The ACLU of Southern California (ACLU SoCal) seeks a Paralegal to join our team in our Kern County office. The Paralegal will provide support for the advocacy work — both litigation and non-litigation — for the Advocacy department of the ACLU of Southern California, with a focus on Kern County. Founded in 1923, the ACLU SoCal has been at the forefront of many major efforts to protect civil liberties, civil rights, and equal justice in California. Principled and nonpartisan, the ACLU SoCal has offices in Los Angeles, Orange County (Santa Ana), the Inland Empire (San Bernardino), and Kern County (Bakersfield). The ACLU SoCal tackles a vast array of issues, including criminal justice, police practices, First Amendment rights, gender equity and reproductive justice, LGBTQ rights, immigrants’ rights, education equity, and economic justice. The ACLU SoCal staff of more than 90 works in a fast-paced, friendly, and professional office environment.
The Paralegal is responsible for providing support for the advocacy work — both litigation and non-litigation - for the Advocacy Department of the ACLU of Southern California, with a focus on Kern County. This position will require expertise in all aspects of litigation support; a high level of organization and ability to multi-task; the ability to work independently and take leadership on projects; good communication and people skills; flexibility; and a demonstrated ability to quickly learn and integrate new information and skills. The Paralegal will also support organizers and policy advocates in the Bakersfield office, providing logistical and administrative support for non-litigation campaigns, meetings, and other work with activists and community partners. The Paralegal will also support substantive work through, for example, conducting client interviews and factual research.
The Paralegal will report to the Staff Attorneys based in the Bakersfield office.
The Paralegal, like all staff within the ACLU of Southern California, is expected to model professional workplace behavior and standards, and clearly and enthusiastically demonstrate our core values of accountability, collaboration, diversity, excellence, honesty, integrity, humility, and open communication.
Full time, non-exempt. Term-limited position for 3 years.
- Prepare and execute filings of a variety of legal documents, including but not limited to complaints, briefs, motions, court forms, declarations, exhibits, and discovery documents;
- Research court rules and procedures and communicate these to attorneys to ensure accuracy of filings and non-rejection by courts;
- Maintain primarily electronic case files including pleadings, correspondence, discovery and other materials;
- Communicate/coordinate with clients, court personnel, co-counsel, partner organizations, etc.; Draft correspondence, declarations, and various legal documents such as requests, notices, and orders;
- Assist attorneys with legal research, including cite-checking (Westlaw), internet searches, using off-site libraries, copying abstracts, cases, etc.;
- Maintain case calendar;
- Conduct factual and policy research;
- Conduct and/or assist in interviews of clients, witnesses, or legal intakes;
- Assist with coordination and management of projects, meetings, events, etc.;
- Attend and participate in community meetings as necessary;
- Assist in drafting requests for public records/information, as well as analyzing and organizing responses to such requests;
- Provide logistical and administrative support (preparing materials & documents, making logistical arrangements, attending and providing support for meetings) for organizers and policy advocates in Bakersfield office;
- Assist in management and coordination of ACLU volunteers in Kern County;
- Work with the Finance Department and other legal staff to generate billing reports reflecting fees and costs expended in litigations;
- Coordinate and oversee administrative assignments with Advocacy Assistants;
- Coordinate with ACLU SoCal’s office manager, IT department, and other administration for support needs for Bakersfield office;
- Other duties as assigned.
- Bachelor’s degree or Paralegal Certificate;
- One year of relevant litigation support experience required, two to three years highly desirable;
- Bilingual Spanish highly preferred;
- Knowledge of filing procedures and requirements for a various courts, including state, federal and courts of appeal, and experience researching court rules;
- In depth knowledge of legal terminology and principles;
- Excellent typing and proofing skills;
- Excellent communication skills, both written and oral;
- Ability to quickly learn and utilize new software programs;
- Ability to work well under pressure, including some evenings and weekends;
- Ability to set/change priorities according to deadline requirements;
- Ability to work well with others, in a collegial and diverse environment;
- Ability to take initiative, problem-solve, multi-task, and work independently;
- Mastery of Microsoft Office suite (Word, Outlook, Excel), Adobe, etc.;
- Proficiency with legal software/programs such as Westlaw, Lexis, Compulaw, Timeslips, Amicus desirable;
- Fluency in Spanish highly desirable;
- A deep and demonstrated commitment to the cause of civil liberties and civil rights, preferred;
- Experience working in a non-profit desirable;
- Experience working in coalitions and with impacted communities desirable.
Please submit resume, cover letter, and writing sample to firstname.lastname@example.org (NO Phone Calls PLEASE) or mail to:
ACLU of Southern California
1313 W. 8th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90017
ACLU SoCal is an equal opportunity employer and does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of any status or condition protected by applicable federal or state law.