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Philadelphia, PA 19118
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Litigation Director


Columbia Legal Services is a nonprofit civil legal aid organization that advances social, economic, and racial equity for people living in poverty. We support communities and movements by bringing deep legal expertise that is grounded in – and strongly guided by – an understanding of race equity.


We seek systemic solutions by bringing class action lawsuits, using cutting edge legal theories, engaging in policy advocacy, and supporting communities in building their own power. We have a special responsibility to serve people whose access to free legal services is restricted, due to institutionalized or immigration status.


At CLS we seek a team that reflects our organizational values of community, race equity, and justice. This includes hiring staff with connections to the communities we serve whenever possible, and a commitment to strive for justice and equity in our hiring practices and in our staff culture.


Position Summary


Columbia Legal Services seeks a full-time Litigation Director to lead our statewide litigation work that seeks to dismantle the structures that perpetuate poverty, racism, and other injustices in Washington, particularly the mass incarceration and immigration systems. This position will work in close collaboration with our Policy Director and our Advocacy-Equity & Community Relationships Director to align our advocacy around our values and strategic goals, as well as to support equitable supervision throughout our advocacy program.  


CLS brings its core values of community, race equity, and justice into all aspects of its work, and we seek an individual for this role who aligns with these values. 


All CLS staff have the ability to complete some work remotely; however, this position will require some physical presence at the office, as well as an ability to attend required meetings at the office and in the community. This position may be based in any CLS office location: Kennewick, Olympia, Seattle, Wenatchee, and Yakima.  


CLS requires that all employees adhere to our COVID-19 vaccine mandate through proof of vaccination or by requesting a medical or religious accommodation. 




Litigation Support, Strategy, and Infrastructure (40%) 

  • Works with the Deputy Directors of Advocacy to coordinate and align all litigation across CLS with a focus on high-level advocacy, centering organizational strategic goals and shared values of community, race equity, and justice. 
  • Engages in litigation for coverage, support, and training purposes.  
  • Serves as final decision maker for litigation-related policies and procedures, in collaboration with other organizational leaders.  
  • Coordinates with CLS directors and departments to ensure strategic alignment and messaging, and aligned commitment to community engagement. 
  • Provides leadership, thought partnership and problem solving for advocates, including litigation practices, ethics advice and counsel, and other expertise.   
  • Assists with resource development for litigation efforts and manages litigation-related budgeting processes. 
  • Coordinates with the Litigation Support Specialist to maintain litigation related infrastructure. 
  • Provides regular communication updates to CLS staff and Board about litigation.  


Supervision, Mentorship, & Leadership (30%) 

  • Co-manages the Advocacy Team  (which includes employees working on litigation, policy, and/or community engagement) and the Advocacy Coordination Team (which includes all managers working on litigation, policy, and/or community engagement) with the Policy Director and the Advocacy Equity & Community Engagement Director. 
  • Supervises Deputy Directors of Advocacy and the Litigation Support Specialist. 
  • Champions and leads equitable supervision and professional development within the Advocacy Team, in collaboration with the Policy Director, Advocacy Equity & Community Engagement Director, and the Human Resources Director. 
  • Supports and mentors litigation team leaders. 
  • Collaborates with and provides thought partnership to other Directors, including on organization-wide projects and priorities. 
  • Participates in the Organizational Management Team and the Advocacy Coordination Team and Reports to the Executive Director.  


Training & Development (20%) 

  • Trains and leads, centering community lawyering and movement lawyering theory and skills.   
  • Supports excellence in legal writing, oral argument, and other legal tools.   
  • Organizes litigation-focused training and relevant materials. 
  • Coordinate with Human Resources and other directors to ensure all advocates receive litigation opportunities and training, and that Advocacy Team employees receive clear expectations and necessary training during their orientation period.  


External Connections (10%) 

  • Strengthens external partnerships with organizations in the Alliance for Equal Justice and other affiliated organizations nationally.  
  • Creates and nurtures relationships with the private bar to support CLS’s litigation efforts and implements processes to ensure that joint advocacy efforts reflect organizational values. 


This job description is not designed to contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee; others may be assigned. 




