American Civil Liberties Union Reviews | Glassdoor

American Civil Liberties Union Reviews

Updated August 11, 2017
73 reviews

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3.2
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Susan N. Herman
18 Ratings

73 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
  • Brilliant attorneys with a profound mistrust and disdain for anyone not in the legal department (in 3 reviews)

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

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Paralegal"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at American Civil Liberties Union full-time

    Pros

    Incredible colleagues, deeply motivated staff to pursue this work, meaningful caseload and strong support within program team, competitive pay and benefits for non-profit work

    Cons

    Lots of strains from large organization, including HR processes which dragged on for months. Exec Director is a great fundraiser but not a leader. Org undertook widespread layoffs that tanked morale office-wide and put many of our projects at a great disadvantage

    Advice to Management

    Focus more on taking care of your long-term employees who have institutional knowledge and loyalty they would like to share.


  2. "Great opportunity to help and make a difference"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Outreach Coordinator
    Current Employee - Outreach Coordinator
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at American Civil Liberties Union (More than a year)

    Pros

    I loved working there because of all the people that I met. The staff is great as well.

    Cons

    There are no downsides for this job.

  3. "Do not work at the Albuquerque Office"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Albuquerque, NM
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Albuquerque, NM
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good cause. Poorly run.

    Cons

    Stop the drama in the office. It is unnecessary. If you can't trust people to do their jobs, then don't hire them! Nobody likes to constantly explain themselves over ridiculous things - you should have better things to do than harp on small, insignificant things. If nobody is injured and you're not wasting money - move on for Christ sake... There are zero growth opportunities.

    Advice to Management

    I don't know about other office, but funny how all of the executives and or directors at the Albuquerque office are Caucasian.... Hmmm... Isn't this supposed to be a diverse group??? Yeah. Not so much.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Stay away"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at American Civil Liberties Union full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    On the surface, the work is so inspiring.

    Cons

    People are treated like trash and are disposable. The worst HR department I've ever experienced. Senior leadership is a joke and too busy making political plays with each other to actually lead. Each one of them should be fired.

    Advice to Management

    Stop wasting the millions the public bestowed upon you.


  5. "Good"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

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

    Pros

    Fulfilling, open environment, freedom to pursue own interests and ideas

    Cons

    Have to be careful in terms of language that is consistent with overall goals and messaging


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Hellhole"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at American Civil Liberties Union full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Working for an organization that does excellent, vital work ensuring the US lives up to the promises of the Constitution.

    Cons

    The nastiest, most cliquish culture this side of first grade. Brilliant attorneys with a profound mistrust and disdain for anyone not in the legal department. The executive director utters platitudes about "making the values we express externally our internal values as well," but condones and supports the dysfunctional culture that has existed here for decades.

    Advice to Management

    Leave


  7. "Loved it"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends

    I worked at American Civil Liberties Union full-time

    Pros

    Smart, thoughtful, and respectful staff. Great benefits and responsible pay.

    Cons

    Bureaucratic hoops of any large organization.

  8. Helpful (2)

    "Do NOT take a job here if you're not a lawyer"

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

    I worked at American Civil Liberties Union full-time

    Pros

    Front row seat to the legal teams appears to show good work. These are highly skilled, passionate, advocates that are empowered to do great work.

    Cons

    Communications and campaign organizers are deemed "non-lawyers", i.e. lesser than. The organizational strategy is lacking and cruel. Morale in many departments are low to abysmal. Be prepared to be treated terribly. Promises are broken. An epic lack of integrity among senior leadership.


  9. "uhhhhhhhhhh"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Canvasser in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Canvasser in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    I met some kool people

    Cons

    Scammed, pay is not kool.


  10. Helpful (4)

    "Great Organization, Mostly Horrible Management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Communications in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Communications in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at American Civil Liberties Union full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    You are a part of cases that change the world for the better. Every case you work on, you're helping someone who has been screwed over. So educational. The legal department is well-run and does amazing things.

    ETA: I don't know why Susan Herman, the totally amazing President of the Board, is listed as CEO. She's awesome. The ED - equivalent to CEO - is horrible.

    Cons

    Most of management, outside of the legal department, is completely inept, including the Executive Director. My first week on the job, we dropped everything to deal with his DUI in the Hamptons. He's of Puerto Rican heritage, yet approved an ad that said "Puerto Rico is just like the U.S." I worked not 50 feet from his office for 4 years, was in numerous meetings with him, and when I ran into him on the train a month after I left and said hello, he didn't have any clue who I was. It just gets worse from there on down – except the legal folks, they are awesome.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to staff when they tell you you are about to walk down the runway with your dress tucked into the back of your pantyhose. It could save you a lot of grief and money. "What starts in Arizona stops in Arizona??" Seriously?


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