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Senior Directing Attorney



NCYL seeks a Senior Directing Attorney to help lead our litigation efforts. The Directing Attorney will report directly to NCYL’s Executive Director and will litigate cases with other members of the litigation / legal advocacy team. We are seeking someone who has deep expertise regarding one or more public systems that significantly effect children and youth—including, but not limited to, education, immigration, health, mental health, child welfare, juvenile justice (including juvenile court-imposed fines & fees), and public benefits—and is capable of immediately generating new civil rights litigation in that area. We are also seeking someone interested in all of the subject-matter areas in which we work and capable of leading litigation in any area.

Essential Functions

  • Case development, which includes collaborating with state and local advocacy organizations and service providers, on-site interviews and investigations, and analysis of potential legal claims.
  • Leading cases, including collaborating with other NCYL litigators and with co-counsel, and legal research and analysis.
  • Litigation, including drafting complaints, motions, memoranda, and briefs; engaging in discovery, including federal discovery practice; and post-litigation enforcement of judgments/settlements.
  • Collaborating with non-litigating NCYL staff to ensure our litigation is informed by and advancing the goals of our campaigns.
  • Mentoring and supervising less senior attorneys and law clerks as needed.

Salary, Benefits and Location

This is a full-time, exempt, position.  Salary is competitive with a range of $130,000 – $143,000 annually.  NCYL provides health, dental, life, short-term and long-term disability insurance, vacation and sick benefits, and an employer contribution to a retirement plan.

Position will be located in Washington D.C.

Litigation / Legal Advocacy Team

NCYL’s Litigation / Legal Advocacy team brings impact litigation across all of the subject-matter areas in which NCYL works, including education, immigration, health, mental health, child welfare, juvenile justice, and public benefits. The team brings systemic cases against the federal government, state governments, and local agencies, often in collaboration with other public interest law firms and with support from pro bono partners. A description of our current cases can be found here. The cases are brought to defend and enforce the rights of marginalized children and catalyze deep, structural change in how our public systems serve the children and youth in their care.



Required Qualifications

  • J.D. degree, admitted to practice law.
  • Experience generating and leading impact litigation.
  • Deep substantive expertise in civil rights litigation and at least one issue area involving public systems that significantly effect children and youth.
  • Strong ability to manage complex projects, including the ability to creatively problem solve, to stay focused on the big picture, to effectively delegate, and to take responsibility for decisions.
  • Excellent analytic and writing skills.
  • Clear oral and email communication skills, including the ability to develop a rapport and persuasiveness.
  • Clear active listening skills, including the ability to understand and to show respect and empathy for others.
  • Commitment to NCYL’s overarching goals and objectives.
  • Ability and willingness to travel.


To Apply: 

How to Apply

Applications will be accepted through February 12, 2019. Submit a cover letter and resume to apply. No phone calls or emails please.

Apply at:

Applicants with personal experience within a public system, applicants of color, and those who will increase the diversity of NCYL are strongly encouraged to apply.

NCYL is an affirmative action / equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, age, ethnic background, sex, disability, size, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, color, marital status, personal appearance, family responsibilities, matriculation, or genetic information.


Submission Deadline: 
February 12, 2019
Organization Information: 
National Center for Youth Law
United States