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Attorney (Youth Justice)


The Youth Justice Program specifically seeks an attorney to work towards abolishing youth criminalization by eliminating the pipeline and reducing the harm of youth contact with the youth and adult legal systems and reducing surveillance by those with policing powers in schools and communities. In doing so, this practice centers the following values:

  • Centering community
  • Reducing the criminalization of immigrants
  • Ending family surveillance through the child welfare system
  • Ending discretionary fees and restitution requirements
  • Making youth representation free for all
  • Advocating for restorative / regenerative justice practices
  • Minimizing incarceration and promoting alternatives
  • Reducing and eliminating the collateral consequences of legal system involvement

About the position:

Legal Aid Justice Center seeks an attorney for its Youth Justice Program in our Charlottesville office. This position will maintain a practice that primarily involves youth decriminalization and school discipline issues (i.e., expungement; serious offender review hearing; fines and fees; restitution; DOJ climate review; surveillance; policing; excessive force; and, school discipline) but could also evolve to include holistic and interdisciplinary matters that address: education access; mental health; disability law; housing instability; immigration; and, family preservation.

While the work in this position will exist on a statewide level, the Attorney is expected to build community and focus organizing and advocacy efforts in the Charlottesville community and surrounding areas.

The Attorney will work closely with organizers, social workers, families, community members, local organizations, statewide partners, and other LAJC advocates to advance systemic change in the aforementioned areas through a combination of individual representation; impact litigation; community outreach; and state and local policy advocacy.

Working on an interdisciplinary team, the attorney will use legal and policy advocacy and organizing to support grassroots, community-led campaigns to advance youth decriminalization; demand a fair and restorative youth justice system, dismantle structural racism in Virginia’s child-serving systems, and build communities where all families can thrive.

Job Duties:

  • Provide advice and counsel to individuals and community groups on youth decriminalization, school discipline, and child welfare reform issues.
  • Represent youth in individual cases in administrative proceedings; school discipline hearings; and, before state and federal courts.
  • Work alongside organizers and community members to build and implement impact advocacy campaigns in alignment with the Youth Justice Program’s core priorities.
  • Advocate for legislation, regulations, and policies that support young people, especially youth of color, those from under-resourced communities, and students with disabilities.
  • Participate in various work groups, coalitions, etc., and attend community events.
  • As needed, produce publications including fact sheets, issue briefs, reports, and op-eds.
  • Co-teach and provide supervision in the UVA Youth Advocacy Clinic. Supervise students in individual representation of youth and work with co-instructors on curriculum and instruction on youth justice topics. It is estimated approximately 8 -12 hours per week will be committed to teaching or student supervision duties during the academic year.
  • Assist with advocacy communications efforts, e.g., drafting press releases, responding to media inquiries, and drafting content for social media.
  • When appropriate, support and/ or lead impact litigation in state and federal court.
  • Provide subject matter expertise technical assistance as needed to Youth Justice Program and Legal Aid Justice Center policy advocates and organizers.


February 6, 2023. We accept applications on a rolling basis and encourage candidates to apply as soon as possible.


Salary range is $62,000 to $80,000 based on years of relevant experience and LAJC’s formal salary scale.



Required Qualifications:

  • Strong commitment to social, economic, and racial justice
  • Membership in the Virginia State Bar, or eligibility and willingness to become a member of the VSB promptly – either by passing the bar exam in July 2023, 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.
  • Professional or lived experience advocating in under-resourced communities.
  • Outstanding oral advocacy, research, writing, and leadership skills.
  • Ability to work effectively across multiple teams.
  • Ability to communicate effectively across lines of identity.
  • Willingness to travel statewide occasionally.
  • At least one year of relevant experience working in youth justice, decriminalization or school discipline representation.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Familiarity with Virginia state and/or federal court practice.
  • Familiarity with community lawyering approaches and/or youth organizing.
  • Experience with impact advocacy.
  • Experience with administrative school discipline hearings.
  • Expertise in one or more of the Youth Justice Program’s core issue areas, including education access, youth decriminalization, and holistic family defense.
  • Experience with coalition building.


To Apply: 

Email a cover letter, a relevant writing sample, and resume to Fallon Speaker at If you’re able, please submit your application as a single PDF titled “[date submitted in format][last name][first name][position sought].” Please include “Attorney – Youth Justice Program” in the email subject.


Submission Deadline: 
March 31, 2023
Organization Information: 
Legal Aid Justice Center
1000 Preston Avenue
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States
Phone: 434-529-1826