Senior Public Policy Counsel

31 Jul, 2022

Jobs

Senior Public Policy Counsel

ACLU of Maryland
Baltimore, MD

Job Title: Senior Public Policy Counsel Department: Public Policy

Job Reports to: Public Policy Director

FLSA Status: Exempt-Full Time Collective Bargaining Unit: Eligible

Pay Range: Category D; Step 1 starts at $88,899.81

Location: Baltimore, MD (Remote)

Who We Are:

ACLU- Maryland exists to empower Marylanders to exercise their rights so that the law values and uplifts their humanity.

About the Position

The Senior Public Policy Counsel provides required legal support to all levels and groups within ACLU MD to ensure compliance with laws and guidelines established by federal, state, and local legislative bodies, regulatory agencies, and courts. The Senior Public Policy Counsel’s primary purpose is to work with the policy team to develop and execute the organization’s policy and legislative advocacy agenda, including drafting legislation, testifying in front of government bodies, and lobbying state legislators to pass laws concerning civil rights and civil liberties. In addition to managing a larger portfolio of policy issues, the Senior Public Policy Counsel conducts extensive legal and policy research and analysis, answers legal questions, and drafts a variety of legal memos, letters, and other documents that require an understanding of many different aspects of law, particularly Constitutional law. The Senior Public Policy Counsel will be a principal strategist and help guide and manage contact with the Maryland state congress and statewide governmental agencies. This includes helping to plan and facilitate outreach and coordination with allies focused on government, legislative, and policy issues to develop effective policy recommendations.

Essential Function, Duties, and Responsibilities:

The information provided below encompasses the essential functions and capabilities linked with this position:

· Maintain a current knowledge of legal developments and what effect the law will have on ACLU MD entities and employees/clients.

· Recommend revisions to team procedures and practices to incorporate best practices and address changes in the legal landscape and cultural environment.

· Disseminate, implement, and enforce organization and team standards, policies, and procedures, including providing proper guidance to those carrying out related duties.

· Assist with developing and executing plans and strategies to meet team goals and objectives

· Develop and disseminate policy and advocacy resources; work with communications staff to bring and build awareness of policy positions to the public.

· Provide strategic advice and guidance on the development of department priorities in collaboration with the legal team.

· Work with state and local advocates, organizers, and practitioners to formulate strategy around policy campaigns that connect to national and state policy priorities; help to translate all efforts to state and local political leaders and partners.

· Advocate and coordinate support for the organization’s positions on governmental policies and legislation.

· Build and maintain relationships with policymakers and their staff.

· Promote and support strategies and approaches for effective advocacy.

· Research, analyze, and evaluate issues related to government action.

· Conduct research on legislative issues.

· Review, evaluate, edit, and draft federal, state, and local legislation.

· Assist in identifying legislative trends and developing strategies and policy language to further public interests.

· Identify, track, and advise on introduced and proposed legislation.

· Collaborate with Public Policy team members on market-specific legislative efforts.

· Coordinate with compliance, legal, and operations teams as new regulatory frameworks are implemented.

· Work to actively elevate the work and leadership of communities directly impacted by injustice.

· Conduct legal research to identify key issues related to proposed legislation.

· Identify and track legislation before the Maryland General Assembly that affects civil liberties.

· Maintain bill tracking database and hearing schedule, program calendars, and docket information.

· Perform legal analysis to determine the Constitutionality of existing and proposed laws and policies.

· Monitor implementation of laws.

· Attend hearings, briefings, and other proceedings before the General Assembly.

· Draft testimony on a wide range of bills to explain the Constitutional implications of legislation and the organization’s position.

· Deliver verbal testimony at the state and local level to represent the organization in front of government bodies and provide legislative testimony on the legal implications of proposed legislation.

· Draft reports, memos, letters, and documents to different audiences to explain complex legal and policy matters and provide recommendations.

· Draft policy briefs, fact sheets, one-pagers, talking points, communications and education materials, and other documents to synthesize complex issues into persuasive and readily understood language.

· Build and maintain relationships with key legislators, coalitions, and advocates to advance the organization’s legislative agenda.

· Encourage and facilitate effective working relationships with key government and policy allies.

· Travel to meet with policy groups, legislative staff, and other stakeholders to discuss policy, strategy, and how to effectively advocate to government officials and the public.

· Assist members of the legal department on an ad hoc basis by conducting legal research, writing, and analysis.

· Assist with development and facilitate meetings with members of different departments and outside coalitions and advocates.

· Collaborate with the engagement team on outreach and organizing strategies.

· Collaborate with the communications team on media and communication strategies.

· Assist with program organization and operations.

· The individual in this position is expected to perform work assigned and outlined in the annual organizational strategic operating plan, departmental operational plans, and/or in project/programmatic area workplans in addition to the position’s other work.

· This position specifically supports the following strategic priorities on an ongoing basis: Individual Autonomy, Immigrant Rights, and Government Accountability.

