Are you interested in leading impact litigation to address systemic injustices that harm large numbers of low-income Californians? Are you excited to support attorneys across multiple practice areas and regional offices in their litigation efforts? Join BayLegal as our Director of Litigation!
Bay Area Legal Aid (BayLegal) ensures fairness in the civil justice system for the most vulnerable members of our community. As a regional poverty law firm that has been serving our local communities since the 1960s, we are committed to working alongside our clients and community partners to address inter-generational poverty and social inequality. We practice in multiple legal substantive areas to help our clients protect their livelihoods, their health, and their families. BayLegal works to prevent domestic violence and sexual assault, increase economic stability, protect consumers, expand access to healthcare, and prevent homelessness. Our clients include the working poor, families with children, foster youth, seniors, immigrants, veterans, and persons with disabilities. By serving clients at a wide range of access points, including our six regional county offices, our mobile advocacy clinics, and our nationally recognized legal hotlines, BayLegal has a unique viewpoint to identify patterns of illegal practices and barriers to our clients’ rights in need of broader advocacy and potential impact litigation. For our clients, BayLegal makes the difference between staying in poverty and thriving toward a brighter future.
BayLegal seeks an experienced and committed social justice attorney to lead our impact litigation practice. The Director of Litigation develops and leads litigation brought by BayLegal’s 100-plus attorneys to address the problems of the poorest and most vulnerable residents in seven Bay Area counties. The Director is a member of BayLegal’s senior management team and reports to and works collaboratively with BayLegal’s Director of Program & Advocacy.
The Director of Litigation, in conjunction with a dedicated senior litigator, works with teams of staff attorneys to bring high-impact cases to address the systemic breakdowns identified through direct client representation. Recent litigation includes a case that secured the statewide enforceability of a key affordable housing law, a case that secured the DMV’s release of 200,000-400,000 driver’s license suspensions, a case that changed a major public employer’s hiring practices to ensure people with minor criminal histories have a fair chance at employment, a challenge to the constitutionality of towing cars of low income people just because they cannot afford to pay parking tickets, and others. The next Director of Litigation will have an exceptional opportunity to grow, shape, and direct BayLegal’s litigation practice to effectively address the problems of individuals and communities in poverty.
As Director of Litigation you will have the opportunity to:
- Develop and implement a strategic vision for BayLegal to engage in high quality impact litigation;
- Lead and support teams of attorneys litigating impact lawsuits on behalf of low-income individuals and communities;
- Mentor attorneys at all levels to help develop litigation skills through co-counseling, consulting, and overseeing and teaching a litigation training series;
- Lead BayLegal’s “Impact Team,” which identifies, reviews, and approves new litigation;
- Work with BayLegal’s management team to develop and refine litigation protocols and regional advocacy;
- Build and maintain litigation management and support systems;
- Work with BayLegal’s Pro Bono Department to involve private law firms, corporate counsel and private attorneys in co-counseling and supporting BayLegal’s work;
- Work closely with BayLegal’s Development & Communications and Grants & Contracts teams to promote BayLegal’s mission and resource development; and
- Engage in other tasks and projects that further the interest of BayLegal’s mission and operations as a non-profit.
Requirements/Qualifications/About the Successful Candidate:
- Membership in good standing in the California State Bar or admitted to practice in another state and eligible to practice under the California State Bar rules for the Registered Legal Services Attorney program (must pass CA Bar);
- Humility in working with colleagues and clients across the spectrum of diversity, including race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, immigrant status, religious identity, physical and mental disabilities, and/or limited English proficiency;
- Passion for BayLegal’s mission and demonstrated commitment to advocating for the legal rights of low-income persons;
- Demonstrated track record of creative and high impact advocacy required. Preference for candidates with at least 10-15 years of experience litigating cases in state and federal court;
- Successful management experience in a legal services non-profit or similar organization;
- Strong interpersonal skills and an ability to lead and work collaboratively with a dynamic and diverse team;
- Demonstrated commitment, skills, and experience in mentoring and training less-experienced attorneys;
- Facility and transparency in communicating important information to staff and ability to motivate commitment to the mission and inspire and encourage professional growth in others;
- Excellent oral communication skills and ability to inspire the trust and confidence of the BayLegal staff, Management Team, board, client communities, and the public; Ability to develop and articulate a clear vision of priorities and inspire others to maximum effectiveness;
- Experience working with media preferred;
- Excellent writing, editing, and proof-reading skills, with ability to be detail-oriented; and
- Strong personal work ethic and ability to organize time, manage diverse activities, and meet critical deadlines.
