Director of Impact Litigation
Legal Aid of the District of Columbia seeks an energetic, highly self-motivated and creative individual to be its first Director of Impact Litigation.
As the District’s oldest and largest civil legal services program, Legal Aid’s mission is to make justice real—in individual and systemic ways—for persons living in poverty in the District of Columbia. Our clients are individuals and families, predominantly of color, in need of legal assistance in areas ranging from housing and domestic violence law to public benefits and consumer law. Legal Aid attorneys provide our clients with high-quality, zealous legal representation, while also seeking systemic solutions to the problems they face, through litigation, court reform, and legislative and agency advocacy.
The Director of Impact Litigation will be part of Legal Aid’s Systemic Advocacy and Law Reform Program, which includes the Barbara McDowell Appellate Advocacy Project and the Policy Advocacy and Community Engagement and Outreach programs. They will report to the Legal Director of Systemic Advocacy and Law Reform.
Lead the Organization’s Affirmative Litigation for Systemic Change
- Work with the rest of the Systemic Advocacy Program to identify priority areas for systemic reform that are ripe for affirmative litigation.
- Partner with the Direct Legal Services Program and the Community Outreach and Engagement Program to conduct investigations and identify possible claims and plaintiffs for affirmative litigation matters.
- Partner with other legal services and community-based organizations to identify and pursue other litigation opportunities that advance Legal Aid’s systemic priorities.
- Serve as primary counsel and manage day-to-day litigation efforts, such as drafting and editing complaints, motions and briefs; taking depositions; arguing motions; selecting and preparing expert witnesses; and participating in hearings and trials.
- Maintain up-to-date knowledge of legal issues relevant to Legal Aid’s practice areas and client community.
- Collaborate with Systemic Advocacy team to identify matters that may be ripe for other methods of advocacy, including policy and appellate, and work collaboratively to advance those efforts.
- Cultivate relationships and partner with law firm pro bono counsel to co-counsel and/or refer cases.
- Supervise junior staff from across Legal Aid’s practice areas on affirmative/impact litigation cases.
- Review and provide feedback on draft pleadings, assist with the provision of professional development opportunities for staff, and contribute to staff evaluations as appropriate.
- Supervise paralegals, interns and other program staff, including potentially fellows or other attorney staff.
Support General Litigation
- Work with the Legal Director, supervisors, and staff in the Direct Legal Services Program as needed to provide advanced litigation support with individual representation matters.
- Provide mentorship and periodic training to staff on general litigation topics, such as discovery, evidence, depositions, trial advocacy, opening/closing statements, and more.
- Work with supervisors to develop samples and standard practices for discovery, investigations, electronic record-keeping, time-keeping, and other litigation practices.
Note: Legal Aid is currently operating on a hybrid work plan. Some in-person work is required, both in Legal Aid’s main offices and at community-based locations.
Salary and Benefits:
The attorney will be paid in accordance with Legal Aid’s Supervisory Attorney salary scale based on years of experience, with a starting salary of $93,770 for an attorney with seven years of experience or $101,239 for an attorney with ten years of experience, followed by a salary step each year thereafter. Generous benefits package currently includes fully paid health insurance (for the employee), annual discretionary retirement match, 12 paid holidays, three personal days and generous annual and sick leave allotments starting at 15 days of vacation and 15 days of sick leave per year.
Membership or eligibility for membership in the DC bar is required.
The ideal candidate will have the following:
- A demonstrated commitment to racial, social, and economic justice;
- Strong organizational, communication, and leadership skills;
- At least seven years’ experience with complex litigation, including affirmative, impact and class action litigation;
- Knowledge of one or more of Legal Aid’s practice areas, civil rights and/or poverty law;
- Supervisory experience and the ability to successfully manage teams, including delegating and overseeing work and mentoring and training junior staff;
- The ability to work both independently and collaboratively with teams;
- Ability to multi-task and prioritize assignments;
- Bilingual skills (in Spanish, Amharic, or another language prevalent in Legal Aid’s client community) are preferred but not required.
Legal Aid values an inclusive, diverse workplace and encourages applications from interested persons from diverse backgrounds of any race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, personal appearance, family responsibilities, matriculation, political affiliation, genetic information, or any other legally protected status. We strongly encourage applications from people with personal experience with the criminal legal system and/or with lived experiences in the communities we serve. Interested persons are encouraged to apply immediately and should submit a letter of interest and resume. Applications will be reviewed as they are submitted. Position remains open until filled. Please submit cover letter and resume here. No emails or phone calls, please.
Applications will be reviewed as they are submitted. Position remains open until filled.