October 19, 2020
National Director of Litigation for Economic Opportunity
Root & Rebound seeks a National Director of Litigation for Economic Opportunity
Join a vibrant, diverse, and passionate team that works to end the harms of mass incarceration in the United States by leading our national litigation work.
About Root & Rebound:
Root & Rebound (R&R) is a national 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, with offices in California and South Carolina, that works to restore and protect the rights, dignity, and opportunities of formerly incarcerated people and people impacted by the criminal justice system. Our mission is to restore power and resources to the families and communities most harmed by mass incarceration through legal advocacy, public education, policy reform and litigation—a model rooted in the needs and expertise of people who are directly impacted. R&R has a holistic approach to dismantle the two-tiered system of injustice in this country, working in rural and urban communities, and across all areas of life, including housing, employment and occupational licensing, family reunification, parole and probation advocacy, court debt, record expungement, and more. Learn more at www.rootandrebound.org.
Commitment: Full-time position, starting December 2020/January 2021.
Location: Flexible, with nationwide travel post-pandemic. Root & Rebound’s preference is that the Director of Litigation would be resident in either California or South Carolina, but we are willing to discuss the possibility of remote work with the right candidate.
About the National Director of Litigation for Economic Opportunity:
The National Director of Litigation for Economic Opportunity will spearhead and direct a new national litigation initiative to serve individuals who have been involved in the criminal justice system, formerly incarcerated and/or preparing for their reentry, particularly in the economic opportunity context, to remove barriers to employment, licensure, and financial wellness.
The National Director of Litigation will carry out a broad range of advocacy strategies including, but not limited to, impact litigation, class actions, and individual court representation. The first year of the attorney’s work will push forward existing litigation projects in California and South Carolina that are underway to create and move forward on new cases in the employment and licensing contexts. In the first year, the National Director of Litigation will also engage in relationship- and partnership-building with law firms and other organizations on various methods of second chance legal work. This position will work with R&R’s Executive Leadership Team to build upon its strategy that considers all legal tools available, including impact litigation.
In addition to leading litigation efforts in CA and SC, the Director will develop a toolbox of client surveys, best practices, and trainings tailored to both advocates in states with existing Fair Chance Hiring laws seeking to assess employer compliance, and those in states without such protections seeking to enforce federal anti discrimination law. Further, in the project’s second year, the Director will provide technical assistance and support to the litigation efforts of partner advocates seeking to replicate these efforts in at least two additional states. Finally, the Director will work to build and convene a national coalition of advocates and organizations seeking to advance these efforts in states across the U.S. for the purpose of cross-sharing technical assistance and best practices, elevating successes to inform national media, and shifting national public opinion.
While expected to work with a variety of partners across R&R’s office sites, the Director of Litigation will receive a strong orientation and ongoing training from R&R on its model of education, advocacy, and policy reform. This will include training on our model from the R&R Deputy Director(s), senior attorneys, and leadership team. Training and onboarding will consist of a high level of ongoing learning and professional development opportunities, while also working closely with the Executive Director and Deputy Directors to build a high level strategy.
As a National Director of Litigation, you will have the opportunity to:
- Manage multiple litigations throughout our two primary states, with support from other R&R attorneys, partnering law firms and other organizations. The Director would expand R&R’s existing economic opportunity litigation and policy efforts, including:
- Enforcing Fair Chance Occupational Licensing in California as a national litigation model and enforcing Fair Chance Hiring in California as a model for the 35 states with Ban the Box laws;
- Building a bold campaign for economic opportunity in South Carolina through employment and occupational licensure litigation;
- Enhancing the national infrastructure of advocates advancing economic opportunity for justice-impacted people, bringing together states with and without state-based legal protections.
- Oversee litigation and ensure the highest quality of legal work;
- Provide training, supervision, mentorship and support to staff attorneys working on litigation matters;
- Help increase R&R’s capacity to engage in affirmative and impact advocacy, including by organizing periodic litigation skills trainings for R&R and partner attorneys;
- Build relationships and partner with law firms and law schools across the country on specific cases;
- Work with R&R staff to investigate, initiate, and litigate affirmative cases and major impact cases on economic justice and civil rights;
- Work with senior leadership at R&R and partner organizations to determine how the nationwide litigation strategy should be integrated into R&R’s ongoing policy work, and vice versa.
You are the ideal candidate!:
The ideal candidate is a natural leader and self-starter with deep litigation experience. You are team-oriented, excited about launching and managing a new initiative, and committed to expanding services, partnerships, and impact across our service areas. You are enthusiastic about working on a start-up project and excited about building and leveraging relationships across South Carolina, California and the US to improve the lives of people impacted by mass incarceration and living in poverty.
In addition to being a self-starter, you are highly communicative, collaborative, structured, excellent at time management, organized and responsive, and open to regular check-ins via Zoom, email, conference calls, text, etc., as well as training and orientation periods in R&R’s Oakland, CA and Greenville, SC offices. The Litigation Director will also play a critical role in sharing learnings, strategic planning documents, and work plans to help other R&R sites launch across the country in which legal staff are embedded within social services organizations.
- A passion for Root & Rebound’s mission and demonstrated commitment to social justice, racial justice, and criminal justice issues;
- Five years minimum of litigation experience at either the state or federal level;
- Barred in either South Carolina or California;
- Excellent writing and verbal communication skills;
- Ability to research and synthesize complex legal information and distill into lay terms;
- Strong attention to detail and ability to maintain organized and documented case files;
- Able to prioritize work effectively and excellent time-management;
- Policy experience in the local, state or national level a plus;
- An inspiring team leader, goal oriented, who enjoys working on a team and building partnerships with others;
- A highly organized project manager, capable of prioritizing concurrent projects and deadlines and balancing micro and macro tasks of a given week and day;
- Creative, resourceful, and resilient in the face of challenges;
- A lifelong learner, eager to try new ways of doing things.
Compensation & Benefits:
This position is a full-time position with a competitive salary scale commensurate with experience. Root & Rebound provides employment benefits that include medical, vision, and dental care, employer-sponsored retirement plan, as well as the payment of state bar fees, professional and management training, and some CLE courses, plus 3 weeks (15 days) of vacation, some federal holidays, and an additional 2 weeks off for annual holiday closures at year’s end.
How to Apply:
Please send a resume, cover letter, and two legal writing samples in an email to Kate Weaver Patterson at [email protected] by Friday, November 13th. Resumes without a cover letter and writing samples will not be reviewed. Please use “National Director of Litigation for Economic Opportunity” in the subject line. No phone calls, please. Only applicants selected for interviews will be contacted.
Root & Rebound is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without unlawful discrimination based on race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, prior record of arrest or conviction, citizenship status, or current employment status.
Root & Rebound values diverse experiences, including with regard to educational background and justice system involvement. People with records are encouraged to apply. We depend on a diverse staff to carry out our mission.
For more information about Root & Rebound, visit our website at www.rootandrebound.org
Join our mailing list.