Legal Director

Employer: ACLU of Kentucky

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Kentucky seeks an enterprising Legal Director to lead its litigation and legal advocacy program.

For nearly 100 years, the ACLU has been our nation’s guardian of liberty, working in courts, legislatures, and communities 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, separating church and state, achieving full equality for the LGBT community, advancing racial justice, 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 and civil rights cases and issues to defend all people from government abuse and overreach.

With more than a million members, activists, and supporters, the ACLU is a nationwide organization that fights tirelessly in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C., for the principle that every individual’s rights must be protected equally under the law, regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, age, disability, national origin, or record of arrest or conviction.

Founded in 1955, the ACLU of Kentucky has been at the heart of many of the most important struggles for civil liberties and civil rights in our state. The ACLU of Kentucky has offices in Louisville and a staff of 8 people. It has 8,700 members across the state and an annual budget of $1 million.

The ACLU of Kentucky Legal Program pursues impact litigation and legal advocacy in order to defend and expand the civil rights guaranteed by our federal and state constitutions, including but not limited to criminal justice, police practices, First Amendment rights, reproductive freedom, LGBTQ rights, government transparency, and immigrants’ rights.

While recognized as one of the nation’s leading public interest law firms, the ACLU’s strength lies in an integrated advocacy approach which requires collaboration between our legal, advocacy, public education, and communications staff on comprehensive strategies to maximize impact.

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The ACLU of Kentucky seeks a dynamic, experienced, and thoughtful Legal Director to lead the Legal Department. The Legal Director will be responsible for developing and pursuing impact litigation and legal advocacy in coordination with local and national ACLU staff. The Legal Director will be supervised by the Executive Director and will work closely with other ACLU of Kentucky staff to achieve organizational policy priorities.

The position is located in Louisville, a multicultural community that enjoys 300+ days of sunshine, a vibrant arts scene and ample access to outdoor sports and activities.

Responsibilities include:

  • Develop vision and set overall strategy for the ACLU of Kentucky Legal Program.
  • Investigate and litigate high-impact civil rights cases. This includes fact-finding, legal research, drafting pleadings and briefs, discovery and motion practice, hearings and trials, and arguing appeals in both state and federal courts.
  • Supervise legal staff, oversee legal intake, delegate cases, provide mentorship, and ensure ongoing professional development.
  • Prepare legal memoranda and demand letters.
  • Review, comment on, and draft amicus briefs.
  • Review and comment on draft legislation
  • Cultivate strong relationships with the members of the ACLU of Kentucky Committee on Litigation and Legal Priorities and volunteer attorneys and coordinate their work to expand the reach of the legal program.
  • Set overall legal strategy and manage cooperating attorney program
  • Engage in public speaking to disseminate the ACLU’s views to a variety of audiences. This may include media interviews, panels at conferences, CLE conference organizing, and in other speaking engagements.
  • Coordinate media outreach and responses regarding litigation and legal priorities in collaboration with Communications Director
  • Collaborate with staff in the policy, organizing, development, and communications departments.


The Legal Director will be an experienced and highly motivated attorney, a critical thinker who takes initiative but is also a team player, and a leader who deploys a solutions-oriented approach. The successful candidate will bring many of the following professional and personal qualities:

  • J.D. with a minimum of 5 years civil litigation experience, preferably with a background in litigation raising constitutional, criminal justice, or discrimination issues.
  • Excellent writing, research, analytical, and verbal communication skills.
  • A demonstrated commitment to civil liberties, racial justice, and public interest law.
  • Firm commitment to the mission and principles of the ACLU.
  • A record of moving legal cases forward and demonstrated ability to build and manage an extensive caseload.
  • Excellent strategic thinking abilities and discernment for litigation opportunities.
  • Strong leadership skills, preferably with experience managing other attorneys and staff.
  • Self-starting, willing to learn, and able to manage an aggressive schedule, working beyond 9-5 as needed.
  • Demonstrated ability to work cooperatively on projects with lawyers, other staff members, and with diverse community organizations.
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity within the office and a personal approach that values all individuals and respects differences regarding race, ethnicity, age, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, ability, socio-economic circumstance, immigration status, and record of arrest or conviction.
  • If not currently admitted to the Kentucky Bar, must be admitted to the bar of another state and agree to become admitted to the Kentucky Bar within one year of hire.


The ACLU of Kentucky offers a generous and comprehensive compensation and benefits package including paid vacation, medical and dental insurance, pension plan, life and long-term disability insurance and generous paid holidays. The ACLU of Kentucky will also pay any fees associated with bar admission required by the successful candidate. The salary for this position will be between $75-80,000 depending on experience.

How To Apply:

Please submit via email, a detailed letter of interest, resume, legal writing sample of which you are the primary author, and contact information for three references to Michael Aldridge at Please put “Legal Director” in the subject line. Initial screenings will begin February 16th and interested applicants are encouraged to submit their resume by that date.

All applications will be reviewed.
It will not be possible for us to accept telephone calls of inquiry.
Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.
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