NLS is seeking an experienced attorney with strong litigation, advocacy, and management skills to actively develop and manage impact litigation and lead our management team. The position is for a key leadership role within NLS and reports to the Deputy Director. Advocacy Director will work closely with Supervising Attorneys/Program Directors and staff to identify systemic legal problems and develop impact litigation docket to further NLS’ mission and goals.
1. Litigation Program (50%)
• Develop and maintain aggressive impact litigation and advocacy docket, which advances NLS’ strategic priorities;
• Manage all aspects of NLS’ litigation program, including coordinating case selection with the Executive and/or Deputy Director, overseeing the investigation and development of cases prior to filing litigation, and building litigation teams with NLS staff attorneys, pro bono attorneys, and other partners;
• Provide mentorship and training on high-impact litigation cases to staff;
• Oversee litigation in federal and state court and ensure effective client counseling;
• Maintain an individual caseload and manage demand letters, public records requests, legal and policy reports and analysis, pre-litigation investigations, discovery, motion practice, brief writing, hearings and trials, appellate work, and amicus briefs;
• Track litigation work and prepare quarterly reports for NLS’ Board of Directors; and
• Coordinate and collaborate with other groups and organizations, as well as pro bono attorneys, to help build capacity for the impact litigation docket at NLS.
2. Leadership and Supervision (30%)
• Supervise the management team of four Supervising Attorneys and four Program Directors; provide leadership, direction and day-to-day supervision on all aspects of work;
• Conduct bi-weekly one-on-one meetings with each Supervising Attorney/Program Director to assess work, caseloads, and to provide direction and feedback;
• Foster an organizational culture that empowers staff and encourages professional development; and
• Assist with annual reviews of staff.
3. Policy Advocacy and Organizational Visioning (20%)
• Assist the Executive Director and Deputy Director with new program development, keep abreast of current programs and grant requirements;
• Represent NLS in meetings with stakeholders, public conferences, and in other outreach efforts that are strategically and concretely aligned with the development of complex litigation and policy advocacy; and
• Promote the work of NLS and civil practice.
• Supervise student interns, as needed
• Some travel is required
• Juris Doctor (JD) Degree;
• Admitted to practice law in the State of NY;
• 10+ years of trial and appellate litigation experience in state and federal courts with a strong background in civil practice;
• 5+ years of management experience;
• Record of handling cases from investigation through all stages of federal and/or state courts and administrative forums
• Excellent written and oral communication, organizational, leadership, and analytical skills
• Strong self-awareness, self-regulation, empathy and social skills
• Values diversity, equity and inclusion
• Extensive federal court experience
• Fluency in language other than English
• Experience with public policy, government, nonprofit organizations, or community organizing
Compensation & Benefits:
Salary range is $120,000 to $135,000 and is based on experience. Full-time position with a 35-hour work week and shorter summer hours. Excellent benefits including
health, dental and vision insurance, 3 weeks of vacation, 12 paid holidays plus paid week off between Christmas and New Year’s, sick and personal leave, eligibility for public student loan forgiveness, paid $50,000 life insurance, pension plan, HSA and Flexible Spending Accounts, and paid memberships.
Neighborhood Legal Services (NLS) is the largest provider of civil legal services in Western New York with a main office in Buffalo and offices in Batavia, Lockport and Niagara Falls. NLS helps thousands of clients each year in many different areas. We represent clients who are about to be evicted, or who have no money for food or
rent. We represent victims of domestic violence, members of LGBTQ+ community, and veterans. We represent people with disabilities who are unable to work, or who are trying to get back into the work world. We help children with profound physical disabilities who need medical equipment just to live day-to-day. We invite you to use your talents and skills to help people and change systems.