakota, North Dakota, or Wyoming.

Reporting to the Executive Director of the Chapter Office, the Legal Director will lead and expand the ACLU legal program across South Dakota, North Dakota, and Wyoming, including developing and litigating high-impact cases and managing the legal department. The Legal Director will be responsible for setting the overall legal strategy to advance the ACLU of SD/ND/WY mission, as well as handling the day-to-day management of legal staff and cooperating attorneys. As a critical member of the office's senior management team, the Legal Director will provide strategic leadership on both litigation and non-litigation legal advocacy in priority areas. Our current campaign priorities include indigenous justice, immigrants’ rights, LGBTQ and two spirit rights, voting rights, and smart justice reform for prison systems.

We are taking our organization to the next level by strengthening our legal firepower, building legislative strength, expanding communications methods, and creating winning issue campaigns. To meet these objectives, the ACLU of South Dakota, North Dakota, and Wyoming has adopted a “campaign” approach for its work. Work is focused on pursuing specific integrated advocacy campaigns to achieve measurable goals that will expand civil liberties and civil rights while building the long-term power of the ACLU and the civil liberties’ movement. 

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  • Maintain and develop our aggressive impact litigation and advocacy docket, which advances the ACLU of SD/ND/WY strategic priorities and responds to civil rights and civil liberties threats
  • Manage all aspects of the litigation program, including coordinating the selection of cases, overseeing the investigation and development of cases before commencing litigation; building litigation teams with in-house lawyers, private lawyers, and nonprofit partners; directly engaging in litigation in federal and state court; and overseeing ongoing litigation
  • Maintain an individual caseload of developing and active litigation and amicus briefs, including overseeing and directing pre-litigation investigations, discovery, motion practice, brief writing, hearings and trials, and appellate work, and work with staff attorneys and cooperating attorneys on all work within the ACLU SD/ND/WY legal program
  • Supervise a staff attorney and occasionally law student and undergraduate interns; handle recruiting and hiring of additional legal staff (budget permitting); and foster an organizational culture within the legal program that encourages staff development through internal and external resources
  • Broaden and deepen relationships with volunteer attorneys and other lawyers in the community to ensure the visibility of the ACLU SD/ND/WY in the legal community (and beyond) and to help build our legal docket, including by engaging lawyers in pre-litigation investigations, amicus briefs, litigation, and other ACLU SD/ND/WY activities
  • Coordinate and collaborate with other ACLU SD/ND/WY departments on cross-departmental projects and serve as a resource on legal matters for staff, partners, and other ACLU of SD/ND/WY constituents
  • Serve as a highly visible spokesperson for the ACLU, working closely with our outreach and communications team to regularly engage in strategic public forums, advocacy discussions, and media opportunities
  • Provide systemic and strategic planning and reporting, including developing budgets, providing regular reports on legal department activities, and supporting reporting on grants with legal department deliverables


  • Trial and appellate litigation experience in state and federal courts, including class actions, with a strong interest and experience in constitutional law and civil rights
  • Admitted to the South Dakota, North Dakota, or Wyoming Bar or eligible for admission on motion
  • Excellent organizational skills and a creative and strategic approach to problem-solving and litigation
  • Creative, persuasive, results-oriented, self-starting, persevering, and willing to learn
  • High ethical standards and genuine interest in developing authentic relationships
  • Team player who inspires collaboration, lifts up the work of others, and maintains balance and perspective with patience and a sense of humor
  • Commitment to the mission of the ACLU
  • Demonstrate a commitment to diversity within the office using a personal approach that values all individuals and respects differences in regards to race, ethnicity, age, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, disability and socio-economic circumstance
  • Commitment to work collaboratively and respectfully toward resolving obstacles and/or conflicts

Apply today ​​​​​​​


For 100 years, the ACLU has worked to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States. Whether it’s ending mass incarceration, achieving full equality for the LGBT community, establishing new privacy protections for our digital age, or preserving the right to vote or the right to have an abortion, the ACLU takes up the toughest civil liberties cases and issues to defend all people from government abuse and overreach.

The ACLU is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status and record of arrest or conviction.

The ACLU undertakes affirmative action strategies in its recruitment and employment efforts to assure that all qualified persons, including persons with disabilities, have full opportunities for employment in all positions.

The ACLU 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 benefits.hrdept@aclu.org.  If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.