Lead Counsel

Children’s Rights is a leading national children’s advocacy organization dedicated to improving the lives of vulnerable children in government systems. Children’s Rights uses civil rights litigation, policy expertise, and public education to create positive systems change, with a 20-year track record in the area of child welfare reform of raising accountability, protecting rights and improving outcomes for children. Children’s Rights is seeking an experienced Lead Counsel to be an integral part of our organization at an exciting time of evolution in our program activities.

The core strength of our national advocacy program has been the grassroots development of legal reform campaigns to address dangerous systemic failings in child welfare systems across the country. Our litigation seeks injunctive relief largely in federal courts that mandates reforms. We remain actively involved in cases post-judgment to ensure implementation and compliance with court ordered improvements.

Children’s Rights attorneys and policy staff, working with local advocates, thoroughly investigate specific problems in failing systems, develop lawsuits where appropriate, conduct extensive discovery, work with substantive experts and prepare cases for trial or negotiated settlement if possible. Post-judgment work involves regular assessment of performance and extensive negotiations with state agency officials, experts and court-appointed monitors.

The Lead Counsel plays a management and supervisory role within the organization’s program structure for investigating, litigating and monitoring civil rights legal reform campaigns under the overall leadership of the Litigation Director and Executive Director. A Lead Counsel carries ultimate responsibility for case management, strategic thinking and professional development for attorneys on the teams they lead. A lead counsel is expected to reflect and promote the high value the organization places on staff growth and development, mentoring, collaboration, consultation and transparency. A lead counsel is also expected to assist in the identification and development of funding sources for our work and is expected to develop and maintain relationships with key stakeholders both in litigation jurisdictions and in the advocacy spaces we work in nationally.

QUALIFICATIONS

  • At least fifteen years of litigation experience with significant experience in complex federal court litigation, including trial experience (although exceptional candidates slightly outside that range may be considered).
  • Demonstrated leadership skills, including effectively inspiring and leading teams and ensuring strong internal communication and coordination.
  • Significant experience in and comfort with supervising, mentoring and developing legal staff.
  • Ability to develop and maintain relationships with stakeholders and partners, including non-profit advocacy groups, local private law firms and pro bono counsel from national law firms.
  • Exceptional analytical, organizational, writing and editing skills.
  • Demonstrated good judgment, and a high level of initiative, reliability and strategic thinking.
  • A personal approach that values individuals and respects all staff members’ talents and contributions.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, including a sense of humor and the ability to maintain balance and perspective.
  • Leadership experience in a civil rights, public interest, or legal services organization is a plus. Knowledge of children’s issues or social services systems is also a plus.
  • Commitment to advancing Children’s Rights’ mission, goals and programs.
  • Travel is required.

SALARY/BENEFITS

Salary is commensurate with experience and is competitive with top-level public interest organizations. CR offers an excellent benefits package.

APPLICATION PROCESS

Please submit a cover letter stating reason for interest, resume, and one recent writing sample (preferably including discussion of a constitutional, federal court, or other complex issue) via email to HR@childrensrights.org and include “Lead Counsel” in the subject line.

Due to the high volume of submissions, only applicants of interest will be contacted. No telephone calls, please.

CHILDREN’S RIGHTS IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY, AFFIRMATIVE ACTION EMPLOYER, AND WE ENCOURAGE APPLICATIONS FROM WOMEN, PEOPLE OF COLOR, PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES, LGBTQI AND GENDER NON-CONFORMING PEOPLE.