Litigation and Advocacy Director (LAD)
Who We Are In 1964, NLSP pioneered the concept of a law office rooted in the neighborhoods that it serves. An LSC-funded non-profit, civil legal services law firm, NLSP 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. NLSP has established landmark precedents, which have retained their vitality and relevance. The organization 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. Advancing our Social & Racial Justice Mandate In 2018, NLSP received a Meyer Foundation capacity building grant to educate our staff and board of directors on the need for eradicating racism with our communities. As a new pillar in our strategic plan, our challenge is to determine and execute measurable goals. Additionally, NLSP has partnered with Covington & Burling LLP to establish the Thomas S. Williamson Jr. Endowment Fund to assist in funding the LAD position toward the advancement of organizational social change. 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. Why This Role…Why Now? Since 2017, NLSP’s Executive Director, Karen Newton Cole, has been a fervent racial justice champion, building numerous funding and cooperative partnerships that have laid the foundation for advancing NLSP’s social change initiatives. Today, in her desire to devote more time toward external relations, she is seeking an innovative, internally-facing #2 who will co-create this new role in support of NLSP’s bold mission. As the LAD, you will empower the daily legal work of staff, identify projects that align with funders, and develop uniform guidelines that mitigate bias in the delivery of legal services. What We Need From You NLSP’s service delivery model is based on 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. As the chief lawyer for the firm, you will supervise a passionate and dedicated team of 20-30 attorneys (including direct supervision of four Managing Attorneys), post-graduate fellows, loaned associates, and various support staff. You will oversee all legal services work at the trial and appellate level, including all affirmative and impact litigation. You will be measured on your ability to: Serve as a trusted resource for staff, imparting legal and ethical best practices in support of their professional growth and litigation success. Empower staff through ongoing litigation skills and substantive training programs. Advance NLSP’s broad-based, high-impact advocacy efforts, including serving as occasional co-counsel. Develop and ensure adherence to racially equitable program and case handling processes, funder requirements, and the highest, professional standards. Partner with other legal services providers locally and nationally to identify opportunities to better serve our shared client community and to pursue shared advocacy goals. Partner 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. Contribute to the organization’s grant writing process by partnering with Chief Development Officer. Perform other responsibilities as assigned by the Executive Director. What We Offer You An opportunity to build a lasting legacy alongside an Executive Director who is committed to advancing racial equity and invites your innovative strategies A “blue sky” transformational #2 role that can affect systemic change in NLSP’s operations, funding and service delivery to DC’s low-income community. A dedicated, highly-skilled and passionate staff ready for a leader who can operationalize their ideas and empower their career development. Compensation: You are mission-minded. So are we. As a donor-funded, social change organization, we are able to offer a modest salary of $125,000 + competitive 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.
What You Bring to Us You have at least 10 years’ legal experience as an attorney with at least five (5) of those years training, mentoring, and supervising junior attorneys in a dynamic (nonprofit or for profit) law practice environment. You have at least three (3) years’ experience with complex litigation (state and/or federal) and appellate advocacy. Preferably, you have substantial litigation experience in housing, family or other areas of law which impact economic security. You are committed to lawyering in the public interest, including serving as pro bono counsel, and are familiar with the legal services community. You are either a member in good standing of the District of Columbia Bar or eligible to immediately seek admission. Who You Are You have a racial equity lens and can identify deeply with NLSP’s constituent base. You are an innovative, strategic planner hungry for the opportunity to operationalize a bold vision. You are innately skilled and enjoy project planning, operations and process improvement. You are calm and resilient, able to ‘keep the trains running’ and lead change through ambiguity. You are a superior communicator and team leader, able to inspire and mentor a team of highly skilled and professionals, and champion the vision of the Executive Director and Board of Directors.
How to Apply: Submit a cover letter describing why NLSP’s mission and this role are tailor-made for you. Make sure to highlight your racial equity lens, legal experience and personality fit. Include a customized resume showcasing your relevant litigation and supervisory experience. Attach one writing sample (no more than 10 pages). Email your application to: Shira Lotzar, Chief Engagement Officer, Purposeful Hire at email@example.com. This is a retained search. All candidates must apply through Purposeful Hire. 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.
May 10, 2021
Neighborhood Legal Services Program of the District of Columbia
64 New York Avenue, NE Suite 180Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 832-6577