· Upon request, collaborate with the development team and program staff on grant proposals and reports; meet with funders; and provide information to funders.

· This position may be required to speak at public events and represent the organization as a spokesperson upon request.

· This position is expected to maintain and manage regular communications channels with immediate supervisors, management, and coworkers to ensure the smooth and efficient operations of the organization. Communications include but are not limited to email, telephone inquiries, letters of correspondence, video conferencing, and organizational meetings; this position is also expected to complete regular operational administrative tasks, such as timekeeping for payroll purposes, etc.

Management & Supervisory Responsibility

This position is designated as a non-management position and does not encompass supervisory responsibility. The position may function as a team leader and monitor interns and volunteer work assignments as directed by their immediate supervisor.

Minimum Entry Qualifications

The following are the primary entry qualifications required for this position.

Values Agreement:

o Demonstrated personal commitment to advancing the ACLU MD’s values, mission, goals, and programs with an understanding of the range of civil rights and civil liberties issues and their implications through previous experiences.

Race Equity Commitment:

o Demonstrated commitment to racial equity, dismantling white supremacy, and incorporating a structural power analysis into work. Must have knowledge and understanding of how power is manifested in matters of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, religion, ability, and socio-economic circumstances.

Typical Education & Work Experience:

(Relevant education/experience may substitute for required education/experience at a rate of one-year relevant education/experience per year of required education/experience, except that experience cannot substitute for a Juris Doctor or equivalent degree prerequisite to the practice of law in the State of Maryland.)

o Juris Doctorate Degree.

o A minimum of 7 years’ experience in a similar position or equivalent combination of education and experience.

o Lobbying experience required

Certification or License Requirements:

o Licensed to Practice Law in State of Maryland or ability to receive license through reciprocity process.

Typical Functional Experience:

o Experience drafting state and/or federal legislation.

o Demonstrated understanding and knowledge of and commitment to civil liberties, civil rights, and the ACLU of Maryland’s mission.

o Specialized experience in one of more of the follow areas of concentration within the field of law: Civil Rights, Corporate Law, Education Law, Family and Juvenile Law, Health Law, Immigration Law, International Law, Municipals Law, Real Estate Law, Securities Law, or Tax Law.

o Experience with statutory and legislative analysis, legal research and writing, and legislative processes in Maryland; experience with advocacy and policy change tools.

o Working knowledge of relevant current and proposed federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and other legal directives; knowledge of effective civil litigation, policy/legislative development, community lawyering, and advocacy practices.

o Strong ability to contribute legal knowledge and expertise in support of community-generated initiatives and make the law accessible and useful to disenfranchised communities.

o Ability to be proactive and work effectively on issues that require bipartisan support.

o Experience working in a non-profit, advocacy, or political organization.

o Exceptional ability to critically analyze policy issues.

o Experience with and understanding of Maryland legislative and budget process.

o Ability to analyze governmental budget and legal documents.

o Analytical, negotiation, writing, and oral advocacy skills; ability to articulate complex issues and communicate them respectfully and effectively to a variety of audiences.

o Ability to think strategically and conceptually with an unbiased approach to solutions using a race equity lens.

o Recognize and define problems, collect data, establish facts, and draw valid conclusions in the context of a variety of situations with multiple variables, both predictable and unpredictable.

o Demonstrated ability to work respectfully and effectively with coalitions and community groups, motivate volunteers, and work across the political spectrum.

o Willingness to take direction from directly-impacted people and to contribute legal knowledge and expertise in support of community-based initiatives, with the purpose of empowering community members and making the law accessible and useful to disenfranchised communities.

o Ability to give presentations and engage diverse audiences.

o Familiarity with Maryland communities, state, and local government racial equity and social injustice issues that impact our stakeholders.

o Ability to keep organized and thrive in a fast-paced, demanding (and sometimes unstructured) environment.

o Ability to manage several projects simultaneously and adjust strategy to frequently changing demands.

o Make sound and timely informed decisions in complex situations.

o Demonstrate initiative, including pro-actively identifying and addressing issues and making recommendations.

o Creative and willing to learn; ability to handle and prioritize multiple activities and responsibilities with deliberate time management skills; ability to work under pressure.

o Compose precise, effective, and grammatically correct reports, procedures, legal documents, and business correspondence appropriate for the intended audience.

o Demonstrate flexibility and adaptability in a fast-paced environment.

o Work independently with minimum direction while also working as part of a team and collaborating with others.

Technical Aptitude:

o Maintain advanced working knowledge of office-related software, including Apple and Microsoft office products and any industry-specific technology or other internet research tools.

Work Schedule & Travel Obligation:

o Ability to travel locally and regionally frequently and nationally as needed.

o Ability to frequently work days, evenings, weekends, and nights as needed.

o Ability to work long hours and evenings during certain key campaigns.