This full-time, non-exempt position is a confidential role and is not eligible for representation by Washington Legal Workers, our in-house labor union.  


Columbia Legal Services is committed to providing an equitable work environment, including a commitment to pay equity. As part of this commitment, all employees’ pay is based on years of experience in their role or in previous roles doing substantially similar work and set on a standard pay scale for their position, rather than on negotiations, which have been shown to contribute to pay disparities. The current annual salary range for an experienced Litigation Director with 5-10 years of directly relevant experience is $91,806 - $101,744. The range increases with years of experience.  


CLS has a 35-hour workweek and offers a comprehensive compensation package including the following: 

  • 14 paid holidays annually 
  • Winter Break office closure between Christmas and New Year’s Day 
  • 12 sick days annually 
  • 15-21 paid vacation days annually (based on years of experience) 
  • 3-5 personal days annually (based on years of experience) 
  • Paid parental and family medical leave benefits  
  • Paid sabbatical every 7 years 
  • Student Loan Repayment Assistance Program (for employees with less than 10 years’ experience) 
  • 100% of employee premiums for excellent health, vision, and dental benefits, plus 50% of the maximum out-of-pocket deductible, and offer heavily subsidized family premiums. 
  • 403(b) retirement benefit with employer contribution and a match 
  • Disability and life insurance, a subsidized transit pass, and an employee wellness program 
  • Home office setup for working remotely, time off for vaccinations or illness related to COVID-19, and an additional small stipend for miscellaneous costs. 




The ideal candidate will have all or most of the experience below or a combination of comparable experience where they have demonstrated similar skills or responsibilities.  


  • Demonstrated understanding of and commitment to dismantling and transforming two of the key racialized systems that perpetuate poverty, injustice, and dehumanization: mass incarceration and the impacts of the immigration system. 
  • Lived or other demonstrated meaningful and sustained experience with people living in poverty, people of color, immigrant or indigenous communities, and/or the criminal legal system. 
  • Commitment to confronting, exposing, and dismantling all forms of structural bias and oppression. 
  • Demonstrated experience in big picture thinking, considering multiple perspectives, and aligning strategy to long-term goals. 
  • Experience supervising multiple people at once and a demonstrated understanding of supervisory challenges and/or best practices. 
  • Law degree and license to practice in Washington, or ability to take the next Washington bar exam. 
  • Strong understanding of and demonstrated experience with litigation, legal writing, oral argument, and other legal tools, including experience leading litigation teams. 
  • Excellent written and oral communication, research, negotiation, and analytical skills. 
  • Demonstrated ability to build collaborative relationships with colleagues, and a desire to engage in shared leadership and decision-making. 
  • Ability to lead a team effectively, prioritize responsibilities, and meet deadlines on time-sensitive projects. 
  • Prioritization of self-care and a willingness to take breaks and vacations. 
  • Ability to travel occasionally around the state to attend meetings, engage with community, and supervise staff. 



  • A minimum of five years of litigation experience, including complex litigation and/or class action. 
  • Experience supervising other supervisors and/or providing supervisor training or coaching. 
  • Proficiency in Spanish is preferred but not required for this position; other language skills relevant to our client communities are a plus. 
To Apply: 

Please submit an application with a cover letter and resume in PDF format through our application portal in BambooHR.


We accept and review applications on a rolling basis, with priority given to applications received before April 5. We will remove the position from our website once it is filled.

If you need a reasonable accommodation for the application process, please email the Human Resources Team at careers(at)columbialegal(dot)org.


We are committed to an environment of mutual respect, collaboration, and equal opportunity for all employees, and strongly encourage applications from people of color, immigrants, people who have been affected by mass incarceration, and other underrepresented and historically marginalized groups. We believe in building and sustaining an organization that is reflective of the communities we serve, and is diverse in work background, experience, education, race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, ancestry, national origin, or sensory, mental and physical abilities. We believe that the resulting diversity is both a source of program strength and a matter of fundamental human fairness. 


Submission Deadline: 
May 31, 2024
Organization Information: 
Columbia Legal Services
1301 5th Ave Suite 1200
Seattle, WA 98133
United States
Phone: 2064645911