Senior Litigator or Staff Attorney (Racial Justice & Policing) – Lawyers for Civil Rights

Lawyers for Civil Rights (“LCR”) is a leading hub for litigation and advocacy in response to the current climate. We have filed and won dozens of life-changing and law-changing cases on a wide range of civil rights issues, including racial justice, voting rights, education, immigration, housing, and policing.

In response to the national reckoning at the intersection of racial justice and policing, LCR is creating a new attorney position dedicating to deepening and expanding our police accountability work. LCR is engaged in significant work in this arena already, which we seek to build upon. In support of #BlackLivesMatter, we are suing the Boston police for fatally shooting Terrence Coleman, a young Black man living with a disability. We have favorably resolved many cases involving Black and Latinx victims of police violence and misconduct, including racial profiling. We are also representing victims of hate crimes across Massachusetts, prioritizing those neglected by local law enforcement.

We also provide legal representation to Black and Latinx police officers and firefighters affiliated with the Massachusetts Association of Minority Law Enforcement Officers (“MAMLEO”) and the Boston Society of Vulcans (“Vulcans”). In partnership with MAMLEO and the Vulcans, we are leading a multi-disciplinary campaign promoting racial, gender and linguistic diversity in public safety agencies, including police and fire departments. This campaign is centered on impact litigation (Jones v. City of Boston), individual client representations (Defay v. City of Boston), and public records requests and lawsuits (LCR v. City of Boston), and also includes policy advocacy, communication strategies, and extensive community outreach in close coordination with key allies, including the NAACP and the Greater Boston Latino Network.

The new attorney will build on this highly successful work to maintain a constant stream of litigation focusing primarily on this arena. Depending on community need, the new attorney may also perform work on cases in other LCR priority areas.

Candidates with more than 10 years of legal experience and with a demonstrated track-record of successfully developing complex litigation will be considered for the Senior Litigator position. All other candidates will be considered for the Staff Attorney position. A successful candidate for the Staff Attorney position will have at least 3-5 years of litigation experience and a strong commitment to racial justice.

The Senior Litigator or Staff Attorney will actively develop litigation work and will also support strategic policy advocacy, community outreach, and communication efforts to ensure the organization’s visibility across diverse communities and social justice movements. It is anticipated that a Senior Litigator would report to LCR’s Litigation Director; a Staff Attorney would report to LCR’s Supervising Attorney.

SUMMARY OF KEY RESPONSIBILITIES (% of time spent)

Case Development (75%)

Develop and maintain own significant caseload of civil rights matters in federal and state court. Ensure development of a consistent pipeline of new cases that will be co-counseled with pro bono law firms. Ensure the measurable quarterly growth of the litigation docket.

Policy Advocacy, Community Outreach, and Organizational Visibility (15%)

Participate in community outreach, policy advocacy, legislative advocacy, and community meetings that are strategically aligned with the development of impact litigation and policy reform in targeted areas. Leverage policy advocacy and community outreach to ensure that our organization remains highly visible across diverse communities and social justice movements.

Leadership and Supervision (10%)

Serve as a resource for attorneys at pro bono law firms on civil rights cases. Provide leadership and strategic direction for the organization’s fellows, interns, and administrative staff.

JOB DESCRIPTION

Case Development (75%)
Develop and maintain own significant litigation caseload in state and federal court.
Actively engage in litigation, through the following activities:
– Devise legal theory and strategy;
– Evaluate and investigate potential claims;
– Identify plaintiffs;
– Handle intakes;
– Work with pro bono law firms;
– Conduct all aspects of legal research;
– Draft pleadings, motions, briefs and complaints;
– Conduct depositions and written discovery;
– Engage in trial and appellate work;
– Negotiate and monitor settlement agreements;
– Pursue attorney fee awards; and
– Coordinate amicus briefs.

Participate in supervision meetings with Litigation Director and other senior staff to assess work.

Track work and “billable” hours for monthly/quarterly reports.

Ensure that all internal and external work is aligned with the organization’s brand, policies, procedures, and protocols.

Policy Advocacy, Community Outreach, and Organizational Visibility (15%):

Represent the organization in meetings with stakeholder and constituent groups, public conferences, and in other outreach efforts that are strategically and concretely aligned with the development of complex litigation and policy advocacy. Participate in traditional media appearances (TV and radio); social media activities; and other communication efforts, including drafting community education materials, press releases, and newsletters. Support fundraising efforts.

Leadership and Supervision (10%):
– Serve as a resource for attorneys at pro bono law firms working on our cases.
– Provide leadership and supervision for fellows, interns, and administrative staff.
– Actively develop expertise in substantive areas of civil rights law and legal practice.
– Participate in the development of long-term strategic goals and objectives for the organization.

PERFORMANCE BENCHMARKS

1. SUCCESSFULLY FILING AND LITIGATING CASES:

The Senior Litigator or Staff Attorney will be evaluated based on the ability to develop and maintain own significant litigation caseload in state and federal court, typically in partnership with pro bono law firms. Additionally, the Senior Litigator or Staff Attorney will be evaluated on the capacity to produce high-quality results by applying technical knowledge, analyzing problems, and calculating risks.

2. SUCCESSFULLY ENGAGING IN POLICY ADVOCACY AND COMMUNITY OUTREACH TO ADVANCE LCR’S MISSION AND ENHANCE LCR’S VISIBILITY:

The Senior Litigator or Staff Attorney will be evaluated based on the ability to successfully engage in policy advocacy and community outreach efforts that are strategically and concretely aligned with complex litigation and policy reform. Additionally, the Senior Litigator or Staff Attorney will be evaluated on the capacity to expand strategic relationships that achieve our mission.

3. SUCCESSFULLY EXERCISING LEADERSHIP DUTIES:

The Senior Litigator or Staff Attorney will be evaluated on the ability to support and strengthen litigation protocols, office policies, office management, social media, communications, and fundraising efforts.

QUALIFICATIONS

Applicants must have:

A bachelor’s degree and a Juris Doctor.

For the Senior Litigator position, at least 10 years of post-JD experience and be an active member of the Massachusetts bar in good standing.

For the Staff Attorney position, at least 3-5 years of post-JD experience and be an active member of the Massachusetts bar in good standing.

Excellent writing and analytical skills.

Outstanding interpersonal, organizational, and leadership skills.

The ability to work productively and efficiently with minimal supervision.

A demonstrated commitment to racial justice and civil rights.

COVID-19

Until further notice, LCR’s staff is working remotely due to COVID-19. Since March, the team has been highly productive continuing to file groundbreaking cases virtually, including a landmark case securing mail-in ballot applications for all registered voters in Massachusetts (Bertin v. Galvin); a major constitutional challenge to the Trump Administration’s efforts to remove undocumented persons from the 2020 Census (Haitian-Americans United v. Trump); and the first coronavirus class action in the country to secure the humanitarian release of dozens of immigration detainees (Savino v. Souza).

The Senior Litigator or Staff Attorney will be onboarded remotely, and will be expected to maintain a high level of productivity virtually.

The organization will consider strong candidates who would work from Worcester or Springfield, Massachusetts.

Excellent benefits including employer-paid health insurance.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and accepted until September 14, 2020. Applicants must submit a cover letter (highlighting relevant experience and salary requirements); a resume; description of state and federal cases litigated, including your role in them; and a writing sample/brief (not to exceed 10 pages). Please submit your application via email to employment@lawyersforcivilrights.org with all the relevant materials.