Louisville, KY



Deadline date

We will begin reviewing applications on December 14, 2020, and the position will remain open until filled.

Position Overview:

The ACLU of Kentucky welcomes applicants to apply for a two-year Legal Fellow position that will start in Fall 2021. The Legal Fellow participates in both litigation and non-litigation advocacy activities to advance civil liberties and civil rights in Kentucky. The Legal Fellow works under the direction of the Legal Director to help develop and litigate cases at the trial and appellate level in state and federal courts on a wide variety of cutting-edge civil liberties issues. Likely areas of emphasis include criminal justice/smart justice, reproductive freedom, free speech, voting rights, and immigration.

The Legal Fellow is involved in investigation, client interviewing, legal and factual research, discovery, and brief writing. In addition, the Legal Fellow has non-litigation advocacy responsibilities including public speaking and community outreach. This is a two-year position based in the ACLU of Kentucky’s (ACLU-KY) Louisville office.

Primary Responsibilities/Essential Duties:

  • Participate in investigating, developing, and litigating impact civil liberties and civil rights cases in federal and state court.
  • Conduct factual and legal research, prepare memoranda, undertake substantive Open Records Act investigations, including drafting Open Records Act requests and reviewing responsive documents, write demand letters, draft pleadings and briefs, conduct discovery, and help write appellate and amicus briefs.
  • Review, comment, and edit letters and briefs of co-counsel and other staff.
  • Support the legal work of others in the Legal department, as needed.
Advocacy/Public Education
  • Advocate for civil liberties and represent the ACLU-KY at events and in coalitions, as appropriate.
  • Work with other staff to implement integrated advocacy campaigns utilizing high-impact communications, legislative, field organizing, and legal strategies.
  • Review and analyze proposed bills for Advocacy team members, raising any potential constitutional or civil rights concerns in the legislation.
Administration, Coordination and Support
  • Contribute to the maintenance of the legal docket.
  • Work with the Legal Director and other attorneys to screen and develop promising civil liberties cases.


  • Exceptional writing and analytical skills are required. 
  • A strong understanding of, and demonstrated commitment to, civil liberties, civil rights, and the mission of the ACLU. Experience in non-profit advocacy or other community-based groups is valuable.
  • Demonstrated skills in working independently, jointly, and under pressure.
  • Excellent communication skills as to both legal and non-legal audiences.
  • Demonstrated skills in legal analysis, research, and strategic thinking.
  • Demonstrated ability to work cooperatively on a variety of projects with lawyers, other staff members, and with community organizations and coalitions.
  • A commitment to diversity; a personal approach that respects the individual and values differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, religion, ability, and socioeconomic circumstance.
  • Creative, result-oriented, self-starting, willing to learn, and able to manage an aggressive schedule.
  • Personally committed to advancing the ACLU’s values, mission, goals, and programs, with an understanding of the range of civil liberties issues and their implications.
  • A flexible, well-organized, reliable, creative, and energetic person who can handle and prioritize multiple activities and responsibilities; a self-starter and finisher.
  • A team player who inspires collaboration and functions decisively; flexible and well organized.
  • Willing to work beyond 9-5 as needed, including occasional weekend meetings and travel.


  • JD (or expected by September 2021) 
  • Judicial clerkships and/or experience litigating federal civil rights and civil liberties cases are a plus.
  • Substantive knowledge and understanding of constitutional law and civil liberties issues.
  • Proficiency with computers: Windows and Microsoft Office in particular.

The ACLU of Kentucky is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to having a diverse workplace and an inclusive culture. The ACLU of Kentucky encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, disability, veteran status, record of arrest or conviction and any other characteristic protected by applicable law.


  • The salary for this position will be at least $50,000.

  • The ACLU of Kentucky also offers a generous and comprehensive benefits package including paid vacation, medical and dental insurance, pension plan, life and long-term disability insurance and generous paid holidays. 

How to Apply

  • To be considered, please submit a resume, letter of interest, list of references, and legal writing sample to Tracy@ACLU-KY.org using the subject line: Legal Fellow Application. In the letter of interest, please address your interest in working with the ACLU of Kentucky and experiences and qualifications for the position. Please provide a legal writing sample which the applicant primarily drafted and edited, such as a legal memorandum or your draft of a section of a legal brief.
  • We will begin reviewing applications on December 14, 2020, and the position will remain open until filled.
  • The ACLU of Kentucky 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 Tracy@ACLU-KY.org. If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.