Senior Staff Attorney – Racial Justice
Job Title FLSA Status
Senior Staff Attorney – Racial Justice Full-Time, Exempt
Reports to Salary Range
Legal Director $80,000-$85,000 DOE
We are looking for a skilled racial justice attorney with excellent written and oral advocacy skills, someone who is passionate about litigating and advocating to dismantle unjust systems, devoted to movement lawyering, committed to working in a collaborative environment, and eager to train and support junior attorneys.
As one of the oldest civil rights institutions on the West Coast, our goal at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area is to dismantle systems of oppression and racism, and to build an equitable and just society. Formed in 1968 to bridge the legal community and the Civil Rights Movement, we’re known for advancing the rights of people of color, immigrants, refugees and low income individuals. Our grounding in community and direct legal services helps us identify the most pressing civil rights issues and informs the broader impact litigation and policy advocacy we undertake. Not only do we fight oppression and construct more just systems and institutions, we build the movement by investing in legal fellows and supporting a network of over 1,000 active pro bono attorneys who fight alongside us.
We provide free legal assistance and representation for clients facing a broad range of inter-related issues, including policing, homeless sweeps, fines and fees, immigration, and education. We learn from and work with our clients to identify larger patterns of injustice, which shapes our precedent-setting litigation and policy advocacy in our core areas of Racial, Economic and Immigrant Justice.
Some of our recent victories include: achieving a $5.5M settlement from Caltrans for destroying unhoused people’s belongings and modifications to its statewide procedures for “sweeps” of encampments; overturning a 35-year-old loitering ordinance in Oakland and documenting other discriminatory policing patterns through FOIA requests of incident reports; winning a case against the U.S. government to enforce basic detention conditions for immigrants in border control custody; co-sponsoring and helping pass California’s historic Public Banking Act to help close the racial wealth gap.
About the Racial Justice Team
As part of our racial justice work, LCCRSF is drawing on its years of experience to meet the demands of a moment defined by COVID-19 and the national reckoning in response to police brutality. LCCRSF provides critical direct legal services in Black and Brown communities while pursuing impact litigation and advocating for a racial justice lens in local/statewide policies. For example, we are working to:
- Release a report (Fall 2020) on racism in statewide infraction policing, including protest policing.
- Create a racial justice resource for our network of 1,000+ pro bono attorneys, which will include information about opportunities to join movement work, donate to bail funds, and Know Your Rights materials.
- Litigate for people injured by the violent tactics of law enforcement, to prevent future police violence and get recompense for those harmed.
- Advocate for the dismantling of harmful police and criminal justice systems and reinvestment in alternatives, such as eliminating infraction policing, criminal fees, and failure to appear license suspensions, and investing in community-led mental health emergency response programs.
By being grounded in community and listening to our clients and grassroots partners across the Bay Area, we are able to identify the greatest needs and how our expertise can best be used to fill critical gaps. We are thinking strategically and creatively about how we can best mobilize pro bono partners, and innovate nimble responses.
Learn more at www.lccrsf.org.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
- Identify racial justice issues for impact litigation and policy advocacy, including investigating cases and strengthening the organization’s ties with community partners and clients who best understand which issues are top priority and the remedies needed.
- Lead and assist with impact litigation on our civil rights docket, including legal research, drafting and reviewing filings and correspondence, discovery, motion practice, trial advocacy, appellate advocacy and/or other litigation tasks.
- Engage in legislative and administrative advocacy, such as drafting of regulations and legislation, meetings with client organizations, representation of groups before administrative and legislative bodies, and technical assistance to policy makers.
- Help supervise staff, fellows, and students, including fellows staffing our client work in our decriminalization of poverty clinic.
- Seek opportunities to engage in public education and media advocacy consistent with our identified program strategies and in consultation with Communications staff.
- Assist as necessary to meet program goals with development, program administration, and data management, including timekeeping records.
Minimum Qualifications or Equivalent Experience
- A minimum of six years of post-graduate legal experience, strong preference for litigation experience
- California Bar membership
- Knowledge of and demonstrated leadership in civil rights law advocacy, particularly racial justice
- Prior experience working with/ties to low-income communities of color
- Experience working in legal services or law school direct services clinics preferred
- Excellent oral and written communication skills
- Skill at working cooperatively on diverse teams
$80,000-$85,000 DOE, plus generous benefits including medical, dental and vision, commute benefits, 403b retirement plan with salary match after one year of employment, and paid Bar dues and continuing education. Time off includes 15 days’ vacation plus one floating holiday, 13 paid office holidays, up to 12 sick days/year, and our office is closed between Christmas and New Year’s (remote working if have deadlines.) We value health, wellness and balance.
We are 100% remote through at least December 31, 2020, and will outfit you to work from home as needed. We offer an LCCRSF laptop, support for your home workstation, and reimbursements towards home cell and internet.
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Applicants should submit: 1) a cover letter; 2) a resume; 3) contact information for a minimum of three references; and 4) two writing samples (750 words or less) by email to firstname.lastname@example.org (w/ “Senior Staff Attorney-Racial Justice” in the subject line).
In your cover letter, please make sure you respond to the following question, or we may choose not to consider your application:
LCCRSF serves highly diverse communities. To ensure that we are best positioned to serve these communities, we strive to promote behaviors, attitudes and policies that help us work effectively in cross-cultural situations with clients, our coworkers, and our communities. We seek to create an inclusive and respectful workplace in which differences are acknowledged and valued. How have your background or experiences, professional or otherwise, prepared you to contribute to our commitment to cultural competency and racial equity? Feel free to think broadly about your response to this question, applying various aspects of your life and personal experiences.
Due to the COVID 19 pandemic, our office is currently remote and responsive via email. We expect to arrange interviews via Zoom.
Please submit questions about this position to email@example.com.
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer. People of color, LGBTQ candidates, women, persons with disabilities and individuals over 55 are encouraged to apply.