The ACLU of Wisconsin announced today that longtime legal director Larry Dupuis plans to depart this summer after a 20-year career with the organization. He will stay on the job while the ACLU conducts a nationwide search for its next legal director – a search that officially begins today.

The ACLU is seeking a tenacious new leader to guide a team of deeply driven litigators as they take on Wisconsin’s most pressing civil rights and civil liberties challenges during a new era of possibility. People can apply for the position here.

“Larry’s devotion to the work and organization cannot be overstated” said Dr. Melinda Brennan, Executive Director of the ACLU of Wisconsin. “Across 20 years of service to Wisconsin, Larry has shown up for our communities in profound ways. I honor his devotion and am deeply grateful. I am excited to find the next leader of this crucial work in a new era of hope, in a pivotal battleground state.”

Dupuis joined the ACLU in 2003 and has led the legal department since. During that time, he has litigated and overseen cases involving LGBTQ+ rights, rights of people in prison and the right to protest, among others.

Reflecting on his ACLU career, Dupuis said the following:

“I have an overwhelming sense of gratitude for my time at the ACLU, especially for the countless courageous clients and brilliant colleagues with whom I’ve had the honor to work.  I can’t list by name all the clients who have taught me so much about what justice and the struggle to achieve it look like. 

From the people of color and people with disabilities who challenged exclusionary zoning in suburban Milwaukee as I started at the ACLU, to the gay and lesbian couples seeking marriage equality; from the caring clinicians providing abortion care in the face of onerous regulations, to the people in prisons, jails and juvenile correctional settings around the state seeking adequate health care and humane treatment; from the voters burdened by the state’s restrictive voter ID law, to the transgender and non-binary students and adults seeking recognition, protection and essential medical care; from the people stopped without cause by police or caught up in crackdowns on protest and other expressive activity in the streets of Milwaukee and in the rotunda of the Wisconsin State Capitol, to those incarcerated for crimes committed as juveniles and seeking a second chance – all these clients and others have inspired and challenged me to be a better advocate and a better person.

Similarly, I can’t name all the colleagues who have had such a tremendous impact on civil rights and civil liberties in Wisconsin over the past 20 years, from the cooperating law firms and lawyers so generous with their expertise and pro bono time, to the many co-workers over the years at the ACLU of Wisconsin and the ACLU’s national office, and to lawyers and staff at other non-profit organizations advancing justice. I do want to specifically thank the current legal team that I’ve been so proud to work with: Karyn Rotker, Tim Muth, Emma Shakeshaft, Chris Donahoe, Nour Kalbouneh and Claire Girod. The hardest part of leaving the ACLU will be leaving that team. 

I am profoundly grateful to have worked with these clients and collueagues to advance civil rights and liberties, especially for those excluded from the systems of power and privilege that set and enforce the rules that shape our lives and our opportunities for liberty and the pursuit of happiness."