September 10, 2020

Department: Advocacy
Employment Type: Full-time, Exempt
Location: New Orleans


The ACLU of Louisiana’s Advocacy Department works for practical, strategic change in the areas of criminal law reform, voting rights, immigrants’ rights, gender equity, reproductive freedom, LGBTQI rights, and free speech and assembly in Louisiana.

The ACLU of Louisiana seeks a Policy Strategist to work collaboratively with others in the Department and across the organization to contribute to the organization’s criminal law reform priorities, including an end to mass incarceration, over-criminalization, and racial inequity in criminal legal systems; pretrial reform; eliminating unconstitutional and racially discriminatory policing; improving conditions for people who are incarcerated in Louisiana prisons and jails; increasing the transparency and accountability of sheriffs and district attorneys;  improving re-entry for people who have been impacted by the criminal legal system; and advancing creative approaches to community safety that are community-based, holistic, rehabilitative, and transformative.

The Policy Strategist will be supervised by the Advocacy Director within the ACLU of Louisiana’s Advocacy Department.



  • Assists in developing strategies and plays a lead role in executing plans to achieve criminal law reform objectives through a combination of policy knowledge and influencing skills.


  • Maintains deep knowledge of Louisiana criminal law and policy, and the key influencers and organizations that shape them. Able to operate autonomously, with support and collaboration from the supervisor.


  • Exerts influence at the local and state level through relationships with like-minded organizations, grassroots groups, legislative staff, and government officials.


  • Forge and maintain relationships with people impacted by the criminal legal system, community leaders, allied organizations, legislative staff, and government officials. Exerts influence at the local and state levels through a community-focused theory of change.


  • Participates in strategy development for the department, making strategic recommendations. Contributes to the organization’s cross-departmental integrated advocacy by assessing various approaches to criminal legal reform objectives, including legislative advocacy, organizing, and litigation.


  • Produces high-standard written products for internal and external audiences, based on original research and analysis.


  • Represents the organization in inter-organizational coalitions, legislative bodies, and other forums.


  • Serves as a point of contact with the Communications Department on communications advocacy strategies related to criminal law reform.



  • Written and oral communication. Able to communicate about complex criminal law and policy issues clearly for a general audience and in ways that inspire action by policymakers and communities.
  • Creativity. Generates new ideas and solutions that move our issues forward. Goes beyond assumptions about the past to imagine new possibilities for progress.
  • Organizational relations: Represents departmental and organizational positions at a high level in internal and external negotiations to achieve objectives.
  • Decision making: Makes prudent decisions that are timely, supported by evidence, and reflect awareness of impact.
  • Collaboration: Prioritizes departmental objectives. Understands individual and departmental responsibilities to be in service of organizational objectives, which are informed by community needs. Sets a positive example for collaborative, mission-based teamwork.




  • At least four years of experience working in a combination of public policy advocacy and research, political or advocacy campaigns, community organizing, and/or criminal law.
  • Expert-level knowledge of Louisiana criminal law and policy.
  • Track record of achieving policy change to improve criminal justice policy and/or civil liberties at the local, regional, or state level.
  • Experience working with system-involved people and communities. People with personal experience with the criminal legal system, including people who are formerly incarcerated or have a close family experience with incarceration, are encouraged to apply for this position.
  • Extremely strong project and time management skills, including a high level of organization, demonstrated attention to detail and follow-through, and ability to balance and assign priorities to concurrent activities and responsibilities.
  • Excellent relationship-building skills, an ability to inspire collaboration, and a demonstrated ability to thrive in diverse coalitions.
  • Solid computer skills, including proficiency in word processing and communications tools.
  • Ability to work non-traditional hours on occasion; willingness to travel regularly between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, and occasionally to other parts of the state.
  • Is passionate for, and has a well-articulated knowledge of, civil liberties and social justice, and a demonstrated commitment to civil liberties.


  • Has existing relationships and credibility among communities affected by the Louisiana criminal legal system and mass incarceration.
  • Experience using relevant technical tools and knowledge-sharing resources, e.g., legislative tracking tools, voter-engagement systems, etc.


Salary is competitive and based on experience. Excellent benefits include vacation, sick leave, family leave, generous health, dental and vision insurance with employee premiums paid 100% by the employer, a 401k contribution and match, and paid parking.


Resume, cover letter and three references should be submitted via:

The ACLU of Louisiana is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU of Louisiana encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status and record of arrest or conviction, and any other characteristic protected by applicable law.

The ACLU of Louisiana is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities. If you are a qualified individual with a disability and need assistance applying online, please e-mail  If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.