The California Teachers Association is a dynamic labor organization that represents over 325,000 employees in California’s public schools and colleges. The CTA Legal Director has significant responsibility for overseeing the litigation and legal strategies pursued on behalf of CTA and, where applicable, its chapters and members throughout California. The Legal Director plays a key role in managing Legal Department staff and administering CTA’s legal programs in a collegial working environment.
Duties and Responsibilities
Work closely with Chief Counsel and other staff to develop the priorities and direction of the strategic litigation, both affirmative and defensive, in which CTA plays a role.
Supervise litigation and various other matters handled by CTA staff attorneys and law clerks, including the training and education provided by the CTA Legal Department.
Evaluate funding requests made through the CTA Group Legal Services Program and assist in administration of that program. Work closely with numerous outside counsel who represent CTA members and chapters in statutory and other legal matters.
Liaison with outside law offices, the National Education Association Office of General Counsel, and government agencies on matters of litigation and policy. Take responsibility for legal, managerial, personnel-related, confidential, administrative, and other duties.
Supervise nine CTA staff attorneys located in offices in northern and southern California.
Assist Chief Counsel in matters such as advising CTA’s Executive Director and Board of Directors, assigning counsel to legal cases, and handling internal union governance matters.
Review legislative matters and co-counsel major litigation involving CTA.
Provide prompt advice to CTA and its chapters on a wide range of issues involving public education, labor law, constitutional questions, and other matters.
Serve as public spokesperson on critical legal and policy matters impacting the organization.
California Bar membership.
Ten years or more of experience as a practicing attorney.
Significant litigation experience and an ability to supervise legal work on cases before federal and state courts at the trial and appellate level, as well as those before administrative agencies, arbitrators, and mediators.
Prior experience managing attorneys, staff, budget, and cases in a law office.
Excellent writing ability, including the ability to write persuasively and tailor one’s written product to a range of audiences including judges, employers, attorneys, CTA staff, and CTA members. Similarly, an excellent ability to review the written product of other attorneys, provide critical and constructive feedback, and ensure that the final written product is accurate, thorough, clear, and persuasive.
Excellent oral presentation and argumentation skills, including the ability to critique and supervise the preparation of oral argument and presentation by other attorneys in a variety of settings, including appellate advocacy.
Excellent ability to analyze complex and significant legal issues thoroughly and strategically, including the ability to evaluate Group Legal Services cases for CTA and communicate those evaluations to GLS attorneys.
Excellent ability to supervise cases and attorneys of all experience levels.
Excellent ability to handle confidential, personnel, and collective bargaining concerns for CTA as an organizational client.
Excellent ability to handle multiple priorities and short deadlines.
Valid California driver's license.
* This position is external to the CSO bargaining unit.
Founded in 1863, the California Teachers Association has become one of the strongest advocates for educators in the country. CTA includes teachers, counselors, school librarians, social workers, psychologists, and nurses. These educators in the K-12 school system are joined by community college faculty, California State University faculty, and education support professionals to make CTA the most inclusive and most powerful voice of educators in the state.