Director of Policy

Charlottesville, Falls Church, Richmond (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 Just in the past year, we permanently repealed Virginia’s driver’s license suspension for court debt scheme, secured an injunction slashing the number of immigrants detained by ICE at the largest detention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:

LAJC is seeking an experienced advocate to serve as the Director of Policy. 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 combines individual legal representation, organizing, communications, policy advocacy, major litigation, and community to achieve community goals. This position will help advocacy teams develop and implement multi-faceted campaigns by advising them on a range of local, state, and federal legislative and administrative policy outcomes and strategies.

The Director will ensure that policy advocacy goals are community-driven to the extent possible, identifying and pursuing opportunities for more public access, transparency, and input in policymaking processes and, in collaboration with the Director of Organizing, will help educate communities about legislative and administrative processes and opportunities for engagement. With a bird’s eye view of the advocacy, the Director will cultivate collaboration across programs and integrate policy work with LAJC’s other strategies.

The Director of Policy will also have primary responsibility for developing LAJC’s policy advocacy infrastructure, including promoting policy advocacy skills development in the organization, assisting staff in developing relationships with legislative and administrative policymakers, developing systems that facilitate information-sharing, and ensuring that LAJC complies with all lobbying laws and regulations.

In collaboration with the advocacy leadership team, the Director 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 Policy will serve as a key member of LAJC’s management team, which advises senior leadership in setting organizational priorities for all programmatic work and stewarding of organizational resources. In the future, the Director may supervise one or more policy advocates.

Required Qualifications:

  • Strong commitment to social, economic, and racial justice.
  • A track record of developing, analyzing, and advocating for major policy initiatives at state or federal levels.
  • Excel at working effectively in teams and communicating across lines of identity and difference.
  • Mission-aligned experience (work or lived) partnering with and advocating in low-wealth communities and communities of color.
  • Interest in building systems for collaboration and information sharing and skill building for LAJC staff to be familiar with policy advocacy.
  • An openness to explore ways to democratize legislative and policymaking spaces.
  • 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)

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Significant (7+ years) legislative and/or administrative advocacy experience at state or federal levels-
  • Management experience • Familiarity with organizing campaigns and/or community lawyering.
  • Attention to detail.
  • An interest in growing community-driven advocacy methods in policy advocacy, including building accountability systems with directly-impacted individuals.
  • 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 may be based in our Richmond, Petersburg, Charlottesville, or Falls Church offices, though regular presence in Richmond is required, especially while the legislature is in session. Occasional travel between offices will be required. Although a regular presence in the office is required, LAJC offers a remote work policy to support employees in co-creating schedules and arrangements that allow us all to do our best work.

Deadline:

Open until filled. Applications will start being reviewed on October 1st and on a rolling basis thereafter.

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, three references, and a relevant 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][preferred location].” Please include “Director of Policy” 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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