Statewide Advocacy Counsel
Northwest Justice Project (NJP) seeks a Statewide Advocacy Counsel (“AC”) to support high quality representation and legal advocacy across the program. The AC will provide general support on civil procedure and trial practice across subject areas and coordinate NJP’s substantive work in employment and reentry law. Every year, NJP provides legal services in over 14,000 cases, serving over 30,000 low-income people in Washington State. The ACs coordinate strategic litigation and other advocacy efforts in their area(s) of expertise and support advocates across the state in furthering NJP’s mission of combatting injustice, strengthening communities and protecting the human dignity of Washington’s low-income individuals, families and communities.
The AC serves as a member of NJP’s leadership team and works closely with the Senior Managing Attorneys and Client Access Senior Managing Attorney, as well as other ACs and NJP’s executive management to meet the overall goals and commitments of the organization. The position will likely be based in Seattle, but NJP will consider placement in another field office, dependent on space. Travel throughout the state required. This is a full-time position.
· Advocacy Leadership:
o Identify, assess and communicate emerging issues and unmet client legal needs, including needs unique to populations who experience particular barriers to accessing the justice systems.
o Develop and support affirmative litigation and systemic advocacy (including appeals) in identified subject matters;
o Facilitate the work of statewide advocacy task forces and work groups; establish and promote cross-program advocacy teams. Develop and promote effective advocacy strategies, including non-litigation projects (for example, community legal education efforts, client/community/program relationship building, collaboration with bar and court-related access to justice activities);
o Develop and maintain relationships with equal justice partners and stakeholders.
· Advocate Support
o Serve as a resource to advocates on affirmative civil litigation practice, including civil procedure, discovery and evidentiary issues, and trial and argument preparation.
o Serve as a resource to advocates and equal justice partners on employment and reentry related legal issues, litigation and policy advocacy needs. Develop advocate expertise in these subject matters across the state.
o Assist individual advocates, task forces, and work groups to define and obtain client objectives, including resolving potential inconsistencies in strategies, funding source compliance requirements, professional responsibility and ethical obligations, and/or competing interests of client communities;
o Help to identify the need for, develop, and update advocacy resource materials, including practice manuals and case handling standards, media releases and client access materials;
o Help assess professional development needs of NJP advocates; work with NJP’s professional development specialist to develop and deliver training and facilitate effective mentorship of NJP advocates.
o Develop training, with other civil legal services partners, to expand expertise and increase the capacity of NJP advocates and equal justice partners.
· Race Equity Leadership
o Advance NJP’s organizational commitment to fight racism and to incorporate equity and inclusion in the work we do and the environment we create; approach their work with a desire to learn and grow regarding racial equity.
o Serve as a leader, in collaboration with other members of NJP’s leadership team, in developing resources to advance racial equity in advocacy work.
· Program Initiatives
o Work with statewide leadership team to promote balanced and equitable distribution of work through the program, and ensure that client representation and advocacy activities are consistent with the program mission, NJP’s Strategic Plan and Washington Access To Justice Board's Hallmarks and State Plan;
o Help to carry out program initiatives in order to help meet NJP objectives as a dynamic statewide law firm to empower clients and combat injustice in all forms.
· A demonstrated commitment to serving low-income people; understanding of the unique needs of populations that experience particular barriers to access to justice systems and of effective approaches and methods for addressing those needs;
· A minimum of 8 years of litigation experience; excellent litigation skills and experience leading affirmative or complex litigation. Skill with mentoring and supporting other advocates seeking to grow litigation skills.
· Significant substantive experience in one or more of the following areas: plaintiff’s side employment law, reentry or civil rights; the willingness and ability to develop expertise in other substantive areas.
· Commitment to advancing racial equity in legal advocacy; experience engaging with racial equity initiatives. Cultural competence with low-income client communities.
· Ability to effectively communicate, motivate others, and work collaboratively with diverse groups of people with varying perspectives, experience, and expertise;
· Ability to listen deeply, integrate feedback, and develop strong relationships internally and with community organizations. Experience engaging with client communities and community based organizations as a partner in advocacy.
· Leadership, initiative, creativity and problem solving abilities; willingness to take risks and to embrace change and uncertainty;
· Excellent written and verbal communication skills;
· Ability to regularly travel throughout Washington state and the willingness to periodically work outside typical office hours.
· Member of Washington State Bar or ability to obtain membership by motion.
· Understanding of civil equal justice or legal aid programs in Washington State; experience working in civil legal aid.
· Experience working in tribal communities and familiarity with tribal code.
· Experience working with farmworkers.
· Experience leading teams, with or without direct supervisory authority.
· Experience with advocacy in all levels of state and federal court, and administrative forums; ability to use non-litigation advocacy tools to advance strategic goals
· Ability and willingness to learn and integrate new technologies and methodologies to efficiently perform responsibilities.
Salary will be commensurate with the scope of responsibilities for the position. We offer a comprehensive benefits package, which includes 100% paid employee health premiums and significant premium shares for family health premiums, as well as generous time off.
Hours of work: NJP’s typical office hours are 9:00 – 5:00, Monday through Friday. Statewide Advocacy Counsel Positions are exempt and those in the position are expected to work the hours needed to meet the professional responsibilities.
Interested candidates should send a cover letter and current resume to Victoria Hester at firstname.lastname@example.org . Email subject line should clearly reference “Statewide Advocacy Counsel.” Application materials should specifically identify examples of relevant cases applicant has handled, including whether as lead or co-counsel, policy and other non-litigation advocacy, transactional work, training, CLE presentations, etc., recognitions and references.
NJP will applications for this position through November 15, 2019.
NJP is committed to a policy of equal opportunity and fosters an environment free of barriers and discriminatory practices. NJP actively promotes mutual respect, acceptance, teamwork and productivity. NJP is committed to maintaining an organization whose staff, Board and clients are diverse in background, experience, race, color, national origin, gender, age, religious reference, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, sensory, mental or physical abilities, veteran status, and other qualities that strengthen the program while reinforcing its commitment to basic fairness. People of color, people who identify as transgender, lesbian, gay, or bisexual, and those with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply. Individuals needing a reasonable accommodation for the application or interview process or for more information about the project should contact Victoria Hester at (206) 707-0998.