Hartford, CT


Public Policy and Advocacy Department

Position Overview

The Policy Counsel is a member of the ACLU of Connecticut’s Public Policy and Advocacy Department and is responsible for working with the Public Policy and Advocacy Director, Campaign Manager, and ACLU-CT staff to advance the ACLU-CT’s broad civil liberties agenda. The Policy Counsel is primarily responsible for state legislative and executive branch advocacy but also engages with administrative agencies and local government bodies, and collaborates with other staff on integrated advocacy initiatives. The Policy Counsel works under the supervision and direction of the Public Policy and Advocacy Director (consistent with legal ethical obligations) and in close collaboration with other staff, including the Legal Director and Communications Director.

The ACLU-CT, with our office in Hartford, is the statewide affiliate of the national ACLU, a nonpartisan public interest organization dedicated to the defense and expansion of civil liberties and civil rights through litigation, policy advocacy, and public education. With a growing membership, budget, for nearly 100 years the ACLU has been at the forefront of every major civil liberties fight in our country’s history. Whether it’s ending mass incarceration, achieving full equality for LGBT community, establishing new privacy provisions for our digital age, or preserving the right to vote, we work in the courts, legislatures, and communities and take on the toughest civil liberties issues to protect and strengthen the individual freedoms and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States. Having experienced tremendous growth since the 2016 election, nationwide, the ACLU has more than 2.5 million members, activists, and supporters who stand with us nationwide to fight tirelessly in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, DC. We are a passionate, highly motivated team, and we are looking for exceptional talent to join us. For more information please visit our website at www.acluct.org.

Primary Responsibilities

  • With direction from  the Public Policy and Advocacy Director, execute the implementation of the ACLU-CT’s legislative agenda utilizing appropriate strategies and tactics; lobby members of the legislature, their staff, and the Governor’s office; analyze and track legislation, draft amendments; and prepare and deliver both written and oral testimony;
  • Build trusted relationships with lawmakers, agency decision-makers, staff, the Governor’s office, lobbyists, and other stakeholders by providing clear, fact-based analysis and resources; identify opportunities for bipartisan support on ACLU-CT issues;
  • Participate in off session legislative activity, testify at legislative hearings, and participate in policy-related workgroups, coalitions, and assist the Public Policy and Advocacy Director in the management and reporting of political activities during electoral cycles;
  • Conduct in-depth legal and policy research and analysis to inform and support the ACLU-CT’s broad agenda. Work with the Public Policy and Advocacy Director and Communications Director to prepare written materials including issue specific policy reports, fact sheets, action alerts, talking points, issue briefs, op-eds, and website updates;
  • Develop model legislation toolkits for municipal and state legislation and develop train the trainer Know Your Rights materials;
  • With direction from the Public Policy and Advocacy Director, explore new research initiatives that aid the development of new external partnerships with activists, community groups, and other advocacy-oriented organizations.
  • Work with the ACLU-CT’s contract lobbyists during the legislative session.
  • With direction from the Public Policy and Advocacy Director, in provide support to efforts led by persons and communities directly impacted by injustice, including our allied organizers, community leaders, and grassroots advocacy groups whose work are focused on either police accountability or criminal justice reform;
  • Demonstrate a commitment to diversity within the office using a personal approach that values all individuals and respects differences in regards to race, ethnicity, age, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, ability and socio-economic circumstance, immigration status, and record of arrest or conviction.

Additional Responsibilities

  • Establish and manage a policy internship program focusing on providing opportunities to first-generation college students or students who represent a community directly impacted by injustice;
  • Assist the Public Policy and Advocacy Director in the development of reports, materials, and presentations for the Board of Directors and the policy committee;
  • Attend national and regional ACLU training and staff conferences as appropriate;
  • Attend various ACLU-CT functions or community events as needed;
  • Maintain the legislative calendar for the department;
  • Perform other related duties as assigned by the Public Policy and Advocacy Director.


  • J.D. and 2-3 years of legislative experience at the municipal or state level preferred, but candidates with other strengths will be considered.
  • Understanding the legislative process, political strategic planning, and the ability to build respectful relationships across the political spectrum.
  • Substantial knowledge of civil liberties and civil rights issues and a commitment to advancing the ACLU-CT’s values, mission, and goals.
  • Excellent communications skills, both written and oral, research and analytical skills, and the ability to articulate legal concepts and complex issues tactfully and effectively to a variety of audiences.
  • Ability to develop allies and work collaboratively in coalitions; ability to navigate internal political dynamics among partner groups.
  • Demonstrated ability to build and sustain relationships with divers groups, work cooperatively with communities across the political spectrum, and a personal approach that values and respects differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability, and socio-economic circumstances.
  • Ability to work independently when necessary and keep organized in a fast-paced environment, manage several projects simultaneously, and adjust strategy to frequently changing demands.
  • Commitment to the highest ethical standards of lobbying and professionalism.
  • Ability to work long hours during legislative session and commute to meetings and events throughout the state, as needed.
  • Flexibility and stamina to work evening and weekend hours as needed.
  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills.
  • Experience and facility with standard office software such as Word and Excel.

Compensation and Benefits

Salary is $55,000 - $65,000. Generous benefits include medical and disability insurance, 401(k) and vacation, holiday and sick leave. This is an overtime-exempt position.


Application Procedure

To apply, email a letter of application, resume and three professional references (identifying their relationship to you and including their email and telephone number) to:search@acluct.org

Include in the subject line of the email: your last name and Policy Counsel. In your letter please indicate where you learned of the posting.


We will begin our review of applications in mid-July, 2019.

Applicants will be reviewed on a rolling basis and will be accepted until the position is filled; at which time the job announcement will be removed from our website.



The ACLU of Connecticut is proud to be an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and encourages all applicants regardless of race, sex, gender identity, age, disability, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, veteran status or record or arrest or conviction.

The ACLU-CT is comprised of two separate entities, the American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut and the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Connecticut (which receives contributions that are tax-deductible by the contributor). The entities have the same overall mission and share office space, employees and a Board of Directors. The two organizations are referred to collectively under the name of the ACLU-CT. 

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