The ACLU’s National Chapter office in Sioux Falls, SD seeks applications for the full-time position of Legal Director.
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 of criminal justice, immigrants’ rights, indigenous justice, and LGBTQ equality, as well as other areas including First Amendment rights.

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  • Maintain and continue to 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.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to diversity within the office by using a personal approach that values all individuals and respects differences in regards to race, ethnicity, age, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, ability and socio-economic circumstance, and record of arrest or conviction
  • Work collaboratively and respectfully toward resolving obstacles and/or conflicts


  • 7-10 years of 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.
  • A commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion; a personal approach that values the individual and respects differences.
  • Demonstrated commitment to civil rights and civil liberties consistent with the mission and goals of the ACLU.


For almost 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.

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 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.

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