Feb 10, 2020

The Position

Americans United for Separation of Church and State—the nation’s premier church–state advocacy organization—is accepting applications for a Litigation Counsel. Current matters include challenges to:

  • Trump Administration policies that permit religiously affiliated foster-care agencies to deny services to LGBTQ people and religious minorities.
  • Trump Administration regulations that permit religious objectors to deny health services and insurance coverage to women, LGBTQ people, and other protected groups.
  • Religion-based refusals by businesses to provide services to LGBTQ individuals.
  • Trump Administration immigration policies that discriminate against religious minorities.

The Litigation Counsel will serve as counsel in trial and appellate litigation and amicus work in church–state cases such as these throughout the country.

Advancing the Constitutional Principle of Church–State Separation

Americans United for Separation of Church and State is a nonpartisan educational and advocacy organization dedicated to advancing the constitutional principle of church–state separation as the only way to ensure freedom of religion, including the right to believe or not believe, for all Americans.

Founded in 1947, Americans United is a diverse and dynamic organization composed of people from all walks of life: lawyers and lobbyists, students and activists, religious leaders and impassioned Americans. Americans United includes people of faith and people who don’t profess any particular faith. It is a community that includes and welcomes people of all genders, races, ethnicities, religions or beliefs, gender identities, sexual orientations, ages, classes, and abilities.

We use high-impact litigation, powerful lobbying, and grassroots advocacy to ensure that:

  • Religion does not dictate public policy.
  • The government does not tell Americans what to believe or whether or how to practice their faith.
  • Discrimination is not justified under the guise of religious beliefs.

Headquartered in Washington, D.C., Americans United is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with more than 125,000 members and supporters and a national network of independent state affiliates. Through a strong, diverse national supporter network, both on the ground and online, Americans United defends the separation of church and state and protects religious freedom for all in communities across the country.

Litigating to Protect Freedom of Religion and Fundamental Rights for All

Americans United has a nationally recognized litigation and amicus curiae practice that addresses a wide variety of cutting-edge constitutional issues arising principally under the First and Fourteenth Amendments. We:

  • Defend the rights of all people to be free from religion-based discrimination by government officials, businesses, and employers.
  • Fight for equal and fair access to healthcare, government services, and public education for women, LGBTQ people, religious minorities, and nonbelievers.
  • Work to ensure that the public schools remain open and accessible to all children, regardless of faith, by preventing the injection of religious activities such as prayer into school events and religious doctrines such as creationism into school curricula.
  • Challenge public funding of religious educational institutions and social-service providers that discriminate on the basis of religion, gender, or sexual orientation or pressure students or service recipients to take part in religious activities.
  • Oppose government-sponsored prayer practices and displays that exclude or coerce religious minorities and nonbelievers.

The Opportunity

Americans United seeks a Litigation Counsel who will have significant responsibility in a career working to protect the fundamental rights of all Americans by preserving and defending the separation of church and state established by the Framers of the Constitution. The Litigation Counsel will:

  • Serve as counsel in church–state cases throughout the country.
  • Draft and edit pleadings and briefs, take and defend depositions, deliver oral arguments, and examine witnesses at trials and evidentiary hearings.
  • Draft and edit amicus briefs for the U.S. Supreme Court, federal circuit courts, and state appellate courts.
  • Partner with lawyers from other nonprofit organizations and private firms on litigation and amicus work.
  • Investigate and evaluate potential new cases.
  • Supervise fellowship attorneys and legal interns.
  • Make public-speaking and media appearances.

The Candidate

If you are the ideal person for this opportunity, you will have:

  • five to ten years of litigation experience;
  • significant impact-litigation experience;
  • exceptional ability as a legal writer and analyst;
  • strong academic credentials;
  • demonstrated proficiency in constitutional law;
  • persuasive oral-advocacy ability;
  • a keen understanding of how to use lawsuits strategically to advance civil rights;
  • the ability to travel as the cases require; and
  • the interpersonal skills to work well with our staff and co-counsel and to serve as a trusted adviser to clients and partner organizations.

A commitment to the public interest and to Americans United’s mission is essential.

Americans United is an equal-opportunity employer and places strong emphasis on a diverse environment in which individuals are valued regardless of their gender, race, ethnicity, cultural background, religion, sexual orientation, or any other characteristic.

Competitive Salary and Generous Benefits: Americans United offers a competitive salary for this position of $114,000 to $133,000, depending on experience, as well as a comprehensive benefit package that includes healthcare, dental, vision, life insurance, short-term disability, long-term disability, 401(k) with match, and commuter subsidy.

How to Apply: Please e-mail a cover letter, resume, law-school transcript, writing sample, and the names of three references to legaljobs@au.org. The writing sample should be your own work and should not be substantially edited by anyone else.

Deadline: Position will be open until filled. Candidates are encouraged to apply by April 24, 2020.

For more information about Americans United and our legal program, please visit our website, www.au.org.