Director of Litigation

Charlottesville, Falls Church, Richmond, or Petersburg (VA)

About the Legal Aid Justice Center:

The Legal Aid Justice Center is a nationally recognized nonprofit organization that partners with communities and clients to achieve justice by dismantling the systems that create and perpetuate poverty. Justice means racial justice, economic justice, and social justice.

From its offices in Charlottesville, Richmond, Petersburg, and Falls Church, LAJC is a fierce advocate for low-income clients and communities in Virginia. Just in the past year, we permanently repealed Virginia’s driver’s license suspension for court debt scheme, secured an injunction slashing the number of immigrants detained by ICE at the largest detention center in the Mid-Atlantic and passed a law giving Virginia oversight authority, won the nation’s first COVID-specific, statewide, and enforceable workplace safety standards, passed legislation enabling communities to set up civilian oversight for law enforcement, and decriminalized school-based disorderly conduct, which was a leading contributor to the school-to-prison pipeline, especially for Black students.

Founded in 1967, LAJC provides services under four key program areas: Civil Rights & Racial Justice, Economic Justice, Youth Justice, and Immigrant Advocacy. LAJC boldly tackles issues of systemic injustice and aims to raise public and policymaker awareness of some of the most pressing challenges facing low-income Virginia residents. For more information, visit www.justice4all.org.

About the positions:

Legal Aid Justice Center seeks a Director of Litigation. This position will work closely with LAJC advocacy teams and community partners to advance our ambitious agenda to achieve economic, social, and racial justice throughout the Commonwealth.

Job Duties:

LAJC’s programs use various tools to dismantle the systems that contribute to poverty in Virginia, including individual representation, organizing, litigation advocacy, major litigation, and community education and technical assistance.

In collaboration with Program Directors, the Director of Organizing, Director of Policy, and Director of Communications, this position will help advocacy teams develop and implement multi-faceted campaigns by advising them on a range of litigation outcomes and strategies, fostering collaboration across programs, ensuring that litigation goals are community-driven to the extent possible, and integrating litigation work with LAJC’s other strategies.

The Director of Litigation will also have primary responsibility for developing LAJC’s litigation advocacy infrastructure, including promoting litigation advocacy skills development, assisting staff in developing and pursuing affirmative systemic litigation, and developing systems that facilitate information-sharing. In collaboration with the leadership team, you will also have primary responsibility for ensuring that staff receive any necessary trainings, mentorship, and technical assistance on legislative and administrative advocacy.

Finally, the Director of Litigation will serve as a key member of LAJC’s leadership team, which advises the Executive Director as she decides organizational priorities for all programmatic work and provides stewardship of organizational resources.

Required Qualifications:

We’re seeking candidates who excel at working effectively in teams and communicating across lines of identity and difference.

  • Strong commitment to social, economic, and racial justice
  • A track record of developing and leading systemic litigation at state or federal levels
  • Mission-aligned experience (work or lived) partnering with and advocating in low-wealth communities and communities of color
  • Strengths in organization, time management, oral and written communications, and demonstrating initiative
  • Willingness to work a flexible schedule that may include evening and weekend events, as well as travel (primarily within Virginia)
  • Membership in the Virginia State Bar, or eligibility and willingness to become a member of the VSB promptly – either by passing the bar exam, or meeting requirements to “waive” into bar membership without taking the bar exam. (Note that new Virginia Supreme Court Rule 1A:9 allows most lawyers who have practiced continuously in another jurisdiction for two years to become members of the VSB if they practice for Virginia legal aid organizations (like LAJC) under a “Legal Aid Counsel Certificate.”) LAJC provides bar study leave.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Significant (10+ years) litigation experience at state or federal levels
  • Management experience
  • Familiarity with organizing campaigns and/or community lawyering
  • Experience working with lawyers and/or familiarity with legal advocacy
  • Prior advocacy experience (work or lived) using an explicit race equity lens

Location:

This role will be based in our Charlottesville, Falls Church, Richmond, or Petersburg offices. Travel within Virginia will be required.

Deadline:

August 5, 2022. We accept applications on a rolling basis and encourage candidates to apply as soon as possible.

Salary:

Salary range is $90,000 to $115,000 based on years of relevant experience and LAJC’s formal salary scale, upward 12% cost-of-living adjustment is available for positions based in Falls Church.

Benefits:

Our mission is compelling, and our team members are passionate about their work, and so we recognize the need to provide generous benefits and encourage rest and a healthy work environment. For example, we provide:

  • Generous paid time off every year, including 3 to 6 weeks of vacation, 12 days of health leave, 6 weeks parental leave, and 14 holidays (not including bonus holidays/rest days allocated as needed)
  • 100% employer paid health, dental, and vision insurance, plus excellent family insurance with annual max of $2,400 premium contribution to LAJC-sponsored health plan
  • 403(b) retirement plan with 4% employer contribution (no required match)
  • Strong commitment to professional development
  • Law school loan repayment assistance and full reimbursement for VA bar and CLE expenses
  • Relocation package

Application Instructions:

Email a cover letter, resume, a list of three references, and a writing sample to Elaine Poon, Deputy Director of Advocacy, at hiring@justice4all.org. If you’re able, please submit your application as a single PDF titled “[date submitted in yyyy.mm.dd format][last name][first name][position sought].” Please include “Director of Litigation” in the email subject.

The Legal Aid Justice Center is an equal opportunity employer, committed to inclusive hiring and dedicated to diversity in our work and staff. We strongly encourage candidates of all identities, experiences, and communities to apply. The Legal Aid Justice Center is committed to strengthening the voices of our low-income clients, working in collaboration with community partners, and rooting out the inequities that keep people in poverty. We strive to take on the issues that have broad impact on our client communities and to be responsive to client input. Recognizing the particular impact of racism on our clients and staff, we devote special attention to dismantling racial injustice. All applicants must be dedicated to working in and sustaining an environment that enables staff and clients to feel empowered, valued, respected, and safe. In reviewing applications, we look for evidence that applicants have experience and/or thoughtfulness in working with traditionally marginalized populations. 

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