Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights seeks an experienced attorney to serve in the role of Senior Counsel. The attorney will develop and lead impact litigation and systemic policy advocacy in our core practice areas, with an emphasis on education equity.
Founded in 1969, Chicago Lawyers’ Committee is Chicago’s preeminent non-profit civil rights legal organization. Building on our history of long-standing partnerships with over 30 member law firms, our mission and strategic direction includes an explicit focus on racial equity and community-driven goals. We provide legal representation through pro bono and co-counsel partnerships with the private bar and collaborate with grassroots organizations and other advocacy groups to implement community-based solutions that advance civil rights. Chicago Lawyers’ Committee’s advocacy toolbox includes direct legal services in litigation and transactional matters, impact litigation, policy advocacy, community education, media advocacy, and coalition building. Located in downtown Chicago, Chicago Lawyers’ Committee has a 20-member staff and a $2.1 million annual budget with a healthy mix of funding sources.
The Education Equity Project protects and promotes access to education by addressing the individual and systemic barriers that disproportionately impact historically disadvantaged communities. We work to protect individual students’ rights; we address systemic barriers by promoting school policy reform using an explicit racial justice lens; and we employ a community lawyering model to advise community groups, advocate for partnerships and conduct outreach to parents and students who are affected by the school-to-prison pipeline and exclusionary discipline policies. Chicago Lawyers’ Committee’s other core practice areas include housing and community economic development, voting rights and civic empowerment, hate crime, and police accountability.
The Senior Counsel position is an exciting leadership opportunity for an experienced attorney with substantial litigation and policy advocacy experience who can bring vision, talent, and enthusiasm to the role at a time when aggressive civil rights advocacy is needed more than ever. Candidates should have significant experience addressing education equity issues, including a deep understanding of how civil rights laws can be used to address systemic barriers to fair and equitable educational opportunities. Candidates should also have a strong commitment to community lawyering and be able to share examples of putting community lawyering principles to work in their practice. In addition to leadership in education equity, the Senior Counsel will also work closely with the Chief Counsel to provide leadership and supervision on litigation and advocacy projects in Chicago Lawyers’ Committee’s other core practice areas. The Senior Counsel must demonstrate a passion for civil rights, racial equity, and community empowerment, and possess the skills needed to be a successful advocate, as well as an effective manager of people and projects. This position reports to the Chief Counsel.
Develop and lead high impact litigation and policy advocacy in the education equity field based on systems and structural analysis with an explicit racial equity lens.
Work with the Chief Counsel to create a more robust impact advocacy capacity at Chicago Lawyers’ Committee and serve as a resource to other staff attorneys.
Work with the executive director and development/communications team to raise the overall profile of Chicago Lawyers’ Committee with funders, law firms, community partners, and media.
Collaborate with other Chicago Lawyers’ Committee advocates to identify intersections and develop integrated advocacy approaches that advance racial equity and economic opportunity for the clients and communities we serve.
Build strong relationships with Chicago Lawyers’ Committee member law firms and pro bono counsel through support, training and co-counseling opportunities on education matters.
8 + years of experience as a litigator and policy advocate, preferably in the field of civil rights, with a deep knowledge of, and experience in, education equity advocacy.
Experience as a supervisor or in a senior attorney role highly preferred.
Excellent writing and public speaking skills.
High degree of flexibility, ability to multi-task, significant initiative, and attention to details and accuracy.
Excellent people skills, the ability to build a motivated and productive team, and the ability to communicate effectively with diverse groups and individuals.
Cross cultural competencies and self-awareness around issues of power, privilege, and difference.
Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We prioritize equity and inclusion in our organizational culture and hiring. We welcome all applicants regardless of race, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, age, disability, parental status, marital status or on any other identity factor.
Compensation is negotiable, D.O.E. Generous benefits include PTO; paid holidays; health, dental, life and disability insurance for employees (dependent coverage available); and tax-deferred annuity plan available.
Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. However, in order to receive full and timely consideration, candidates are strongly encouraged to submit their applications by June 15, 2019.
To apply, please send your resume, cover letter, and a separate list of significant litigation and policy advocacy accomplishments to: Elesha Jackson, Director of Administration at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional Salary Information: Generous benefits include PTO; paid holidays; health, dental, life and disability insurance for employees (dependent coverage available); and tax-deferred annuity plan available.