Legal Department Manager

The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey (ACLU-NJ) seeks an organized and dynamic team player to serve as its Legal Department Manager. This role is designed for a seasoned professional with strong collaboration skills to manage legal department operations. The Legal Department Manager serves as a thought-partner with the Legal Director, manages and strengthens operational aspects of the department, and serves as the department’s liaison to the office’s human resources, technology, and administrative staff. We are seeking a person who is passionate about civil rights and civil liberties, has experience managing projects, improving systems, and supervising staff, and is committed to supporting a work culture of equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging.

The Legal Department Manager will join a 10+ person legal team that engages in litigation and a wide range of advocacy tools to protect and expand civil rights and civil liberties, and that works collaboratively with policy and communications colleagues to maximize the ACLU-NJ’s impact. The role reports to the Legal Director and supervises two staff members. With a recent shift to hybrid working, the Legal Department Manager’s priorities will include redesigning and managing the department’s intake and internship programs.  

The position is based in Newark, NJ, with a hybrid work schedule that currently offers the option of working remotely up to three days each week.

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What You’ll Do

  • Redesign and manage the legal intake program, including ensuring timely review of complaints, accurate records and periodic reporting on trends.
  • Supervise the legal department’s administrative team and manage workloads.  
  • Manage hiring, onboarding, and professional development for the Legal Department, including recruitment and training of lawyers, legal fellows, staff, and interns/volunteers, in collaboration with the Director of People and Culture.  
  • Redesign and manage the legal department’s internship and volunteer program, including providing supervision and arranging programming.
  • Strengthen and/or develop operations and systems including case tracking, calendaring, timekeeping, expense tracking and maintain/develop policies and procedures documents. 
  • Manage departmental vendors and contracts (e.g., malpractice insurance, library and research tools). 
  • Manage the website legal content on the ACLU-NJ website in collaboration with the communications department. 
  • Participate in the ACLU-NJ’s internal and external racial justice and equity work and in the development of the legal department’s vision, plans, and priorities. 
  • Strengthen and support the recruitment and retention of pro bono volunteer attorneys and firms.
  • Other duties as assigned by the Legal Director. 

What You’ll Need:  

While no one person will have all of the qualities enumerated below, the successful candidate will bring many of the following qualifications and attributes:  

  • Confidence in taking initiative, thinking creatively, problem solving, working well under pressure, and managing projects effectively.
  • Experience in the operations of a legal services organization. 
  • Excellent supervision skills and enthusiasm for managing people.
  • Strong organizational and time management skills, and attention to detail. 
  • Strong oral and written communications skills, including editing and proofreading skills.
  • A positive attitude and the ability to maintain balance and perspective even when encountering challenges.
  • Experience working collaboratively and coordinating responsibilities with colleagues on projects.
  • An understanding of and demonstrated commitment to civil rights, civil liberties, equity, and racial justice. 
  • Ability to work well with people with a wide range of backgrounds, interests, skills, concerns, and personalities, including respect for the perspectives of people from many cultures and life experiences. 
  • Experience using software/technology that supports legal operations (e.g., case management, time-keeping, etc.).
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office, Adobe Acrobat, and experience with spreadsheets, and databases.
  • Flexibility to work beyond the regular work week as needed. 
  • Familiarity with New Jersey courts and government. 

Compensation

The salary range for this position starts at $80,000 and is negotiable within the ACLU of New Jersey salary scale, depending on experience. The ACLU-NJ supports and plans for staff member professional growth and skill development through internal and external opportunities. We offer a comprehensive compensation and benefits package which currently includes 16 days paid time off, 12 office holidays and 12 health care leave days; medical, vision, and dental insurance; 100 days paid family leave; life and long-term disability insurance; pre-tax transit benefits; and a 401(k) plan with employer match. This position is full-time, salaried, and exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act.   

About our Culture 

We are a diverse workforce and take pride in our ability to attract and retain employees with a huge array of backgrounds and experiences. We work hard, but also like to celebrate our successes.

We strive to bring humility, empathy, kindness, and generosity to our work, internally within the organization and externally with our partners and those whom we are serving. We seek to build a work culture with a sense of respect and collegiality, and a willingness to be generous with our expertise and resources.

Our organization is currently a team of 30+ who care deeply about the work of the ACLU. We view our work as advancing our goals of liberty and justice for all and we work to achieve these through our approach and practices. We enjoy working together and remain inspired by the remarkable work of our amazing local and national colleagues.

TO APPLY 

If you’re excited about bringing your talents and skills to the ACLU-NJ, complete the application and upload a resume and letter of interest. Your letter should explain ways in which you satisfy the skills and qualifications specified above. We also invite applicants to include in their letter information about how their background and/or experiences could contribute to the diversity, cultural vitality, and perspective of our staff and advocacy work. 

Application materials will also be accepted via postal mail (P.O. Box 32159, Newark, NJ 07102), but electronic filing is strongly preferred. Applications will be reviewed beginning immediately. We will accept applications until the position is filled, at which time the job announcement will be removed from our website. We hope that one of those applications is yours. 

The ACLU-NJ makes every effort to assure that its recruitment and employment provide all qualified persons, including persons with disabilities, with full opportunities for employment in all positions. 

The ACLU-NJ 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 email careers@aclu-nj.org. If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process. 

The ACLU-NJ is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public interest organization, dedicated to defending and enhancing civil rights and civil liberties through litigation, legislative advocacy, organizing, and community education.  

The ACLU-NJ is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture of belonging. It is our policy to employ qualified people without regard to race; color; religion; sex; national origin; age; ancestry; disability; sexual orientation; veteran’s status; marital status; civil union status; arrest or court record; citizenship; credit history; genetic information; gender identity or expression; status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual violence, or stalking; or any other characteristic protected under federal or state law. The more inclusive we are, the better we are.

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