From time to time, American Atheists will post available positions at our Cranford, New Jersey headquarters or in our legal and public policy center in Washington, DC.
National Legal and Public Policy Director
Since 1963, American Atheists has protected the absolute separation of religion from government through legal advocacy, innovative education and public relations campaigns, legislative tracking, and community building and engagement. With more than 170 affiliates and local partners nationwide, American Atheists has a network of communities and activists ready to engage on a wide range of issues related to church/state separation and religious equality.
The American Atheists Legal Center responds to violations of the separation of religion and government, monitors legislation at the national and state levels, and analyzes emerging legal precedent to identify opportunities to defend church/state separation in the courts.
The National Legal Director creates and manages all aspects of American Atheists Legal Center; coordinates requests that are received by the legal center; oversees cooperating attorneys as they engage in litigation in state and federal court; heads federal lobbying efforts; and engages with the legal and political community about legal and public policy issues related to atheist rights and religious freedom.
- Supervise all aspects of the legal docket; overseeing the staff attorney and cooperating outside counsel as they engage in litigation in federal and state courts in civil rights and constitutional cases, including overseeing amicus briefs.
- Recruit and collaborate with volunteer attorneys to build American Atheists’ docket by engaging them in American Atheists-sponsored litigation, including research, brief writing, depositions, and trial work.
- Recruit legal interns and manage staff attorneys to assist in research and writing about cases and legal matters.
- Ensure that the legal program adheres to the highest standards of legal and professional ethics.
- Collaborate with the National Program Director, the President, and other staff to advance American Atheists’ priority campaigns ensuring maximum media exposure, coordinating policy and legal advocacy tactics, and developing financial resources to grow.
- Develop and maintain relationships with attorneys and staff at nontheist organizations and organizations with similar goals of religious liberty and separations of religion and government.
- Keep the President informed of significant legal developments; consult with President on priority and complex issues and resource requirements.
- Lobby federal officials about equality issues for atheists and separation of religion and government.
- Monitor state legislation for bills that work for or against American Atheists’ mission and engage American Atheists staff and appropriate affiliates to support or oppose such legislation.
- Write legislation when appropriate to counter or satisfy civil rights intrusions.
- Represent American Atheists in television and radio interviews, press conferences, and other media.
- J.D. from an accredited law school with 10+ years of experience practicing law, with preference given to those with experience in litigation, civil rights, or constitutional law.
- Licensed to practice law in one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia; must be in good standing.
- Exceptional analytical, writing, and speaking skills.
- Substantive knowledge of constitutional law and civil liberties issues as well as the ability to think creatively and to use non-litigation strategies to promote objectives.
- Demonstrated commitment to the mission and goals of American Atheists.
- Demonstrated leadership skills, including coordinating with both internal and external partners.
- Superb organization skills with strong follow-through and the ability to meet tight deadlines.
- Willingness to work beyond 9-5 workday, with occasional travel required for national meetings.
- Sense of humor in order to maintain perspective and balance.
Salary will be commensurate with experience. Additional benefits include paid sick, holiday, and vacation days; health insurance and dental insurance; and employer 401(k) match.
This position is based in Washington, D.C.
Please send your resume, writing sample (no more than 5 pages), and cover letter to: [email protected]
American Atheists is an equal opportunity employer. It is the policy of American Atheists to provide equal employment opportunity to all persons, regardless of age, race, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, political affiliations, marital status, non-disqualifying physical or mental disability, or on the basis of personal favoritism or other non-merit factors, except where otherwise provided by law. We strongly encourage women, racial and ethnic minorities, LGBT persons, individuals with disabilities, and veterans to apply.