Attorney, Child Welfare & Legal Advocacy, Oakland

The National Center for Youth Law (NCYL) advances justice by defending the rights of children and improving the systems impacting their lives. We focus on complex challenges that disproportionately impact children and communities of color and on solutions that require multiple public systems to change their policies, practices and culture.

NCYL is committed to fostering, cultivating, and preserving a culture of equity, diversity, and inclusion. We built our reputation and organizational success on embracing and encourage the collective sum of individual differences among our staff.


NCYL seeks an Attorney to work on impact litigation and policy initiatives on behalf of children and youth in the child welfare system. The attorney will also work on litigation and policy projects focused on improving access to quality mental health care for system-involved children and youth.

Essential Functions

  • Supporting litigation efforts.
  • Case development, including on-site interviews and investigations and analysis of potential legal claims.
  • Conducting legal research and analysis.
  • Litigation, and post-litigation enforcement of judgments/settlements, including drafting complaints, motions, memoranda, and briefs; and engaging in discovery.
  • Leading and supporting policy projects.
  • Working with stakeholder groups to advance policy initiatives.
  • Collaborating with other NCYL staff and with co-counsel.

Required Qualifications

  • J.D. degree
  • Admitted to practice law in California OR eligible to be admitted to practice law in California
  • At least two years of experience at a public interest law firm or government agency with a focus on litigation or policy OR three years of experience at a law firm with significant pro bono experience.

Desired Qualifications

  • Significant substantive knowledge of foster care and/or mental health care systems.
  • Policy, social work, or community organizing background.
  • Experience with coalition building.
  • Excellent analytic and writing skills.
  • Strong leadership skills and ability to manage complex projects.
  • Strong interpersonal skills.
  • Outstanding oral communication skills
  • Knowledge of the challenges facing children and youth in foster care.
  • Creative problem solving and ability to stay focused on the big-picture.
  • Commitment to NCYL’s overarching goals and objectives.
  • Ability and willingness to travel.

Salary and Benefits

This is a full-time, exempt position. Salary is competitive at $66,633.00. NCYL provides health, dental, life, generous vacation and sick benefits, commuter benefits, employer contribution to a retirement plan and short-term and long-term disability insurance.

How to Apply   

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Submit a cover letter and resume to apply. No phone calls or emails please.

Apply at: –Child-Welfare

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. Applicants of color and those who will increase the diversity of NCYL are strongly encouraged to apply.

Attorney – Child Welfare & Legal Advocacy
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