Bonus Considerations

The following are the desired competencies, characteristics, or traits for this position.

o Advanced Masters Degree or equivalent post-Secondary credentials acceptable.

o Excellent interviewing or assessment skills with the confidence to ask tough questions and the empathy to understand hardship.

o Trial and court experience is strongly preferred

Work Schedule & Travel Obligation

· Ability to travel locally, regionally, and nationally as needed.

· Ability to occasionally workdays, evenings, and nights as needed.

· Availability to work long hours and evenings during certain key campaigns.

The Total Rewards:

Compensation and Benefits

Starting salary for this position $88,899.81- $93,856.53 which per the agreement between ACLU Maryland and OPEIU Local 2, correlates to Category D, Step 1 – Step 3 on the approved compensation scale for base salary. Actual starting salary is a set calculation based on the individual candidate’s prior relevant work experience (including full-time and part-time internships and volunteer work), education, certification, and required foreign language skills (if applicable) per the agreed upon OPEIU Local 2 Union Compensation Scale, and therefore is not negotiable upon hire. For any questions, please reach out to the HR team.

Excellent benefits include three weeks paid vacation at time of hire (increasing to four weeks after two years); 13 paid office holidays; 12 paid sick days, telework and flex-time, generous medical insurance including two health, dental and vision insurance options for staff members, their dependents and spouse/domestic partner; flexible spending accounts employee assistance plan; six weeks of paid medical leave, life and accidental death and dismemberment insurance, short-term disability and long-term disability insurance; and 401(k) defined contribution retirement plan with employer match, free on-site parking, additional commuter benefits with access to commuter rail station. Direct exposure to cutting-edge civil liberties and civil rights work. This is a position that is non-exempt from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Deadline/Start Date

The position will remain open until filled. Interviews will be scheduled on a rolling basis.

To Apply

Please submit a cover letter and resume at this website: https://aclumaryland.applytojob.com/apply/GkjqEpEBlP/Senior-Public-Policy-Councel?source=ACLU-MD

We discourage applicants from applying through third-party websites. Early applications are strongly encouraged. It will not be possible for us to respond to telephone or email inquiries.

Resumes or applications sent via other avenues will not be considered.

Physical Demands

The ACLU of Maryland makes every effort to assure that its recruitment and employment provides all qualified persons, including persons with disabilities, with full opportunities for employment in all positions. The ACLU of Maryland is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities, as determined from a collaborative reasonable job accommodation evaluation process, if deemed necessary to perform the essential functions of the job, provided they do not constitute an undue hardship for the employer. If you are a qualified individual with a disability and need assistance applying online, please email human resources at HR@aclu.org. If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process. The following capabilities are general requirements necessary to perform the essential functions of this position related to work schedule, physical demands, working environment, travel, etc.

o Effectively communicate with others verbally and in writing, including by phone, e-mail, or in person.

o Understand, remember, communicate, and apply complex oral and/or written instructions and factual information.

o Maintain sustained concentration on computer screens and use keyboards and a variety of peripherals.

o Ability to push, pull, lift up to 25 pounds in the course of the workday in the normal performance of their duties.

The Organization:

About the ACLU of Maryland

The ACLU of Maryland is an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to diversity and inclusion in our work and on our teams. We encourage applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, gender, sexual orientation or preference, gender identity and expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran, or formerly incarcerated person status. Persons with disabilities may request accommodations.

The ACLU of Maryland makes every effort to assure that its recruitment, selection, hiring and employment practices provide all qualified persons, including persons with disabilities, with full opportunities for employment in all positions. The ACLU of Maryland 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 human resources at HR@aclu-md.org. If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process. We encourage individuals of all abilities to request reasonable job accommodations through our office of human resources.

Requesting a reasonable accommodation will not automatically be perceived as a disqualifying factor that would prevent an employee from performing the essential duties of the job.

The ACLU of Maryland is a non-partisan, non-profit public interest organization devoted to protecting civil rights and civil liberties. The ACLU of MD is an affiliate of the national ACLU, a key defender of civil liberties guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. The ACLU works in the courts, legislature and in communities to defend and expand individual rights and personal freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and civil rights laws. The ACLU of Maryland is committed to centering race equity in our work, internally and externally, in order to better support and be accountable to communities of color, whose civil rights and civil liberties are systematically threatened by white supremacy.

Organization Commitment to Race Equity

All individuals in our organization are expected to support and maintain our organizational commitment to centering race equity in their work, internally and externally, in order to better support and be accountable to Black, Indigenous, POC individuals and communities, whose civil rights and civil liberties are systematically threatened by white supremacy. Application of this principle requires the conscious use of a race equity lens at all levels of work to both identify and understand implications of structural racism, challenge or confront systemic conditions or resulting issues, and dismantle overall institutional systems related to white privilege and white supremacy when engaging, advocating, and defending the civil liberties and civil rights of all Marylanders.

Job posted: 2022-07-31