Associate Activist Attorney, Civil Liberties Defense Center

We will accept applications until the position is filled.

Who we are:

The Civil Liberties Defense Center is a nonprofit organization that supports movements that seek to dismantle the political and economic structures at the root of social inequality and environmental destruction. We provide litigation, education, legal and strategic resources to strengthen and embolden their success. Our motto is “Assert your rights, we’ve got your back.” We have provided pro bono activist defense to over 4,500 social, environmental and climate justice activists as well as providing free Know Your Rights and related trainings to over 10,500 individuals. Our offices are based in Eugene, Oregon.


We are seeking an associate activist attorney with a minimum of five years of litigation experience to work on civil rights, police/governmental misconduct, criminal activist defense, SLAPP defense, activist grand jury witness representation, FOIA, and public records cases. The associate will report to the Senior Attorney and will be expected to work on all aspects of our case work, including intake, drafting pleadings, discovery and depositions, as well as litigating cases at trial or on appeal. In addition, the associate will be expected to contribute to our Dissent & Democracy program by conducting public education trainings. The associate will also be expected to contribute toward organizational fundraising goals by assisting with grants and other fundraising efforts if needed.

We are looking for well-rounded activist attorneys who bring initiative, commitment, and passion for our work, our clients, and the progressive movements we support and defend. Our current staff attorneys litigate both criminal defense and civil cases. The ideal candidate will have experience litigating §1983 cases, criminal cases, and/or defending activists in SLAPP litigation.

This position is primarily located in Eugene, Oregon, but our litigation is nationwide and we will consider remote locations.

Required Qualifications:

Admitted to practice law before the court of any state;

• Admitted to practice law in Oregon, Washington, or California, or must be admitted to a different state bar at the time of application and willing to apply for admission to one of those bars;

• 5 years minimum experience as a litigation attorney;

• Strong litigation, research, and writing skills;

• Able to meet deadlines and perform multiple tasks while maintaining attention to detail;

• Demonstrated commitment to civil and human rights, racial and climate justice, and environmental and animal rights;

• Excellent diverse people skills and strong team member desired;

Preferred Experience:

• Bilingual English & Spanish speaker strongly preferred;

• Experience in community organizing work and/or social justice activism;

• Experience in a non-profit legal services organization;

• Experience and/or willingness to learn and assist in organizational fundraising.

Compensation & Benefits:

We offer a mission and employee-focused work environment and competitive public interest compensation.

  • Salary $50,000-$65,000, commensurate with experience
  • Attorneys are paid an additional bonus if they win fee shifting litigation
  • Generous holiday, vacation and sick leave policies
  • Some professional dues paid by CLDC
  • Some benefits including monthly Heath Care reimbursement
  • The office is located in Eugene, Oregon; potential consideration for a remote candidate

Our core values lead us to seek a broad range of perspectives and backgrounds to achieve our mission and to maintain an inclusive environment where all staff are valued and respected.  As an equal opportunity employer, we are committed to employment practices that ensure that employees and applicants for employment are provided with equal opportunities without regard to race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, religion, physical or mental disability, medical condition, veteran status, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information or any other factor that is not related to the position.

The CLDC will consider qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records for employment.

How To Apply

Interested candidates should submit:

  • Resume

  • Cover letter stating your interest or litigation experience

  • 2 writing samples, ideally relevant briefs and/or pleadings

  • 3 professional references and at least one environmental/social justice activist reference

Please send all materials in a single PDF to office[at]cldc.org– Subject: “[Your last name]— Associate Activist Attorney.”

Please, no phone calls, hard copies, or drop-ins. If you’re having technical difficulties submitting your application, please reach out to charles[at]cldc.org.