COVID-19 remote work:
Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, all BayLegal employees are currently working remotely from home. While BayLegal has implemented detailed health and safety protocols to minimize risk of exposure and have an evolving plan for reopening our local offices, we anticipate remaining primarily remote at least throughout the rest of 2020. All employees are expected to be able to primarily work remotely from home until BayLegal determines it is safe to reopen offices. All employees are issued BayLegal computers, provided with appropriate supplies and BayLegal covers reasonable work-related expenses. BayLegal has implemented and continues to explore additional technologies to make working remotely as efficient and connected as possible. All employees receive a flat-rate monthly amount to cover the use of personal IT equipment, including internet. Due to the COVID-19 crisis and its impact on personal lives, BayLegal is open to providing flexibility regarding work schedules and part-time or full-time employment to the extent feasible for the position.
Compensation and Benefits:
We offer a diverse, family friendly environment, and compensation based on competitive public interest salaries along with a generous benefits package. The anticipated starting annual salary range for this position is: $125,000.00 – $155,000.00 (placement in range determined primarily by years of related experience). BayLegal’s benefits package includes 100% employer covered medical, dental, and life insurance for employees and up to 40-50% for dependents; long term disability insurance; stipends for bilingual employees whose language skills are used in the provision of work tasks; student debt repayment program; dependent childcare employer contribution program; and 401k retirement plan following first year. Paid leave policy includes: sick leave; parental leave; 14 holidays each year and vacation (starting at 13 days and increasing with additional years of employment).
BayLegal thrives on our diversity and we are proud to be an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to building a culturally diverse workplace and strongly encourage women, persons of color, LGBTQ individuals, veterans, persons with disabilities, and persons from other underrepresented groups to apply. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. Please send the following materials to firstname.lastname@example.org, and reference “Director of Litigation” in the subject line of the email:
- Cover letter including responding to question below (does not need to be limited to one page).
- Writing Sample. Please submit a sample of your legal writing that is representative of your own work (not something highly edited) and indicate the names of individuals (if any) who provided you with edits or comments on the writing sample.
- Litigation and Advocacy Experience and Case List. Please provide a general overview of your experience litigating matters in state and federal trial and appellate courts, and your public policy experience. In addition, please provide a list of the most significant cases in which you have appeared as counsel. For each case on your list, please provide a citation to the decision (or, if none was published, the name of the case and the case number); a brief description of the case and why it is significant; and a brief description of your role in the case (e.g. whether you were sole, lead or associate counsel, and what significant litigation tasks you undertook). If there are more than 10 cases that fit this category, please limit your response to the 10 most significant cases.
- 4 references, which should include at least one individual whom you have supervised and one individual who supervised you.
- BayLegal may request that candidates respond to a short writing prompt at a later date.
As part of your cover letter, please address the following:
BayLegal’s clients are low- and very low-income members of our communities. They include persons of color, LGBTQ individuals, working poor, seniors, veterans, people with disabilities and persons from other underrepresented groups. To ensure our organization is best serving these populations, BayLegal strives to promote an evolving set of behaviors and attitudes amongst our staff, as well as policies that enable us to work effectively in all cross-cultural situations, with clients, with our coworkers, and with the community. We see this as a commitment to enhance the provision of our services to all clients; to raise the level of positive client outcomes; and to create an inclusive and respectful workplace in which differences are acknowledged and valued.
How do you think your personal background or experiences, professional or otherwise, have prepared you to serve our client base effectively and to contribute to our commitment to humility, inclusion and diversity? Feel free to think broadly about your response to this question, applying various aspects of your life and personal experiences.