Position: Senior Attorney or Counsel
Office: Chicago, IL (Midwest Regional Office)
Type: Per Lambda Legal's Work From Home (WFH) Policy, Work From Office (WFO) and WFH options are available with supervisor approval. Must be able to readily cover ongoing policy advocacy, development, and other in-person activities within the region.
Report To: Senior Counsel
Union Status: G8 or G9 (on scale of G1-G9)
Annual Salary Range: G8 = $94,446-$113,994; G9 = $99,216-$119,751
Travel: Up to 30%
FLSA Status: Exempt/Full-Time
Who We Are
Lambda Legal is a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people, and everyone living with HIV through impact litigation, education, and public policy work. Since 1973, Lambda Legal has used impact litigation and other advocacy tools to decriminalize same-sex relationships; challenge discrimination against LGBTQ+ people and people living with HIV in the workplace, in the home, in schools, in health care, and in the military; and protect LGBTQ+ families, including by winning and defending marriage equality. Clients are not charged for legal representation or advocacy and Lambda Legal receives no government funding. Headquartered in New York City, Lambda Legal has regional offices in Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, and Washington, DC.
We believe that serving the full breadth of the LGBTQ+ and HIV communities requires cultural competency and enthusiasm for diversity of all kinds. To be successful, we must approach our work with an understanding that discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity is not the only obstacle to achieving full formal and lived equality for LGBTQ+ people and everyone living with HIV; rather, we recognize the intersectional nature of discrimination, specifically including biases based on race, religion, national origin, gender, disability, education, and class. In light of this reality, we prioritize awareness and proactive commitment to counteracting these biases and their compounding effects.
Senior Attorney or Counsel (MRO)
Senior Attorneys and Counsels at Lambda Legal engage in cutting-edge impact litigation, public policy advocacy, and education furthering Lambda Legal’s mission. The Senior Attorney or Counsel will work independently and collaboratively to help serve Lambda Legal’s Midwest Regional Office and to further the mission of Lambda Legal nationwide.
This Lambda Legal attorney position is responsible for four major areas of work:
- Devise legal theories and litigation strategy
- Identify and cultivate litigation opportunities, whether from our legal Help Desk, referrals from private attorneys, media accounts, in response to government action, or other sources
- Conduct litigation in trial and appellate courts with a high degree of independence
- Provide amicus curiae support through brief writing and coordination
- Consult with private lawyers who are handling matters related to Lambda Legal’s areas of expertise
- Conceptualize and draft legislative and administrative proposals affecting the LGBTQ+ community or people living with HIV
- Track and analyze relevant proposals by others, often under significant time pressure
- Provide testimony, administrative and regulatory comments, and letters of support or opposition concerning policy proposals
- Work with stakeholders at the local, state, and national level including elected and appointed officials, community leaders, and partner organizations to support or oppose policy proposals
Education, Engagement, and Outreach
- Cultivate relationships with key coalition partners and allied organizations
- Pursue opportunities to share Lambda Legal’s organizational expertise, including by speaking at legal conferences, participating in continuing legal education programs, giving interviews to print, radio, television, and web reporters, and engaging in other public speaking
- Work collaboratively with colleagues in Lambda Legal’s Communications and Development Departments to advance knowledge about and gain support for Lambda Legal’s efforts to secure full legal and lived equality for LGBTQ+ people and everyone living with HIV
Successful candidates will welcome the opportunity to work in a racially- and gender-diverse environment and to contribute to a positive and inclusive atmosphere. Working at Lambda Legal requires a demonstrated awareness of and commitment to the concerns of the breadth of the communities that Lambda Legal serves.
Skills and competencies include:
- J.D. degree, license to practice law in at least one state in the United States and, if not licensed to practice in Illinois, a willingness to take the Illinois Bar exam
- Minimum of six years’ experience practicing law
- Strong written and oral advocacy skills, including the ability to address legal and other complex issues in clear, persuasive terms for a wide variety of audiences
- Creativity, tenacity, and leadership capacity to develop and execute strategies to advance Lambda Legal’s mission
- Cultural competency and a commitment to addressing the mutually reinforcing forms of discrimination that exist in our society, including discrimination based on race, sex, national origin, immigration status, disability, education and class; successful candidates will demonstrate their appreciation of why we prioritize stopping these forms of discrimination within our work to end discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or HIV status
- Ability to skillfully and empathetically interact with and counsel clients from the broad range of communities that Lambda Legal serves, including communities of color, immigrant communities, and lower-income communities
- Ability to operate with a high level of independence and initiative, to work well with others, to meet deadlines, and to manage stressful situations with equanimity
- Prior work on behalf of LGBTQ+ people and/or people living with HIV and/or experience working with other historically marginalized communities is preferred
- Leadership or supervisory experience of other legal professionals is a plus
- Spanish language proficiency is a plus
Benefits include Short- and Long-Term Disability, Life Insurance, Medical Insurance (Telemedicine included), Dental Insurance, and an Employee Assistance Program – all at no cost for the employee-only premium. Employees may obtain additional coverage for themselves and/or their families including Vision Insurance at a low cost. They also may enroll in a pre-tax Health Flexible Spending Account (FSA), Dependent Care Account, and Commuter Transit Account. Lambda Legal offers a 403(b)-Retirement Plan with a percentage match from Lambda Legal as outlined in the collective bargaining agreement between Lambda Legal management and the Lambda Unites bargaining unit. Paid time off includes the opportunity to accrue up to 15 days of vacation, 3 personal and 12 sick. Lambda Legal observes 10 holidays per year and is supportive of observance of religious holidays.
Read more about Lambda Legal's work on our blog, Twitter, and Instagram.
Lambda Legal believes in creating a more equitable playing field for applicants and values the depth of relevant skills built through successful education, work, and life experiences. If your background and skills are a close match for this position, you are strongly encouraged to apply.
Lambda Legal is committed to further building and maintaining a staff that reflects the full range of LGBTQ+, HIV-affected and allied communities, and is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. Lambda Legal encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship or immigration status, disability, veteran status, record of arrest or conviction, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law. Black people, Indigenous people, people of color, lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, transgender and gender-diverse people, women, people with abilities in multiple languages, immigrants, people living with disabilities, protected veterans, and formerly incarcerated individuals and individuals living with HIV are all encouraged to apply.