Colorado Rights Blog


  • Cedric Watkins is a father, uncle, entrepreneur-in-training, and a vital community pillar for many others. While behind bars, he has tirelessly devoted himself to serving his peers and his community. He developed gang disaffiliation programs for other incarcerated individuals and is currently involved with Defy Ventures. He sends letters and calls his daughter as much as he can.

    Cedric is currently in prison at Sterling Correctional Facility. He was convicted of aggravated robbery, burglary, kidnapping, theft and sentenced to 80 years; no one was seriously injured or killed. For comparison, a person convicted of second-degree murder in Colorado faces a maximum sentence of 48 years. Cedric has already served 20 years and has fully rehabilitated during that time.

    It’s time to bring Cedric home: Redemption is real. Clemency is compassion.

  • On November 21, 2016, 13 Aurora police officers responded to a simple noise complaint at Alberto Torres’s home. As happens all too often, Aurora police officers escalated this minor issue into a brutal affair. They beat Mr. Torres solely because he delayed exiting his garage to ask his wife to interpret for him. With that beating, the lives of Mr. Torres and every member of his family were changed and he has yet to recover. ACLU of Colorado fought to obtain justice for Mr. Torres, and Aurora has now paid him $285,000. But money is not justice, and the brutality of the Aurora Police Department against people of color has continued unabated.

    It doesn’t have to be this way.

    Imagine, if instead of 13 officers being dispatched to Mr. Torres’s home for a noise complaint, the City of Aurora sent a civilian-led response team to check on his welfare and ask that he and his friends lower their sound, resulting in a non-violent solution to a minor issue?

    ACLU Settles Case With Aurora After Police Brutalize and Unlawfully Arrest Alberto Torres

  • Hope is a discipline. It’s a commitment that together, we can create a more perfect union. We won’t rest until we fulfill the promise of equal rights for ALL people in the United States.

    Join us in our fight to fulfill this promise and move forward with hope by donating to the ACLU of Colorado. Your donation supports the ACLU’s strengths that make our work effective and collaborative.

    Donate now at

  • Anthony Martinez is 84-years-old and suffering from renal failure, as well as other serious medical conditions including dementia. He is currently incarcerated in the Sterling Correctional Facility, site of one of Colorado’s largest COVID-19 outbreaks with almost 600 active COVID-19 cases. He and his family are understandably terrified that he will catch the virus and die.

    In the midst of this public health crisis, incarcerated people as vulnerable as Anthony, could and should be immediately released to safely live out their remaining years with family.

    Read more about Anthony Martinez and other at-risk incarcerated people. 

Legal Assistant

Job Description:

Legal Assistant

Department: Legal
Supervisor: Legal Director
Classification: Full-Time Exempt

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), a national public interest organization, is the country’s leading defender of constitutional rights and civil liberties. The ACLU of Colorado, an affiliate of the national ACLU, is the state’s guardian of freedom that works to promote and defend the civil liberties of all persons in Colorado. To achieve our mission, we manage legal, legislative, and public education programs on a broad range of constitutional rights and civil liberties issues, including discrimination, free speech, religious freedom, reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights, criminal justice, immigrants’ rights, economic justice and privacy.  Founded in 1952, the ACLU of Colorado is headquartered in Denver. To learn more about the work of the ACLU and the civil liberties principles we uphold, please visit and

Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion:

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

The ACLU of Colorado 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, and record of arrest or conviction. We are committed to providing a work environment free from discrimination and harassment.

Position Overview:

The ACLU of Colorado seeks to hire a full-time Legal Assistant.  The Legal Assistant provides clerical and administrative support for the Legal Director and three Staff Attorneys on the wide variety of constitutional law and civil liberties issues that comprise the ACLU’s docket.  The Legal Assistant will join an enthusiastic group of individuals who are committed to their work and the organization.  The position requires compassion, a sense of humor, and an ability to juggle multiple assignments with varying deadlines.  We seek candidates who demonstrate professionalism, superior organizational skills, careful attention to detail, and an ability to communicate well with co-workers, clients, prospective clients, and members of the public.

Job Responsibilities:

  • Organize and maintain electronic and paper filing systems (litigation and administrative files), by means of word processing, electronic transfer of documents, scanning, faxing, and copying
  • Assist with drafting and finalizing correspondence and legal documents, by means of cite-checking, formatting, and proofreading
  • Provide basic litigation support, by means of filing and serving legal documents in state and federal court, maintaining calendaring of court deadlines, and other related tasks
  • Research court rules and procedures to help ensure accuracy of filings
  • Assist in factual  research, including Internet research, in connection with prospective or ongoing litigation
  • Assist with management of legal intake process, including support with intake review and data entry
  • Assist in training and supervising volunteers to handle intake requests
  • Assist attorneys with fact-finding interviews related to potential civil liberties violations
  • Process incoming and outgoing Legal Department mail
  • Gather and disseminate information in response to telephone and written inquiries
  • Make arrangements for teleconferences, meetings, depositions, document deliveries, and calendar corresponding dates in Microsoft Outlook
  • Assist attorneys in drafting, sending, calendaring, and following up on records requests, as well as in analyzing and organizing the responses to those requests
  • Maintain communication with clients, cooperating attorneys, opposing counsel, and court staff throughout the duration of a case
  • Process legal department invoices, credit card statements, and other department-related expenses
  • Supervise and maintain the upkeep of legal department library and other resources
  • Assist with special projects and other additional duties as assigned by the Legal Director and Staff Attorneys. 

Required Qualifications:

  • High school degree and two years of relevant experience
  • Strong organizational skills and careful attention to detail
  • Strong drive and initiative, with the ability to manage time well in an environment of many concurrent assignments and deadlines
  • A willingness and desire to jump in and help out on any project, to learn new skills, and to take ownership of assignments
  • Proficiency with computers and technology, including advanced use of Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, Adobe Acrobat, and ability to conduct Internet research
  • Ability to master new software, such as an intake database or case management program
  • Excellent English reading comprehension and writing skills
  • General familiarity and comfort with the basics of legal terminology and the legal process
  • Willingness and ability to obtain and maintain qualification as notary public
  • Commitment to civil liberties principles and the goals of the ACLU

Desired Qualifications

  • Spanish speaking and/or writing proficiency
  • Skills in software trouble-shooting

Compensation and Benefits:

Approximate salary range is low-forties, in accordance with salaries in nonprofit organizations in the Denver area, and taking into account skills and experience. Benefits include medical and dental insurance, life and long-term disability insurance, 401k contribution, and generous paid vacation and holidays.

To Apply: 

Send a cover letter explaining your interest in the ACLU, your relevant experience, and your personal connection, if any, to our mission, a resume, and references in an email (with “Legal Assistant” in the subject line) to   No phone calls please.  Applications will be accepted until the position is filled, which will not be before May 6, 2019.    

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