The California Women’s Law Center (CWLC) is seeking an energetic and experienced Legal Director to inspire and lead our high impact legal program and help define California’s emerging role as a beacon of women’s rights and advocacy throughout the U.S. and around the world.
As our Legal Director, you will hold a key leadership role within the organization and collaborate with internal and external local, state, and federal partners to achieve advocacy goals and work to secure a more just and equitable society. Together we will advance our mission to break down barriers and grow the potential of women and girls through transformative litigation, policy advocacy, and education. Our dynamic team is committed to shaping and advancing our organizational priorities which include gender discrimination, Title IX, women’s health and reproductive rights, violence against women, pay equity, aging and economic security.
This exempt, full-time position requires a daily presence in the office and reports to the Executive Director.
• Manage and lead legal priorities and goals for CWLC by collaborating on case selection and involvement with the Executive Director, and working closely with staff attorneys, co-counsel, and pro bono law firms to maintain caseload as warranted
• Coordinate and conduct factual and legal research, interview clients and potential witnesses, prepare memoranda, draft pleadings and correspondence, conduct discovery, argue motions, and participate in settlement negotiations.
• Oversee cases in federal and state courts at trial and appellate level
• Build capacity by expanding CWLC’s statewide pro-bono attorney network and engaging attorneys to become more involved, including filing amicus briefs in cases of significance.
Administration, Coordination, and Support
• Supervise legal staff and legal volunteers
• Foster an organizational culture that empowers staff, encourages initiative, resourcefulness and engagement in organizational priorities; support professional development and emphasize a commitment to upholding the highest ethical ideals of the legal profession
• Develop and maintain relationships with legal staff at other organizations
• Partner with the Executive Director in ensuring the Legal Department aligns with the vision and strategic priorities of the organization.
• Lead in the development and growth of CWLC by participating in speaking engagements, interacting with the media, and assisting with grant writing efforts, events and special projects or programs
Policy Advocacy/Public Education
• Collaborate with CWLC staff to implement integrated advocacy campaigns and high-impact strategies that use legal, communications, public education, legislative, and field organizing simultaneously
• Ensure that strategic plans for CWLC legal program, as well as specific litigation and legal advocacy projects, are in line with the organization’s strategic priorities
• Serve as a spokesperson for CWLC to engage in strategic public forums, advocacy discussions and media opportunities
- A J.D. with at least 6 years of litigation experience
- Experience as lead counsel on significant pieces of litigation (ideally from pre-suit through trial or decision on the merits and appeals)
- At least 5 years of experience in recruiting, training, and managing a diverse, high performing team of attorneys and staff
- Patience, emotional intelligence, and cultural competency, including the ability to participate in, create, and sustain inclusive and engaging spaces for people with a wide range of races, ethnicities, language proficiencies, abilities, genders, ages, backgrounds, interests, skills, concerns, personalities, and geographies.
- Clear, strong, and proven commitment to issues affecting women and families, civil liberties, public interest work, and the mission of CWLC
- Ability to attend in-person meetings, hearings, and events on behalf of CWLC
- Valid driving privileges and willingness to travel across California and occasionally to other places in the United States
- Current admission to practice law in at least one U.S. jurisdiction at time of hiring; admission to the California State Bar within six months of being hired
• Broad knowledge of constitutional, civil rights, and human rights law, including those relating to gender discrimination, Title IX, violence against women, pay equity and economic security, and women’s health.
• Proficiency in other languages a plus
• Experience working with state and local policymaking processes
The salary range for this position is $125,000 – 160,000 and is re-evaluated on an annual basis. We offer excellent benefits, including:
• 100% employer-paid premiums for medical, vision and dental insurance,
• 401(k) plan with an employer match,
• Generous paid holidays, and
• California Bar dues, liability insurance and CLE expenses CWLC will provide up to $5000 to support verified relocation expenses.
(1) Compile the following into a single PDF file:
• A résumé.
• A one- or two-page cover letter that identifies evidence of a clear, strong, and proven commitment to legal advocacy of women’s issues and explains how your experience is applicable to the job responsibilities.
• A legal writing sample, up to 10 pages in length. The writing sample can be an excerpt from a longer piece, such as a brief.
• Contact information for three references, including at least two legal references, at least one of whom can discuss your litigation and management skills.
(2) Send to: [email protected] and please reference “Legal Director” in the email subject line and indicate in your cover letter how you found this job listing.
Review of applications on a rolling basis. The position will remain open until filled.
If you are a person with a disability and need assistance applying, please e-mail [email protected]. If we select you for an interview, you will receive information about how to request accommodations for the interview process.
CWLC is an equal opportunity employer. CWLC prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type and affords equal employment opportunities to employees and applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, age, citizenship, national origin, disability status, marital status, genetic information, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.