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Program Director and Senior Attorney, Justice Project

Company: DRI, The Voice of the Defense Bar
Location: Washington
Posted on: July 6, 2024

Job Description:

Who we are: Situated at the forefront of the national stage in the racial justice movement, Advancement Project is a cutting-edge, no-holds-barred national organization dedicated to building local power in communities of color. Centered on a movement lawyering approach, defined as community-centered racial justice lawyering, Advancement Project supports power building in grassroots organizations working to eliminate oppressive structures in our laws and institutions and shift narratives towards transformative change. From ending the school-to-prison pipeline to the fight to expand the right to vote, from calling for a complete overhaul of how we view the police and carceral state, to fighting for immigrant justice, Advancement Project impacts real change from the ground up. Building on more than 20 years, we continue to evolve our strategic thinking and creativity to imagine a more just world in which people of color can thrive, be safe, and free - and we are excited to bring on new talent to forward our vision. The Advancement Project's track record of success includes:

  • Pioneering the school-to-prison pipeline movement, winning significant victories in several school districts across the country to reform disciplinary policies and practices and remove police from schools entirely, including building and nurturing a grassroots movement of parents and youth. This work led to federal guidance on racial discrimination in school discipline.
  • Launching the National Police Free Schools Campaign with the Alliance for Education Justice, supporting local youth-led campaigns to end policing in their schools and calling for national demands for change for safety in public schools.
  • Serving as legal counsel in the 2000 president law edition case in Florida, successfully challenged North Carolina's voter suppression law and was the founding member of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition that won the ballot initiative to strike down the state's ban on voting for those with felony convictions. Supported legislative efforts to pass the Virginia Voting Rights Act, the first voting rights anti-discrimination law in the South.
  • Supporting Close the Workhouse Campaign in St. Louis, led by Action St, Louis, secured the city's agreement to close a jail and reinvest money into the community.
  • Working with survivors of Hurricane Katrina from New Orleans to ensure their voices were heard in the reconstruction process.
  • Partnering with Ben & Jerry's to launch a new flavor of ice cream, Justice Remix'd, the first time the company put an organization's name on its containers. Position Overview: We seek a movement-focused, strong advocate, and skilled Senior Attorney to serve as the Director and Senior Attorney for our Justice Project Program. The ideal candidate will manage the strategic direction, including litigation, advocacy, policy, and outreach initiatives for the Justice Project. Lead the implementation of strategic initiatives to advance strategic objectives and goals in the areas of policing, and criminalization projects, including cultivation of strategic partners. Manage team members and oversee team budget. This position will report to the Deputy Executive Director. What you'll do: Develop strategic direction for the Justice Project.
    • Develop the strategic plan for the Justice Project, including identifying and overseeing the implementation of litigation, advocacy, policy, organizing, and outreach initiatives.
    • Plan program/project activities, develop new initiatives in response to political and legal developments and ensure program projects and activities comply with relevant and trending legislation and policy.
    • Cultivate a broad and effective network of partners, including maintaining current national and local partnerships and developing new partner relationships.
    • Participates in all aspects of federal and state civil and appellate litigation, as needed, including Identifying litigation strategy, conducting legal research, and drafting legal memoranda, motions, and briefs, among other documents. Enhance the organization's capacity to advocate on issues related to the Justice Project
      • Serve as the subject matter expert on the criminalization of people of color, including but certainly not limited to policing, the closing of jails and prisons, and abolition.
      • Provide education, training, reports and direct feedback to team members organization-wide on issues related to assigned programs/projects.
      • Identify funding opportunities and work with the Development team to pursue them. Collaborate with other teams on the management and planning of programs and project efforts
        • Work cross-programmatically and through interdisciplinary approaches to ensure various teams support program and project efforts appropriately internally.
        • Share information regarding movement on program and project initiatives across the organization. Lead and provide direction to team members of the Justice Project
          • Develop and execute plans and strategies to meet team goals and objectives, and assist with the development of organizational goals, objectives, and strategies.
          • Identify the need for, develop, modify, and maintain team policies, procedures, and other guidance documents, including incorporating best practices, and addressing changes in the legal landscape and cultural environment.
          • Disseminate, implement, and enforceorganization and teamstandards, policies, and procedures, includingproviding proper guidance tothose carrying out related duties. Other related duties, as assigned. What you need to consider:
            • At least 10 years of relevant experience in a similar position and/or performing similar tasks.
            • Knowledge of legal and policy issues surrounding civil rights, policing, and criminalization projects, including mentoring and training staff attorneys.
            • Juris Doctorate (J.D.) from an accredited college or university.
            • License to practice law in Washington D.C. or possess the ability to waive into the Washington D.C. bar.
            • At least three years of experience managing people.
            • Ability to frequently travel locally, regionally, and nationally.
            • Ability to occasionally work evenings and periodically work weekends, as needed. Salary Range: This position pays between $132,390 to $160,384 depending on experience. PLEASE SUBMIT 2 WRITING SAMPLES WITH YOUR COVER LETTER
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Keywords: DRI, The Voice of the Defense Bar, Washington DC , Program Director and Senior Attorney, Justice Project, Legal , Washington, DC

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