American Civil Liberties Union Reviews | Glassdoor

American Civil Liberties Union Reviews

Updated February 12, 2017
62 reviews

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3.7
Star Star Star Star Star
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Susan N. Herman
15 Ratings

62 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Overall, it was a great place to work where I felt like I was truly making a difference (in 7 reviews)

  • Work-life balance was pretty good for a nonprofit, and my supervisors always took time to make sure me and my work was appreciated (in 4 reviews)

Cons
  • no room for innovation or advancement (in 3 reviews)

  • Working with racist staff who fail upwards and only learn that doing nothing works (in 2 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Good Organization"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Teen Activist in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Teen Activist in New York, NY

    I worked at American Civil Liberties Union part-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Collaborative staff, passionate about issues, pay well

    Cons

    Lack of communication, some staffers seem overwhelmed with their work


  2. "Amazing mission and people"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Great mission and great co-workers

    Cons

    Slow moving bureaucracy and no ladder for advancement


  3. "Administrative Assistant"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Administrative Assistant in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Administrative Assistant in New York, NY
    Recommends

    Pros

    I worked in a great department: full of talented, passionate individuals who worked hard and respected each other. Work-life balance was pretty good for a nonprofit, and my supervisors always took time to make sure me and my work was appreciated. I loved working on what I did and was able to take ownership on some projects I liked, which was very appreciated! Overall, it was a great place to work where I felt like I was truly making a difference.

    Cons

    If you were in another department or your supervisor wasn't as engaged, the work experience could be different. Some people in other departments didn't feel fully supported by managers and I think were more vulnerable to cutbacks. I also worked in the middle of a union negotiation that was handled poorly by management in my perspective: if we are going to fight for labor rights we need to start in our own offices!

    Advice to Management

    Keep on listening to your employees, and don't skimp come union contract negotiation. Pay attention to the supervisors and departments that are really valuing their employees and make sure it transfers to other departments. Otherwise, keep on doing what you're doing!


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  5. Helpful (1)

    "Rewarding work, tough environment"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends

    I worked at American Civil Liberties Union full-time

    Pros

    They work on important issues. The place is staffed with high caliber people. The work can be very rewarding. I made a lot of good friends there and was proud of my work. Generous vacation time. Good health benefits.

    Cons

    It operates on a star system and rewards self promoters. There are a lot of big egos. Those who do good work quietly tend to be overshadowed by strivers. This created tension and frustration. Also, civil rights advocates don't always make for attentive and careful managers. Most had never received any management training and it often showed. They ask a lot of the staff and seem to believe that the privilege of working on civil rights/liberties issues compensated for low pay and long hours.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Legal Intern"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    rewarding work, great experience.

    Cons

    not much room for growth.


  7. "Racial Justice Intern"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Fantastic People, Learned A lot

    Cons

    Cant think of any, none


  8. Helpful (1)

    "Online Campaigner"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Online Campaigner in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Online Campaigner in New York, NY

    I worked at American Civil Liberties Union (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Brand recognition/resume builder; intelligent coworkers/great network; incredible issue set that stimulates and gives a sense what you're doing makes a difference

    Cons

    Massive bureaucracy adds process to projects; lots of independent contractors which let's the organization pay less and get out of providing benefits; regular turnover. In general there's a sense that lower level staff are dispensable and therefore aren't fairly compensated - which feels like a slap in the face considering the mission-driven organization.

    Advice to Management

    Invest more in your lower level staff (salary, benefits, training, growth) and they'll pay you back in hard work and brand loyalty.


  9. "Amazing experience"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    great work culture and wonderful boss

    Cons

    shunted into legal department although enjoyed Comms more


  10. "Culturally Biased"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Law Clerk in Cleveland, OH
    Former Employee - Law Clerk in Cleveland, OH
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at American Civil Liberties Union full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Resume builder
    Highly respected organization
    Litigation experience
    Attend variety of in-house presentations by local non-profits and subject matter experts

    Cons

    Racist
    Sexist
    Fails to respond to public concerns (employees focus on individual agendas)
    Low Pay

    Advice to Management

    Please allow seasoned attorneys to supervise junior law clerks and manage hiring process.


  11. "Don't work here"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at American Civil Liberties Union full-time

    Pros

    decent pay and good benefits as far as non-profits go. Lawyers and Advocacy staff do interesting work.

    Cons

    non-legal jobs are formulaic and rote. no room for innovation or advancement.



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