1-Year Position With Possible Renewal For Year-2

The American Civil Liberties Union of Montana (ACLU of Montana) invites applications for a full-time Indigenous Justice (“IJ”) Legal Fellow, based in Missoula, to begin immediately.

Reporting to the Legal Director, the IJ Legal Fellow will work with Indigenous communities throughout Montana and provide litigation support based on community initiative and demand.  The ACLU-MT works on a variety of issues that impact Indigenous people – including tribal sovereignty, voting rights, education equity and school discipline, discrimination in employment and housing, and the criminalization of poverty. Over the past two years we have worked to build Indigenous Justice into every aspect of our organization through building relationships with Indigenous leaders and community members and prioritizing issues identified by Indigenous communities. We have increased our organizing presence in Indigenous communities throughout the state, and are now ready to expand the program by hiring a Legal Fellow committed to supporting Indigenous Justice.

This is a one-year position with the possibility of renewal for a second year. This position is designed to help attorneys in the early stages of their careers develop into thoughtful, professional, and effective advocates skilled in the various phases of Indigenous Justice litigation. 

Founded in 1972, ACLU of Montana, the statewide affiliate of the national ACLU, is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to defending the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.


ACLU of Montana is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. We believe that having a board, staff, and volunteer base with diverse personal and professional backgrounds enhances our ability to meet our mission and creates an environment where all members of our community can thrive. We strongly encourage applications from people of color, tribal members, immigrants, women, people with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ community, those who have been formerly incarcerated, and other underrepresented and historically marginalized groups.

The ACLU of Montana does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status, or record of arrest or conviction. We are committed to providing a work environment free from discrimination and harassment.

Expect a friendly work environment, with flexibility and consideration of personal needs and circumstances.


  • Support Indigenous people by helping them build their visions of justice in Indian Country;
  • Work closely with legal staff (Legal Director, Paralegal, and Clinical Students or Interns), other ACLU staff, and clients to investigate, develop, and litigate Indigenous Justice cases;
  • Prosecute Indigenous Justice cases, including factual investigation, legal research and analysis, drafting pleadings and briefs, discovery, and motions practice in state and federal courts;
  • Travel to Indigenous communities across the state to meet with community members, potential clients, and other stakeholders.
  • Review, comment on, and/or write amicus briefs;
  • Respond to complaints and requests for legal representation;
  • Visit correctional institutions on occasion to meet with and interview Indigenous prisoners;
  • Prepare legal memoranda and demand letters;
  • Collaborate with and provide legal support for other ACLU of Montana staff and programs;
  • Collaborate with national ACLU partners;
  • Collaborate with communications staff in drafting press releases, op-eds, and articles for newsletter, website, social media, and other outlets.


  • Law school graduate by spring of 2018.  Admission to, or willingness to apply for admission to, the Montana State Bar and Ninth Circuit;
  • Excellent research, writing, and oral communication skills, including basic familiarity with legal research tools;
  • Deep commitment to and passion for the advancement of civil rights and liberties;
  • Knowledge of current Indigenous movements;
  • Experience working with diverse communities;
  • A commitment to diversity and respect for differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, ability, and socio-economic circumstance.


  • History of living in or working with Indigenous communities, preferably in Montana;
  • Knowledge of Indian law;
  • Ability to work cooperatively with lawyers, other staff members, volunteers, and community organizations;
  • Experience managing, prioritizing, and meeting numerous deadlines and diverse responsibilities in a timely and professional manner;
  • Ability to work independently and keep organized, manage several projects simultaneously, be in regular contact with coworkers while working outside of the office, and adjust plans when needed.


Salary is commensurate with experience. Salary range available upon request; email michellec@aclumontana.org. Excellent benefits offered, including health and dental insurance, short and long-term disability and life insurance, 401(k) retirement plan, and generous vacation, holiday, and medical leave policies.


All applications are treated confidentially. Submit a letter of interest; resume; two relevant professional writing samples of no more than 15 pages in total (e.g., memoranda of law or demand letters demonstrating research, writing, and legal analytical skills); and three professional references, identifying their relationship to you and including their email addresses and phone numbers. Email your application to Michelle Cares, Office Manager, at michellec@aclumontana.org or mail it to:

ACLU of Montana, Attn: Michelle Cares, P.O. Box 9138, Missoula, MT 59807

Please put “Legal Fellow” in the subject line of your email or on your envelope. Also, please indicate in your letter of interest where you saw this job posting.


Application review will start July 2, 2018. Additional applications are encouraged and will be accepted until the position is filled.

To learn more about the work of the ACLU-MT, please visit www.aclumontana.org.


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