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Litigation Counsel


Make a difference! We stand for the rights of people that have disabilities....JOIN US! Individuals who are Deaf or Disabled are encouraged to apply. SALARY RANGE (Depending on Experience): $113,144 - $165,704 annually. We base salary and position offers on experience and an internal equity analysis. LOCATION: SACRAMENTO, OAKLAND, LOS ANGELES OR SAN DIEGO or REMOTE (WITHIN CALIFORNIA) EXCELLENT BENEFITS including 8% 401k Match and a language differential up to $250/mo. Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) - eligible employment. APPLICATION DEADLINE: Open until filled WHO WE ARE Disability Rights California (DRC) is the Protection & Advocacy system for the State of California. DRC is a nonprofit agency with a mandate under federal and state law to defend, advance, and strengthen the rights of people with disabilities. DRC works to create a world where all disabled people are empowered and treated with dignity and respect, including the right of community inclusion, equal opportunity, and individual decision-making. To effectively advocate for people with disabilities, we address systemic discrimination in every form, and acknowledge the unique challenges faced by people experiencing multiple types of discrimination. DRC is the largest protection and advocacy agency in the country. DRC’s Practice Groups DRC is comprised of multiple Practice Groups engaged in diverse and often overlapping areas of disability law. Each Practice Group engages in multi-pronged advocacy, including impact litigation and individual cases, administrative and legislative policy, collective action campaigns, and other systemic reform efforts, to improve the lives of disabled Californians. We embrace movement lawyering principles and prioritize strategies that center on and build the power of disabled people and their families. Some of our current priorities include: · Dismantling the structural ableism, racism, and systemic inequities experienced by people receiving services and other support from the state of California and local/regional providers. · Challenging discrimination in private and public programs that serve disabled people. · Advancing the core principles of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Olmstead v. L.C. ex rel. Zimring and the rights of disabled people to live, work, and play in their communities. · Ensuring the protection of civil rights, including the right to vote privately and independently, and to engage in all areas of civil participation with necessary accessibility and without discrimination. PURPOSE OF THE JOB In this position, the Litigation Counsel plays a significant role in shaping our litigation and advocacy vision, including working with team(s) to develop legal, policy, and other systems change advocacy initiatives to improve the lives of disabled Californians. The Litigation Counsel also helps to ensure the excellence of the Practice Group’s legal work by providing leadership, mentorship, and supervision to Practice Group attorneys on all advocacy efforts, including state and federal court litigation. The ideal candidate will have an unwavering commitment to excellence, a deep understanding of the intersectional issues faced by our clients, and a commitment to using the law to develop creative strategies toward movement-building goals. The Litigation Counsel is responsible for developing and implementing a variety of advocacy strategies, and for mentoring and supporting the practice group attorneys. Structurally, the Litigation Counsel reports to a designated Managing Attorney, who provides the general and administrative leadership, strategic direction, and overall management and supervision of the members of the practice group. In practice, the Litigation Counsel and Managing Attorney co-lead the team’s advocacy. JOB RESPONSIBILITIES Essential functions are the job responsibilities an employee must be able to perform, with or without reasonable accommodation. Litigation Counsel essential functions include: · Develop legal, policy, and other systems-change advocacy initiatives to address the needs of disabled Californians and their families; · Lead teams in litigation or major policy advocacy which may include targeted representation, complex litigation and/or civil appeals, or major policy advocacy at the state level; · Mentor and train practice group attorneys in litigation and policy advocacy; · Support and oversee litigation teams, including facilitation of crossover legal issues and coordination of litigation practice group members; · Monitor, summarize, and analyze case law, legislation, and administrative policy and practices for staff and other organizations. · Collaborate with other agencies and organizations to address new or recurring problems faced by our clients; · Develop and sustain relationships with organizations led by disabled people and key stakeholders within the disability community. · Participate as a member of the DRC legal management team to assist in the development and advancement of the Legal Advocacy Unit’s overall strategic direction; · Identify and develop substantive and skills-based training for attorney and advocacy staff; · Collaborate with other Litigation Counsel to fulfill various administrative and litigation-related responsibilities; and · Co-review and approve the team member requests to commence new litigation. SUPERVISORY RESPONSIBILITIES Litigation Counsel provide leadership, training, and mentoring to Practice Group staff on litigation and advocacy. They also may provide direct supervision to staff or team members on certain cases and projects.


MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS Candidates must have a Juris Doctor degree plus 9 years of experience practicing law. Internal candidates, if employed at DRC for four continuous years and with eight years of experience practicing law, may also apply. Additional minimum qualifications include: · Demonstrated ability to lead complex advocacy projects, build strong relationships, and work well in collaborative settings; · Commitment to zealous client-centered advocacy – demonstrated by lived experience or public interest employment history – through the representation of people with disabilities, lower-income clients, and people of color, and by incorporating race-equity, civil rights, and community/movement lawyering principles into their work; · Expertise in one or more substantive areas of law related to the needs or rights of people with disabilities or the disability community; · Expertise in federal and/or state civil litigation, including class action, appellate practice and/or mandamus writs, and systemic policy advocacy; · 5 years of exemplary results in litigation; · 3 years of successfully leading, training, mentoring, and developing attorneys and advocates; · Excellent research, writing, analytic, and oral advocacy skills; · Demonstrated results from mentorship, leadership, and supervision of multiple attorneys or advocates; · Demonstrated ability to support and develop multiple junior staff in their own advocacy efforts, including litigation, systemic policy advocacy, administrative proceedings, and/or writs; · Demonstrated ability to collaborate effectively with other lawyers and support staff, and to develop and implement impact strategies; and · The ability to work independently with appropriate supervision. LICENSES / CERTIFICATES Must be a member of the California State Bar, or eligible to practice under the Registered Legal Services Attorney Program. PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS Competitive applicant may demonstrate one or more of the following qualifications which are desirable but not required: · Ability to communicate fluently and write effectively in Spanish or other language; or able to communicate using American Sign Language; · Experience with and/or extensive contacts in ethnic or language distinct communities; · Experience with one or more of the following areas: homelessness, institutionalization, criminal justice, substance abuse, underserved or disadvantaged socioeconomic groups, or Gay/Lesbian/Bi-Sexual/Transgender/Intersex (LGBTI) communities; · Lived experience as a person with a disability; or · Family member of a person with a disability. TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS Ability to travel (when it is safe to do so) occasionally for activities such as out-of-town meetings, trainings, and client representation activities up to 25% of the time.

To Apply: 

If you are interested in becoming a part of DRC, please submit the following: 1. Online Disability Rights California Application Form at 2. Your resume 3. Cover Letter: We need a workforce that can utilize insights and strategies that can come from both professional and personal experience. In your cover letter, please tell us about yourself and why you are a great fit for this position and for DRC. 4. Sample of legal writing (i.e., a legal argument, letter or analysis) consisting of no more than 10 pages of text. Incomplete applications will not be considered.


Submission Deadline: 
December 8, 2022
Organization Information: 
Disability Rights California
1831 K street
Sacramento, CA 95811
United States
Phone: 916-504-5927