Legal-Policy Department Operations Manager

San Francisco, California, United States Full-time

Job Title: Legal-Policy Department Operations Manager

Location:  San Francisco, CA

Job Posting Date: June 4, 2018

Application deadline:  Open until filled


The Opportunity

The American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California seeks experienced applicants for the full-time position of Legal and Policy Department Operations Manager to be based in our San Francisco headquarters.

About the Organization and the Legal-Policy Department

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is a nationwide, non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to the defense and expansion of civil liberties and civil rights. The ACLU of Northern California (ACLU-NC) is the largest ACLU affiliate in the nation. For most of the last century, it has been at the heart of many of the most major – and sometimes controversial – struggles for civil liberties and civil rights in our state. Our mission is to ensure that Constitutional rights don’t just exist on paper, but are protected in practice.

The ACLU-NC’s Legal and Policy Department pursues cutting edge impact litigation and promotes policy change in order to defend and expand the civil liberties and civil rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. The Department currently includes approximately 30 staff members between its Fresno, Sacramento, and San Francisco offices and collaborates closely with other ACLU-NC departments.

The Position

The Department Operations Manager assumes critical managerial and operational responsibilities for the Department. 

Lead Legal and Policy Support Team

  • Supervise and train a team of five to seven litigation, policy, and administrative assistants who provide critical support to the Department;
  • Provide big-picture project management and solutions-oriented guidance to the team and individual support staff;
  • Coach and provide feedback and developmental opportunities to nurture and cultivate a high-caliber, effective team;
  • Provide oversight and support to the legal intake program manager, including providing guidance and feedback on system design and evaluation, assessing opportunities for growth and risk, overseeing training curriculum, addressing high-risk intakes, etc.;
  • Pitch in on legal filings and other urgent projects as needed; and
  • Oversee the implementation of litigation support protocols by support staff and workflows to ensure alignment and utilization of support workflows across the Department.

Oversee Department Operations

  • Works with Legal and Policy Director to develops regular Department meeting agendas and materials, records and tracks action items, and drives follow-up after meeting;
  • Maintains and oversees the updating of departmental reports, materials, and procedures and protocols;
  • Liaison with organization’s Operations Manager on Department operations, including implementation of operations guidance within the Department, coordination of office assignments and moves within the Department, and support for operations related communications and planning with Department staff in Fresno and Sacramento offices; and
  • Monitors overall Department operations to identify and proactively resolve issues before they become problems.

Maintain Litigation and Policy Practice Infrastructure

  • Oversee and continually assess utilization of all litigation technology resources, including case management system, Westlaw, time-keeping, and document management, etc., including overseeing third-party vendor management;
  • Implement and monitor implementation of Department procedures, and protocols; and
  • Identify opportunities to reduce or eliminate overlap and duplication of effort throughout Department to promote effectiveness, efficiency, and use of best practices, creating centralized resources that are well maintained and accurate.

Support Hiring and Personnel Management

  • Serve as hiring manager for all support staff positions;
  • Support all Department hiring, including serving as overall liaison with Human Resources on new positions, supporting hiring managers, coordinating onboarding training and meetings with new Department staff, submitting all new hire forms, etc.; and
  • Support Human Resources in offboarding departing Department staff including all offboarding forms and equipment.

Support Professional Development Program

  • Support internal and external professional development trainings for staff attorneys and support staff; and
  • Support attorneys in compliance with MCLE requirements, including maintaining organizational MCLE records, serve as primary contact for Practicing Legal Institute membership.


The ideal candidate brings the following experience, skill, and approach:

  • Minimum of 3 years supervising support staff in a fast-paced environment;
  • Minimum of 5 years professional experience managing complex projects and teams, including the demonstrated ability to work efficiently, prioritize workflow, and meet demanding deadlines;
  • Experience working in a litigation environment, particularly in legal operations or litigation practice management;
  • Experience with filings (including electronic filings) in state and federal court;
  • Experience with document management systems and e-discovery;
  • Diplomatic presence to handle complex and/or sensitive discussions and processes and a mastery of remaining calm under pressure;
  • Strong collaborator with the ability to develop talent and support a positive and diverse team culture;
  • Experience working with technology; and,
  • Excellent communication skills (oral and written).

Additional desired qualifications include:

  • Experience working in a legal or policy advocacy nonprofit


Competitive salary and excellent benefits include four weeks paid vacation in addition to 14 office holidays; 100% company paid medical, vision and dental insurance for staff members, their dependents and spouse or domestic partner; life and long-term disability insurance; and, 401(k) plan with employer match.

To Apply

Applications must include (1) a cover letter explaining why you are interested in this position and the ways in which you satisfy the qualifications specified above, (2) resume, and (3) a list of four references. Applicants concurrently applying to any other position with the ACLU should state what other position they are applying for in the cover letter.  Please submit your application in PDF format to the attention of Legal-Policy Department Operations Manager Search to:

The ACLU of Northern California advances equity and inclusion in the workplace by providing equal employment opportunity to support a work environment free from discrimination on the basis of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age (over 40), sexual orientation, military and veteran status, arrest or conviction record, and any other basis prohibited by law. The organization also provides reasonable accommodations for qualified applicants and employees with disabilities. This equal employment opportunity policy applies to all aspects of employment, including recruitment, selection, advancement, training, problem resolution, and separation from employment. Through this policy, the ACLU-NC strives to establish and maintain an equitable and accessible work environment that is supportive and free from discrimination.


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