Disability Rights Connecticut (DRCT) seeks an experienced, enthusiastic, self-motivated attorney to join DRCT in protecting and promoting the civil rights of people with disabilities. Attorneys with more than four years civil and/or criminal litigation experience are encouraged to apply.
DRCT’s mission is to advocate, educate, investigate and pursue legal, administrative, and other appropriate remedies to advance and protect the civil rights of citizens with disabilities to participate equally and fully in all facets of community life in Connecticut. The scope of DRCT’s work is wide ranging, impacting people with a variety of disabilities, including developmental and physical disabilities, mental illness, and traumatic brain injuries. Through litigation, advocacy, policy advocacy and public education, DRCT addresses matters related to treatment and services, accessibility and reasonable accommodation, assistive technology, employment, housing, education, and voting. As the federally designated protection and advocacy system for Connecticut, we also monitor institutions and service providers and conduct investigations to ensure people with disabilities are not at risk of neglect or abuse. DRCT is a statewide, private nonprofit agency funded primarily by federal grants.
The responsibilities of the person in this position include:
- Represent clients consistent with DRCT’s focus areas, objectives and selection criteria, including the development and implementation of all phases of case strategies and activities (in formal and informal legal and administrative proceedings) in consultation with the Legal Director;
- Emphasis of this position will be on systemic advocacy so as to benefit the most individuals. Significant participation in developing and conducting class action litigation in state and federal court, and the use of media and other strategies in support of such litigation. Work with outside counsel to develop and act as co-counsel in class action and systemic impact litigation.
- Engage in monitoring and investigating facilities, schools and community programs. Draft findings and recommendations. Produce public and private reports.
- Provide information and short-term assistance to DRCT clients, including writing letters and memoranda.
- Supervise advocates with oversight from the Legal Director. Develop staff training programs in substantive issues.
- Engage in community based advocacy, outreach, and training to disability communities and organizations, particularly to under served populations.
- Participate on task forces, policy groups, coalitions, and otherwise collaborate with other individuals and organizations on work that benefits people with disabilities.
- Maintain accurate time records and client records necessary for DRCT to meet its programmatic and fiscal responsibilities, and to obtain attorney fees when appropriate.
- Perform related tasks consistent with skills, abilities, and general responsibilities as required to support DRCT.
- Travel throughout Connecticut and outside Connecticut as necessary to perform assigned job tasks.
Minimum qualifications for this position include:
- Juris Doctorate degree from an accredited law school or other law school approved by the Connecticut Supreme Court
- Active membership in the Connecticut State Bar and the Bar of the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut or an ability to gain admission to both within 12 months of employment is required and is the responsibility of the applicant.
- A minimum of four (4) years of litigation experience (significant experience in class action civil rights or disability law litigation preferred). Legal clerkships may be counted as up to one year of litigation experience.
- Ability to take a lead role in case planning and management.
- Ability to handle routine and complex litigation in state and federal courts.
- Ability to communicate succinctly and persuasively with particular emphasis on written communications.
- Ability to work efficiently, independently and collaboratively.
Other Desirable Qualifications:
- Demonstrated interest and commitment to public interest law (preferably in the area of disability rights).
- Experience in a legal services, nonprofit or public interest environment.
- Ability to communicate in ASL, Spanish, or other non-English language.
- Life experience as a person with a disability or experience working with or living with persons with disabilities.
This position description serves as a general summary and overview of the major duties and responsibilities of the job. It is not intended to represent the entirety of the job nor is it intended to be all-inclusive. Management reserves the right to modify, or rescind, this position description at any time, with or without prior notice.
Deadline: Open until filled. Applications received by September 16, 2019 will be considered for the first round of interviews.
Applications must include: (a) a letter expressing your interest in the position, your qualifications, and how you might contribute to the future of DRCT; (b) a current resume including the names and contact information of three references.
Materials should be submitted in Microsoft Word or PDF format. Applications must be emailed to Mary Jane Keane, Office Manager at: email@example.com.
DRCT is a fair employment practices/equal opportunity/disability accessible employer committed to maintaining a diverse workplace. We value diversity of culture, disability and other life experiences and are an equal opportunity employer by choice. Qualified candidates from diverse personal, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds are encouraged to apply. DRCT also complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act and is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified applicants and employees with disabilities.
Job Type: Full-time