Bakersfield office



Deadline date

Open until filled

The ACLU Foundation of Southern California (ACLU SoCal) seeks applicants for two full-time Staff Attorney positions to work in its soon-to-be-opened Bakersfield office. The Staff Attorneys will respond to civil and human rights concerns in the Kern County region, with a particular focus on immigrants’ rights and policing issues. We encourage applicants of all experience levels to apply, as we will be filling two positions and will be seeking a balance of experience levels. The Staff Attorneys will work in the Bakersfield office of the ACLU SoCal. This position is funded for three years, with a posibility for future extension contingent upon additional funding.

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 soon 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, LGBT rights, immigrants' rights, education equity, and economic justice.


The Staff Attorneys will advocate on the full range of immigrants’ rights and policing issues on which the ACLU SoCal engages locally and statewide, in coordination with the Immigrant Rights and Police Practices team at the ACLU SoCal’s other office. For policing, that work may include advocacy on excessive force, racial profiling, civilian oversight and police discipline, surveillance, unlawful stops and searches, and other issues identified by the Staff Attorneys and the ACLU SoCal Police Practices team. For immigrants’ rights, that work includes addressing unlawful immigration enforcement practices, implementation of SB54 (California Values Act), and immigration detention center conditions.

The Staff Attorneys will be supervised by the Director of the Police Practices Project and the Director of the Immigrants’ Rights Project at the ACLU SoCal, but will be part of both the Immigrants’ Rights Project and the Police Practices Project teams within the ACLU SoCal Advocacy Department. The Staff Attorneys will be expected to work primarily on immigrants’ rights and policing issues, but also to work on other human and civil rights issues of concern to Kern County residents, as need arises.

The ACLU SoCal’s “integrated advocacy” model unites legal and policy advocacy for maximum impact. In keeping with that approach, the Staff Attorney will work closely with both attorneys as well as other advocates in the Immigrants’ Rights and Police Practices teams on cases, advocacy projects, and campaigns. The attorneys’ responsibilities will include investigating, developing and litigating high- impact cases at the trial and appellate level in federal and state courts; serving as lead and co-counsel and working in conjunction with other staff within the ACLU SoCal, the other two California ACLU affiliates, and partner organizations. The attorney will also serve as a policy expert and advocate on state and local policing and immigration issues in support of legislation and other campaigns, with responsibilities including public speaking, media interviews, outreach and "know your rights" presentations, as well as writing op-eds, newsletter articles, and reports. In addition, the attorney will provide technical support and strategic leadership to community groups, advocates and organizers in the region; organize and lead community and stakeholder education events; run trainings for activists and organizers; help build and maintain coalitions; and conduct outreach and advocacy to public officials.


Because the ACLU SoCal anticipates hiring two attorneys with balanced experience, we encourage applications from attorneys of all experience levels. Applicants must have excellent research, writing, analytic, and speaking skills; a willingness to work beyond a standard 7.5 hour workday, including evening and weekend meetings and to work weeks commonly in excess of 40 hours; and travel regularly within Kern County and to Los Angeles and occasionally other parts of the state. Applicants must have a demonstrated commitment to or interest in the advancement of civil and human rights and racial justice. Applicants with civil litigation experience strongly desired. Familiarity with or experience working in Kern County; and experience in working with vulnerable communities, preferably with immigrants, incarcerated people, or indigent populations; and Spanish language fluency are strongly desired.


Salary based on experience. Benefits include medical, vision, and dental insurance for staff members and their eligible dependents; life and long term disability insurance; 401(k) plan with employer match; ample vacation and sick leave and thirteen paid holidays.


Please submit résumé, cover letter, writing sample, and three references (NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE) to jobs@aclusocal.org or mail to:

HR Department
ACLU of Southern California
1313 W. 8th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90017

Deadline: Open until filled.


The 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. We consider qualified applicants with criminal histories, consistent with applicable law.

Stay informed

ACLU of Southern California is part of a network of affiliates

Learn more about ACLU National