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Litigation and Advocacy Director

Are you passionate about social justice issues? Do you believe in racial equity? This may be the position for you. Neighborhood Legal Services Program of the District of Columbia (NLSP) seeks a like-minded, experienced litigator with management experience and a deep commitment to public interest and Washington, DC low-income communities to serve as its Litigation and Advocacy Director.   BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF POSITION   NLSP is an LSC-funded, non-profit, civil legal services law firm that provides free legal information, advice, and representation to low-income District of Columbia residents. We help with problems involving housing, family, domestic violence, public benefits, barriers to employment (Including record sealing), consumer issues, elder law and other legal problems affecting economic security of low-income residents. We provide direct services and work with pro bono partners. Our neighborhood-based, service delivery model -- which includes three offices in Wards 5, 7 and 8 -- allows us to bring dedicated legal services attorneys and enthusiastic pro bono lawyers into low-income communities across the city to provide legal help while they learn first-hand the myriad, daily challenges faced by residents living in poverty.   Against the backdrop of the pandemic and the fight for racial equity and justice, this position is critical to the development of the future strategic direction of the NLSP. Recognizing the importance of this role, NLSP has partnered with Covington & Burling LLP to establish the Thomas S. Williamson Jr. Endowment Fund to assist in supporting this position. The Endowment Fund commemorates the 50th anniversary of Covington’s relationship with NLSP and celebrates the legacy of Covington’s late partner and former D.C. Bar President Thomas S. Williamson Jr., whose illustrious career included working as a rotating associate at NLSP and serving on NLSP’s Board of Directors.   The Litigation and Advocacy Director (LAD) serves as the chief lawyer for the firm and is responsible for overseeing all of the legal work of a team of 20-30 attorneys, post-graduate fellows, loaned associates, and various support staff. The successful candidate for this position must be an experienced litigator with a strong record of accomplishment in training, mentoring, and supervising junior attorneys in a dynamic law practice environment. The LAD also oversees the firm’s appellate work, impact litigation, and our broad-based advocacy efforts.   The firm’s four Managing Attorneys report directly to the LAD. The LAD reports to the Executive Director, serves on the Senior Management Team, and is actively involved in all aspects of law practice management including setting case acceptance priorities, attorney hiring, budgeting, development (including grant-writing), personnel matters and strategic planning.   PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES   • Serves as NLSP’s chief lawyer and oversees (in collaboration with the Managing Attorneys) all of the legal services work of the organization at the trial and appellate level, including all affirmative and impact litigation. NLSP’s service delivery model is anchored in a walk- in/telephone, on-line neighborhood-based intake system that results in community members receiving referrals, legal information, brief services, and/or extended service representation.   • Identifies, shapes, and guides NLSP’s broad-based, high-impact advocacy efforts.   • Plays a leadership role in developing and implementing litigation skills and substantive training programs.   • Ensures adherence to program and case handling standards, funder requirements, and the highest, professional standards.   • Collaborates closely with other legal services providers locally and nationally to identify opportunities to better serve our shared client community and to pursue shared advocacy goals.   • Serves as a resource on professional responsibility and ethical issues for attorneys.   • Establishes and implements firm program policies relating to legal work.   • Works closely with NLSP’s Director of Private Attorney Initiatives to promote community engagement strategies and use of volunteers in a manner that furthers NLSP’s overall advocacy goals and strengthens its capacity to serve clients.   • Contributes to the organization’s fundraising efforts.   • Performs other responsibilities as assigned by the Executive Director.   COMPENSATION Competitive salary depends on experience and benefits package that includes employer-paid medical, dental, and vision insurance; employer-subsidized family health coverage; paid vacation, holidays, personal days, and sick leave; 8-week parental leave for birth or adoption of a child; employer-paid life and long-term disability insurance; 403(b) Thrift Plan (voluntary retirement savings program); and tax- free transit benefits.     ABOUT NLSP Established in 1964, NLSP pioneered the concept of a law office rooted in the neighborhoods that it serves and established landmark precedents, which have retained their vitality and relevance. NLSP remains embedded in D.C.’s most low-income communities, builds its work on strong partnerships with community-based organizations, and seeks to achieve lasting change for its clients and their communities by using a full range of advocacy tools. Its diverse, multi-lingual and passionate staff embrace an explicitly anti-poverty mission and share a deep commitment to securing meaningful access to justice.      
EXPERIENCE AND QUALIFICATIONS   • Must be a member in good standing of the District of Columbia Bar or eligible to immediately seek admission.   • At least eight (8) years of legal services experience with preference shown to candidates with substantial litigation experience in housing, family or other areas of law which impact economic security. Must also have at least three years of experience supervising attorneys in a litigation setting.   • Experience with complex litigation (state and/or federal) and appellate advocacy desirable.   • Demonstrated commitment to lawyering in the public interest and a familiarity with the legal services community.  
To Apply: 
APPLICATION PROCESS   Interested persons should submit a current resume (no more than two pages) including education information and degrees obtained, bar memberships, and final salaries and supervisor contact information for each position; a cover letter (no longer than one page single-spaced) expressing your qualifications and interest in this position; one writing sample (no more than 10 pages); and contact information for three professional references. For best consideration, all materials should be submitted no later than February 26, 2021.   Questions about the position or application process may be directed to Karen A. Newton Cole, Executive Director at No telephone calls, please.     NLSP IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER It is the policy of the Neighborhood Legal Services Program of the District of Columbia that no employee or applicant for employment or services will be discriminated against because of race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, disability, sexual orientation, political affiliation, family responsibilities or family status, veteran’s status, or any other basis prohibited by law, including the D.C. Human Rights Act and Language Access Act.      



Submission Deadline: 
February 26, 2021
Organization Information: 
Neighborhood Legal Services Program of the District of Columbia
64 New York Avenue, NE Suite 180
Washington, DC 20002
United States