Photo of Zachary Heiden


Chief Counsel


Legal Department



Zach Heiden is the chief counsel at the ACLU of Maine. Zach was hired in 2004 as the organization’s first staff attorney and he was instrumental in building the ACLU of Maine’s legislative advocacy program before the organization had policy counsel on staff.

He has litigated a wide variety of cases to defend the civil rights and civil liberties of people in Maine, including the rights of artists, immigrants, incarcerated people, journalists, pregnant people, protesters, religious minorities, students, and whistleblowers. New England Super Lawyer magazine called him “a hero to beer drinkers everywhere” for his challenge to censorship of alcoholic beverage label illustrations.

In 2008, Zach served as a member of the Maine Judicial Branch Indigent Legal Services Commission, which helped restructure the delivery of constitutionally mandated legal representation to people who had been accused of committing a crime and could not afford legal representation. Zach has also served on the Judicial Branch Taskforce on Electronic Court Records Access and the Judicial Branch Advisory Committee on Fees. In 2012, Zach served on the Executive Committee of Mainers United for Marriage, the statewide campaign to win marriage equality. He also serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Maine School of Law, where he teaches constitutional law.

Prior to working at the ACLU of Maine, Zach was an associate in the litigation department of the Boston firm Testa, Hurwitz & Thibeault, where he worked on white-collar defense and securities litigation. He began his career after law school clerking for the Honorable Susan Calkins on the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. He is the author of Fences and Neighbors, 17 Law and Literature 225 (2005) and Too Low a Price: Waiver and the Right to Counsel, 62 Maine L. Rev. 488 (2010).

Zach earned his Bachelor of Arts from Bowdoin College in 1995, his Master of Arts in Modern Irish and British Literature from the University of Florida in 1998, and his Juris Doctor from Boston College Law School in 2002. During law school, he served as managing editor of the BCLS International and Comparative Law Review and founded BCLS’s first chapter of the American Constitution Society. He was awarded the Law School Alumni Association Award at graduation.

In his free time, Zach enjoys spending time with his family at the ocean and eating meals in their backyard with neighbors. His wife, Alisha, is a writer and teacher.