Portland, Maine



Deadline date

5PM, Friday, April 12, 2024

Apply now to join the team protecting and defending the constitutional rights of all people in Maine.


The American Civil Liberties Union of Maine seeks a dynamic, experienced chief executive to lead a civil liberties agenda throughout the state of Maine. Founded in 1920, the ACLU is a not-for-profit, nonpartisan organization that uses legal, legislative, and public education approaches to protect and promote a broad range of civil rights and civil liberties including free speech, racial justice, criminal legal reform, immigrants' rights, voting rights, privacy, religious liberty, reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights, and more. The ACLU of Maine is an affiliate of the national ACLU, the leading defender of civil liberties in the United States. 

Founded in 1968, the ACLU of Maine is a premier public advocacy organization, serving as Maine’s guardian of liberty.  Based in Portland, the ACLU of Maine has an operating budget of approximately $2 million.  The organization is led by a 12-member Board of Directors and a highly skilled team of 13 staff members and interns, who work tirelessly to protect the rights of all people in Maine and advance the ACLU of Maine’s priority issues. Non-managerial staff are members of a union, MSEA-SEIU Local 1989.


The Policy Fellow will support the Policy Department’s work and our response to policy proposals affecting civil rights and civil liberties at the state and local levels. The Fellow will participate in policy advocacy activities on a broad range of issues including LGBTQ equality, immigrants’ rights, and voting rights, among other issues. The Fellow’s policy advocacy work will include analyzing bills, agency rules, and municipal ordinances; public speaking; and community engagement. The Fellow will also assist with litigation advocacy as needed, helping with investigation, client interviewing, legal and factual research, and discovery as needed.


Advocacy / Public Education:

  • Support the Policy Department in preparing for the legislative session.
  • Analyze proposed legislation; draft and present testimony on behalf of the organization to state and municipal policymakers.
  • Advocate for civil liberties and civil rights and represent the ACLU at public events.
  • Represent the ACLU in coalitions related to, among other things, LGBTQ equality, immigrants’ rights, and voting rights.
  • Represent the ACLU at stakeholder meetings, legislative hearings, community forums, and public events.
  • Work with ACLU staff to implement integrated advocacy campaigns and high-impact strategies utilizing ACLU’s communications and engagement, legislative, and legal programs.

Administration, Coordination, and Support:

  • Work with the Paralegal to track legislation and maintain the legislative calendar.
  • Take and keep notes at internal policy department meetings and select coalition meetings.
  • Assist the communications team in updating and fact-checking legislative information.
  • Assist in day-to-day operations in the Policy Department.


  • Participate in investigating and developing impact civil liberties and civil rights cases in federal and state court in furtherance of Policy Department goals, as needed.
  • Conduct factual and legal research; prepare memoranda; draft Freedom of Information Act requests; conduct discovery.
  • Analyze, review, and edit legal letters and case filings.
  • Support other legal work of the ACLU’s Legal Department, as needed.


The Policy Fellow will work within the Policy Department under the direct supervision of the Policy Director. The Policy Fellow will also work on assignments with other departments (e.g., legal, communications) as needed.


The successful candidate is required to have the following:

  • A JD.

  • A strong understanding of, and demonstrated commitment to, civil liberties, civil rights, and racial justice.
  • Exceptional writing, research, and analytical skills.
  • Excellent communication skills and an ability to communicate complicated information into digestible material for public consumption.
  • Ability to write and speak persuasively and effectively, especially in public settings.
  • Ability to work cooperatively on a variety of projects with lawyers, other ACLU staff, and community partners.
  • Passion for working on issues related to LGBTQ equality, immigrants’ rights, and voting rights, among other civil liberties issues.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently as needed and manage multiple projects with competing deadlines, while maintaining a strong attention to detail.
  • Willingness to travel: to Augusta several times a week during the legislative session and elsewhere in the state as needed, and complete access to a car in order to do that travel.
  • A commitment to equity; a personal approach that values the individual regardless of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status, or record of arrest or conviction.

  • Willingness to work beyond 9-5 as needed, including occasional weekend meetings and travel.

  • Proficiency with computers: Windows, Microsoft Office, and Excel, in particular.

Personal Characteristics:

Ideally, the successful candidate will be the following:

  • A creative, flexible, well-organized, and reliable person who can handle and prioritize multiple activities and responsibilities and manage a demanding schedule; a team player who is able to work independently, jointly, and under pressure; willing to learn; a self-starter and finisher.
  • Personally committed to advancing the ACLU’s values, mission, goals, and programs with an understanding of a broad range of civil liberties and civil rights issues and their implications.
  • Someone with experience working in coalitions.
  • Someone who displays the cultural competence needed to work with a diverse team and effectively partner with diverse communities.


The fellowship is a two-year limited duration, full-time position with a starting salary of $63,654. This is a salaried, exempt position and the salary is non-negotiable, consistent with the applicable collective bargaining agreement. ACLU of Maine works in partnership with MSEA, SEIU Local 1989, and this position is included in the collective bargaining unit. We are committed to creating and maintaining a diverse workforce through equity initiatives, which include equitable pay practices.

Excellent benefits include paid time off, paid holidays, individual employer-provided health and dental insurance, life insurance, long-term disability, paid family medical leave, and 401(k) plan with employer match. Additionally, staff are paid during the following office closures: the first full week in August, the week of Thanksgiving, and from December 24 through January 1.


The ACLU of Maine’s office is based in Portland, Maine. Currently, staff work on a hybrid schedule, with all staff in the office on Tuesday and Wednesday.


To apply, please submit a cover letter (no more than 500 words), resume, and a writing sample (no more than 1500 words) to: careers@aclumaine.org, including your name and “Policy Fellow Job Posting” in the subject line. If you need assistance or accommodation, contact us at careers@aclumaine.org. Your cover letter should explain ways in which you satisfy the skills and qualifications specified above. We also invite applicants to include in their letter information about how their background and/or experiences could contribute to the diversity, cultural vitality, and perspective of our staff and advocacy work.


Applications are due by 5PM, April 12, 2024. We plan to contact you by April 19 if we are interested in moving your candidacy forward and intend to extend an offer in May. This position will begin on September 3, 2024.

The ACLU of Maine is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU of Maine encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, previous criminal convictions, and veteran status.