BayLegal seeks an experienced and committedsocial justice attorney and litigator to lead our impact litigation practice. Our impact litigation team was created to support our 120+ direct services attorneys to identify, develop and bring impact litigation and advocacy to address the problems of the poorest and most vulnerable residents in seven Bay Area counties. The Director is a member of BayLegal’s senior management team and reports to and works collaboratively with BayLegal’s Director of Program & Advocacy.
The Director of Litigation works with senior program managers, supervising attorneys and staff attorneys to bring high-impact cases to address the systemic breakdowns identified through our direct client representation cases. Given cases generate from our direct services work, a significant focus of the position is mentoring attorneys across the firm in developing impact litigation skills to bring about systemic change. Some of BayLegal’s impact litigation can be found on our website: https://baylegal.org/category/advocacy. The next Director of Litigation will have an exceptional opportunity to grow, shape, and direct BayLegal’s litigation practice to effectively address the legal barriers of individuals and communities living in poverty.
As Director of Litigation, you will have the opportunity to:
- Develop and implement a strategic vision for BayLegal to engage in high quality impact litigation;
- Lead and support teams of attorneys litigating impact lawsuits on behalf of low-income individuals and communities;
- Mentor, advise, and supervise attorneys and advocates at all levels to help develop litigation skills;
- Collaborate closely with the Director of Program and Advocacy to strategize about and coordinate advocacy efforts, and to provide supports to staff and managers to optimize high quality advocacy across the firm;
- Oversee BayLegal’s impact litigation training series and support the development of legal reading, analysis, writing, oral argument, and presentation skills;
- Lead BayLegal’s “Impact Team,” which identifies, reviews, helps to develop, and approves new litigation;
- Lead and model the practice of anti-racist lawyering in all impact teamwork;
- Supervise Senior Litigation Counsel;
- Oversee BayLegal’s attorneys’ fees practice;
- Oversee internal and public communications regarding BayLegal’s impact litigation cases and advocacy;
- Work with civil rights and legal aid law firm partners in the Bay Area and throughout the state of California to identify and collaborate on litigating systemic barriers facing individuals and communities in poverty;
- Work with BayLegal’s management team to develop and refine litigation protocols and regional advocacy;
- Develop and maintain litigation management and support systems;
- Work with BayLegal’s Pro Bono Department to involve private law firms, corporate counsel and private attorneys in co-counseling and supporting BayLegal’s work;
- Work with BayLegal's Development & Communications and Grants & Contracts teams to promote BayLegal's mission and resource development; and
- Engage in other tasks and projects that further the interest of BayLegal’s mission and operations as a non-profit.
Requirements/Qualifications/About the Successful Candidate:
- Membership in good standing in the California State Bar or admitted to practice in another state and eligible to practice under the California State Bar rules for the Registered Legal Services Attorney program (must pass CA Bar);
- Humility in working with colleagues and clients across the spectrum of diversity, including race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, immigrant status, religious identity, physical and mental disabilities, and/or limited English proficiency;
- Passion for BayLegal’s mission and demonstrated commitment to advocating for the legal rights of low-income persons;
- At least 10 years of experience as a practicing attorney.
- Demonstrated track record of creative and high impact advocacy required. Preference for candidates with at least 10-15 years of experience litigating cases in state and federal court;
- Successful management experience in a legal services non-profit or similar organization;
- Strong interpersonal skills and an ability to lead and work collaboratively with a dynamic and diverse team;
- Demonstrated commitment, skills, and experience in mentoring and training less-experienced attorneys;
- Facility and transparency in communicating important information to staff and ability to motivate commitment to the mission and inspire and encourage professional growth in others;
- Excellent oral communication skills and ability to inspire the trust and confidence of the BayLegal staff, Management Team, Board, client communities, and the public;
- Ability to develop and articulate a clear vision of priorities and inspire others to maximum effectiveness;
- Experience working with media preferred;
- Excellent analytical, oral, writing, editing, and proof-reading skills, with ability to be detail-oriented; and
- Strong personal work ethic and ability to organize time, manage diverse activities, and meet critical deadlines.
Compensationand Benefits: We offer a diverse, family friendly environment, and compensation based on competitive public interest salaries along with a generous benefits package. The anticipated starting annual salary range for this position is: $140,000 - $185,000 (placement in range determined primarily by years of related experience). BayLegal's benefits package includes 100% employer covered medical, dental, and life insurance for employees and up to 60% for dependents; long term disability insurance; stipends for bilingual employees whose language skills are used in the provision of work tasks; student debt repayment program; dependent childcare employer contribution program; and 401k retirement plan following first year. Paid leave policy includes sick leave; parental leave; 15 holidays each year, 3 floating holidays (days based on personal choice and agreement with manager), and vacation (starting at 13 days and increasing with additional years of employment).
Applications Instructions: BayLegal thrives on our diversity, and we are proud to be an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to building a culturally diverse workplace and strongly encourage women, LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, Intersex, Asexual) and QTBIPOC (Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) individuals, veterans, individuals who have been impacted by the criminal justice system, persons with disabilities, and persons from other underrepresented groups to apply. We are committed to equal employment opportunity and providing reasonable accommodations to qualified candidates and employees pursuant to applicable law. We value and encourage diversity and solicit applications from all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, gender, sex, age, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, marital status, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, medical condition, military and veteran status, gender identity or expression, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law. If you require a reasonable accommodation as part of the application process, please contact BayLegal’s Human Resources Manager at (510) 250-5225.
BayLegal will begin reviewing applications upon receipt and continue until the position is filled. Using BayLegal’s career application portal please submit the following:
- Cover letter including responding to question below (no page limit).
- Writing Sample. Please submit a sample of your legal writing that is representative of your own work (not something highly edited) and indicate the names of individuals (if any) who provided you with edits or comments on the writing sample.
- Litigation and Advocacy Experience and Case List. Please provide a general overview of your experience litigating matters in state and federal trial and appellate courts, and your public policy experience. In addition, please provide a list of the most significant cases in which you have appeared as counsel. For each case on your list, please provide a citation to the decision (or, if none was published, the name of the case and the case number); a brief description of the case and why it is significant; and a brief description of your role in the case (e.g. whether you were sole, lead or associate counsel, and what significant litigation tasks you undertook). If there are more than 10 cases that fit this category, please limit your response to the 10 most significant cases.
- 4 references, which should include at least one individual whom you have supervised and one individual who supervised you.
- BayLegal may request that candidates respond to a short writing prompt on a later date.
As part of your cover letter, please address the following: BayLegal’s clients are low-income and very low-income members of our communities. They include LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, Intersex, Asexual) and QTBIPOC (Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) individuals, the working poor, seniors, people who are limited English proficient, veterans, persons with disabilities, survivors of abuse and exploitation, individuals impacted by the criminal justice system, and people who are experiencing or at risk of homeless, and persons from other underrepresented groups. To ensure our organization is best serving these populations, BayLegal strives to promote an evolving set of behaviors and attitudes amongst our staff, as well as policies that enable us to work effectively across cultures, with clients, with our coworkers, and with the community. We see this as a commitment to enhance the provision of our services to all clients; to raise the level of positive client outcomes; and to create an inclusive and respectful workplace in which differences are acknowledged and valued.
How do you think your experiences, professional or otherwise, prepared you to serve our diverse client base effectively, work effectively with colleagues from different backgrounds than your own, and to contribute to our commitment to humility, inclusion, and diversity? Feel free to think broadly about your response to this question, applying various aspects of your life and personal experiences.