Application Deadline: July 20, 2022
The American Civil Liberties Union of Washington (ACLU-WA) is seeking a full-time Information and Referral Specialist for the Information and Referral Program (IRP). The ACLU-WA receives approximately four thousand requests for assistance each year, through our phone line, mail, and our online request form. The IR Specialist will be primarily responsible for screening requests for assistance and providing meaningful responses to all complainants. Additionally, the IR Specialist will assist the IRP Managing Attorney with various projects related to the management of the program.
OVERVIEWThe ACLU of Washington is a leader among state affiliates of the American Civil Liberties Union, the country's premier guardian of liberty. We work in courts, legislatures, and communities to protect and extend American rights to freedom, fairness, and equality. The ACLU is both nonprofit and nonpartisan. We have a staff of 45+ and are supported by more than 135,000 members, activists, and donors.
The ACLU of Washington’s Information and Referral Program provides legal information, referrals and know-your-rights materials in response to requests from the community and identifies trends and emerging issues threatening the civil rights and civil liberties of Washington residents. The IR Specialist will staff the IRP line and process requests for assistance, in consultation with the IRP Managing Attorney. The IR Specialist will report to the IRP Managing Attorney.
The ACLU of Washington is committed to ending racism in Washington State and throughout the country. This includes how we work with each other, and with our partners and allies in the communities we serve. We are committed to bringing anti-racism to all aspects of ACLU-WA's internal and external functions, including but not limited to recruitment; hiring and human resources; strategic planning; ally, donor, and volunteer relations; Board and committee processes; and deciding what cases to litigate and what legislation to support and oppose. We are looking for candidates who share this commitment to advancing racial justice, both internally in our organization and externally in the communities that we serve.
*Please note: the ACLU-WA is closely following the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). Currently, we have begun transitioning back to the office and hope to open fully under our new Hybrid Work Policy later in the summer. We will continue to carefully monitor public health pronouncements and recommendations.
To aid remote work, we provide laptops, home office supplies, certain equipment, and technology support. You will need an effective WiFi connection and a way to reach you by phone. This position is eligible for either a work phone or phone stipend, as well as an additional $100 stipend each month to help cover any additional costs while working from home.
The ACLU is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status, socio-economic circumstance, or record of arrest or conviction. We do not conduct criminal background checks on our candidates. People of color, women, LGBTQ people, and people with disabilities are especially encouraged to apply.
Participation in ACLU-WA’s Race Equity Work: This may include utilizing ACLU-WA race equity tools, adopting ACLU-WA race equity practices, serving on the Race Equity Team or subcommittees, etc.
Phone Line: Staff IRP phone when open (currently 10 am to 1 pm, Tuesday to Thursday, but days and hours are subject to change). Interview callers to gather contact information and details about their requests. Enter information in database management system. Occasionally, return calls left on voicemail and process as phone requests.
Online and Mail Requests: Review and analyze requests received via IRP’s online request form and complete information in database management system. Process, scan, track, and enter mail requests in database management system.
Review Requests and Draft Responses: Review and assess all requests for assistance. Prepare and ensure timely response to phone, online, and mail requests for assistance using letter templates and resource manual.
Assist Managing Attorney: Assist IRP Managing Attorney with:
- Developing and updating database of comprehensive legal information and resource materials, request forms, and training materials.
- Tracking issues/trends for monthly reports to other departments.
- Responding to internal requests for IRP information.
- Updating IRP procedures and processes.
- Maintaining, troubleshooting, and improving database management system.
- Updating know-your-rights materials.
- Training and supervising interns and/or volunteers.
Perform other job-related special projects and other duties as assigned.
- A commitment to diversity; a personal approach that values the individual and respects differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability, and socio-economic circumstance. Ideal candidates will have an awareness of, and willingness to engage in, the difficult and transformative work of challenging systems of oppression, institutional and structural racism, and implicit bias.
- Two plus years’ relevant experience OR 3 plus years’ progressive experience in a legal setting.
- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills with significant experience with people-centered services. Proven ability to communicate with an empathetic, trauma-informed lens to support a wide range of interests, skills, and concerns.
- Extensive interviewing experience which includes ability to gather relevant facts and apply active listening, de-escalation, and other interviewing techniques.
- Excellent writing, editing, and proofreading skills with great attention to detail.
- Comprehension of legal language, terms, and principles. Ability to maintain confidentiality, exercise discretion, and demonstrate good judgment.
- Demonstrated ability to analyze, problem-solve, and process information.
- Skilled in handling stress well with an awareness of the impacts of secondary trauma.
- Willingness to learn and adapt to new procedures and processes.
- Demonstrated ability to prioritize tasks and coordinate concurrent projects.
- Experience with database programs, the internet, Westlaw, and other computer applications. Computer and technology proficiency with MS Office Suite, Excel, and Adobe Acrobat Professional or proven ability to troubleshoot and learn new software.
- Experience with developing wikis (in SharePoint or other information management systems) is not required but helpful.
- Experience with training and working with interns and volunteers is helpful.
- While not required, Spanish language proficiency is extremely helpful.
The ACLU-WA office is generally open between the hours of 9a.m. and 5p.m. and is located in downtown Seattle. The physical demands and work environment described below represent those required and encountered by an employee to perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
- Able to input information into a computer for long periods of time.
- Able to remain stationary for extended periods.
- Able to assess information communicated through a computer.
- Able to communicate on the phone.
This job description provides a general but not comprehensive list of the essential responsibilities and qualifications required. It does not represent a contract of employment. The ACLU reserves the right to change the description and/or posting at any time without advance notice. This position is “non-exempt” under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
COMPENSATION AND BENEFITSThe ACLU of WA is dedicated to centering equity in all aspects of the organization and, as such, has adopted a salary scale for measuring how to best compensate its employees. The salary for this position is $60,000. For purposes of calculating overtime, the hourly rate of pay is $32.97. Non-exempt employees observe a 35-hour work week with a 1-hour lunch break.
Benefits include three weeks of vacation, thirteen sick days, fifteen holidays, fully paid employee medical, dental, vision, and disability insurance, a generous retirement plan, and an ORCA card, the regional transportation pass.
APPLICATION PROCEDURETo apply, please submit a cover letter and résumé on our online job portal. Applications will be accepted until July 20, 2022, at which time the job announcement will be marked as “closed” on our website at www.aclu-wa.org/careers.
HIRING TIMELINEWe will schedule interviews with qualified candidates after the application deadline and hope to have the selected candidate start in September.
The ACLU of Washington comprises two separate corporate entities, the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington, Inc. and the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington Foundation. The two corporations share the same overall mission, office space, and employees. This job posting refers collectively to the two organizations under the name “ACLU of Washington”.