Immigrant Rights Staff Attorney, ACLU


Under the supervision of the Senior Immigrant Rights Attorney, the Immigrant Rights Staff Attorney will (1) identify and develop new litigation and other advocacy projects to address civil rights abuses, with a particular emphasis on the rights of immigrants and border communities; (2) support policy advocacy efforts that aim to improve the lives of immigrants and border communities; and (3) strengthen the ACLU’s collaboration and communication with allied organizations, especially those working on behalf of immigrant and border communities. This is an exempt full-time position based in New Mexico and reporting to the Senior Immigrant Rights Attorney.



  • Identify and develop new litigation and other advocacy projects by conducting factual, legal and strategic analysis, and devising relevant theories and materials.
  • Litigate immigrants’ rights and border issues cases, including legal research; fact development; working with clients; drafting pleadings, briefs and legal memoranda; engaging in discovery and motion practice; and conducting evidentiary hearings and oral arguments in the trial and appellate courts.
  • Follow up with individuals who submit complaints to the ACLU or otherwise have experienced civil rights violations, including conducting interviews, gathering affidavits and conducting research to determine whether further action by the ACLU is warranted.
  • File public records requests, administrative complaints and amicus briefs in support of litigation and legal advocacy.
  • Build and strengthen relationships and communications with allied organizations, especially groups and coalitions representing detained and nondetained immigrants, border communities, and other targeted populations. This includes representing ACLU-NM in key coalitions.
  • Prepare, coordinate, and facilitate “Know Your Rights” trainings relating to immigrant rights and border issues, including training others in the community to conduct these trainings.
  • Articulate ACLU views to a variety of audiences, through public speaking, traditional and social media, and other means.
  • Work with ACLU legislative and policy advocates and campaigners to advance the ACLU’s goals on immigration and border issues.
  • Support legislative advocacy with legal and policy analysis.
  • Recruit and work with ACLU-NM volunteer attorneys who are interested in serving as co-counsel in civil rights litigation.
  • May recruit and oversee the work of legal interns.
  • Coordinate and collaborate with other ACLU-NM departments in carrying out the ACLU’s “integrated advocacy” approach.


  • Commitment to advancing the ACLU’s values, mission, goals and programs. Preference will be given to applicants with an understanding of issues facing communities directly impacted by the criminal justice system, police violence, economic injustice and immigration policies, either through personal lived experience or prior work experience.
  • Commitment to race and other forms of equity, both internally in our organization and externally in the communities that we serve.
  • Awareness of, and willingness to engage in, the difficult and transformative work of challenging systems of oppression, institutional and structural racism, and implicit bias.
  • J.D. degree and minimum of two years of litigation experience preferred.  Relevant expertise on border issues, immigration, detention, national security, or other related issues is also preferred, but not required.
  • Member of the State Bar of New Mexico or willingness to become admitted to the New Mexico Bar within one year of hire.
  • Self-motivated and able to work and litigate independently and under pressure.
  • Excellent legal research, writing, and analytical ability.
  • Demonstrated ability to conduct complex legal analysis and fact finding.
  • Experience managing cases and demonstrated ability to engage in complex legal analysis and fact-finding.
  • Ability to participate in, create and sustain inclusive and engaging spaces for all races, ethnicities, genders, ages, classes and geographies.
  • Professional proficiency in Spanish (both written and oral).
  • Commitment to and familiarity with immigrant rights, racial and social justice, and civil liberties issues.
  • Experience working with diverse communities and cultures.
  • Ability to work cooperatively on a variety of projects with lawyers, other staff members, and diverse community organizations and coalitions.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, including an ability to navigate and resolve conflict in a manner that values and respects relationships with colleagues inside and outside of the ACLU-NM.
  • Able to work occasional overtime or irregular hours, including some weekends.
  • Able to travel when needed.

How to Apply:

Send a cover letter no longer than one page and resume by email to Please include “Immigrant Rights Staff Attorney” in the subject line and all attachments should be in Microsoft Word or PDF format. Your letter should explain ways in which you satisfy the skills and qualifications specified above. ACLU also invites applicants to include in their letter information about how their background and/or experiences could contribute to the diversity, cultural vitality, and perspective of  staff and advocacy work. Please indicate where you learned of this job posting. No phone calls.