Senior Staff Attorney

Full-time
Disability Rights Legal Center
Disability Rights Legal Center (DRLC) is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that will celebrate its 49th year in 2024 as the nation’s oldest cross-disability rights advocacy organization. Our mission is to champion the rights of people with disabilities through education, advocacy, and litigation. The DRLC strives to bring high- impact cases in administrative, state, and federal court. These cases impact the lives and conditions for many similarly situated people. Under the supervision of the Litigation Director, the Senior Staff Attorney leads and shapes disability law practice by developing and litigating systemic issues in state and federal court; creating, implementing, and participating in campaigns advocating for the rights of people with disabilities; and providing technical assistance and education to people with disabilities, coalitions, and community partners.
Description

SENIOR STAFF ATTORNEY JOB RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Develop and implement creative strategies to investigate and litigate systemic impact cases at the trial and appellate levels in state and federal courts.
  • Lead and supervise impact litigation cases.
  • Serve in a lead role in litigation and investigations, including case development, legal strategy, factual research, legal research, site visits, and client development.
  • Represent clients in complex class action and other high-impact lawsuits, individually or as part of a team, through all stages of litigation, including written discovery, document review, taking and defending depositions, meeting, and conferring with opposing counsel, motion practice, brief writing, in-court argument, client management, and appellate, trial, and monitoring work as needed.
  • Negotiate settlement agreements, including drafting structured negotiation agreements, mediation statements, term sheets, settlement agreements, and representing clients in negotiation sessions and conferences.
  • Supervise more junior attorneys, advocates, administrative staff, interns, volunteers, law clerks, and support hiring decisions.
  • Ensure case files and time records are properly maintained.
  • Participate in DRLC’s efforts to bring about systemic change on behalf of our clients.
  • Collaborate with and support the DRLC’s legal leadership team.
  • Represent the legal program as a member of DRLC’s Senior Management Team, supporting organizational management and strategic planning and implementation.
  • Stay informed about legal changes and help communicate legal changes and their significance to staff.
  • Support Communications & Development team by drafting external legal updates and support participation in media interviews by legal team.
  • Represent DRLC and its clients at local and regional stakeholder, coalition, and advocacy meetings.
  • Forge and cultivate relationships with community partners, decision-makers, government officials, allied organizations, and academics to create and implement strategies that advance the rights of people with disabilities.
  • Participate in internal and external conferences, meetings, and trainings as needed.
  • Provide technical assistance and training to impacted people, activists, and students.
  • Willingness to work beyond a typical workday, including some evening and weekend meetings and events, and work weeks more than 40 hours when caseload or other obligations require.
  • Other duties as assigned.

PREFERRED KNOWLEDGE & SKILLS

  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills, flexibility, and good humor.
  • Excellent legal, organizational, and time-management skills and ability to work in a fast-paced environment.
  • Excellent judgment, calm demeanor even under pressure, strong work ethic, resourceful, and able to maintain confidentiality.
  • Decisive, with ability to exercise independent judgment.
  • Proven ability to develop and maintain positive team environment and support staff morale and resilience.
  • Ability to mentor, train and provide career path guidance to staff.
  • Ability to work collaboratively in a team environment and to initiate and follow through on work independently.
  • Ability to adapt to changing priorities.
  • Ability to meet deadlines and perform multiple tasks while maintaining attention to detail.
  • Excellent program evaluation and project management skills.
  • Ability to lead projects, provide supervision, build strong relationships, and work well with others.
  • Demonstrated commitment to advancing the rights of people with disabilities.
  • Knowledge of a second language a plus, with Spanish language skills preferred.

EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE

  • D. or L.L.M. degree from an accredited law school and active membership in the California State Bar, or ability to obtain admission.
  • 5+ years of experience, preferably in disability rights or civil rights practice.
  • 3+ years of supervisory experience.
  • Litigation experience in California Superior Court or Federal Court.

SALARY AND BENEFITS:

The anticipated salary for this position is $100,000-$130,000 annually, commensurate with experience.

Benefits offered include:

  • Employee medical insurance HMO or PPO plan 100% employer-paid.
  • Employee dental and vision insurance 100% employer paid.
  • Employee life & long-term disability insurance 100% employer paid.
  • Vacation Days: 15 days per year, 20 days per year beginning the 3rd year of employment, accrued every pay period.
  • Health & Wellness (sick) leave: 12 days per year.
  • 15 days paid holidays, including Winter Break the last week of the year.
  • Job-related professional development fees (including annual state bar dues and professional memberships).

Employees with federal student loan debt may be eligible to apply for Public Service Loan Forgiveness through the Department of Education.  For more information, go to https://myfedloan.org/borrowers/special-programs/pslf.

TO APPLY:

Location: Remote/Hybrid – Work must be performed in California.

FLSA: Exempt

Type: Full time

Must be legally able to work in the United States and maintain proper work authorization throughout employment.

Applications must include resume, cover letter, and writing sample. Submit your complete application to Anabel Prudencio, Director of Administration at AP@thedrlc.org include “Senior Staff Attorney” in the subject line. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. No phone calls, please. Only those applicants who are selected for an interview will receive a response.

 

Introductory period – A six-month introductory period will be required.

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER:

DRLC is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, or protected veteran status and will not be discriminated against based on disability.

DRLC strives for a diverse workplace. Persons with disabilities or from other historically underrepresented or disadvantaged communities are strongly encouraged to apply. We believe that a diversity of experiences, opinions, and backgrounds is fundamental to achieving our mission.