About the Organization:
The Texas Civil Rights Project (TCRP) is a community lawyering organization that boldly serves the movement for equality and justice in Texas working in and out of the courts. Ultimately, TCRP envisions Texas where all communities can thrive with dignity, justice, and without fear.
TCRP seeks a Program Director to lead our Criminal Injustice Program. Reporting to TCRP’s President, the Criminal Injustice Program Director will lead a team of seven to nine talented attorneys, advocates, and paralegals to drive our reform goals. The ideal candidate will first and foremost be an inclusive, passionate leader with demonstrated expertise in and a commitment to criminal law reform. They will have a deep respect for community-centered lawyering and experience working in a coalition with community-based organizations. The ideal candidate will be a proven manager with significant skills in strategy alignment, policy setting, and interpersonal communication. They will be ready to supervise experienced litigators as well as senior-level advocacy while organizing staff.
About the Opportunity:
TCRP’s Criminal Injustice Program fights to bring justice and liberation to people historically oppressed by the Texas criminal legal system. By pushing back against police violence, discriminatory school discipline, wealth-based pretrial detention, and other tactics that sell “justice” to the highest bidders, we challenge the systems that fuel mass incarceration, systemic racial discrimination, and fundamentally unfair economic barriers to true justice. We press for transparency and hold power accountable to communities and not to corporate and monied interests. As community-centered lawyers and advocates, we represent community groups and Texans while working closely every day with local, state, and national partners to advance this mission.
Refine and execute vision and strategy:
- Partner with senior leadership to improve the Criminal Injustice Program.
- A thought leader ready to apply their expertise in leading complex criminal law reform and legal advocacy ready to advance and expand the team’s current 2022-year goals.
- Work closely with the Leadership and Criminal Injustice teams to build on the program’s recent success.
- Deepen partnerships with grassroots organizers, peer organizations, policymakers, and community members to ensure that the work of the program team is informed by impacted communities with widespread impact.
Manage a talented team of passionate advocates:
- Lead a talented group of attorneys, criminal law reform advocates, and other legal professionals committed to reform.
- Supervise case development and investigations of concerns raised by community members and partner organizations.
- Identify innovative strategies to build cases and drive advocacy campaigns while forming and maintaining strategic partnerships. This includes overseeing litigation while providing guidance and support to attorneys, advocacy staff, and paralegals.
- Foster a culture of boldness, trust, transparency, mentorship, and equity within the team and across TCRP.
Collaborate with the Leadership Team to advance the project’s mission:
- Promote intersectional approaches to advancing goals for TCRP.
- Explore opportunities to build cases and campaigns that intersect other program areas.
- Enable integration and alignment across the team while increasing learning from each other and from grassroots partners.
Work in thought partnership with the Community Engagement Department:
- This includes building and disseminating winning narratives.
- Collaborate deeply with communications and resource development professionals to build multifaceted, integrated campaigns that advance powerful narratives.
- Serve as a spokesperson to shape public opinion, and mobilize community support and resources while influencing decision-makers.
Partner across the organization to drive equity, diversity, and inclusion:
- Be well-grounded in TCRP’s commitment to justice, equality, and its organizational values.
- Bring an equity lens to all aspects of strategy, priority setting, team development, and community engagement.
- Support TCRP’s work to reflect the communities we serve and build a culture of inclusion, continuous growth, and openness.
- Create a respectful and equitable work environment for staff at all levels of the organization and ensure the same experience for clients, partners, and stakeholders embodying TCRP’s internal manifesto, “How We Want to Be.”
- The ideal candidate will be an experienced attorney and an entrepreneurial, effective leader, strategist, and manager with an unrelenting commitment to justice for all.
- Possess a deep knowledge of criminal law reform; experience with the Texas reform landscape is a plus.
- Experience analyzing public policy issues in this scope of work including an ability to synthesize and summarize large amounts of information while focusing quickly on the essence of an issue.
- Three or more years of demonstrated success inspiring and leading highly talented and diverse teams including but not limited to legal and advocacy staff; have proven success in hiring, training, conducting performance evaluations, and mentoring teams.
- Take initiative, vision, creativity and a demonstrated willingness to calculate risks in crafting and executing strategies.
- At least seven years of legal, policy, or advocacy experience.
- Legal: Legal candidates will have at least seven years of federal or state court civil litigation experience including working with complex case development showing comfort with the language and flow of complex litigation.
- Policy or Advocacy: Policy or advocacy candidates will have at least seven years of national, state, or local experience driving criminal law reform.
- A deep personal commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion with proven success engaging with and working in partnership with diverse communities; have an authentic understanding of challenges faced by vulnerable communities and sophisticated comprehension of the historical nature of structural power differences examining how that impacts social justice efforts today.
- Excellent communication skills including in research and in writing with interpersonal and public communication skills and an ability to convey vision and strategy through external messaging.
- Demonstrate maturity, keen judgment, the ability to facilitate challenging conversations, and quickly read interpersonal dynamics; can work with people from a wide array of backgrounds, perspectives, and across projects.
- Ability to create a positive atmosphere in a high-energy, fast-paced work environment; have consistent attention to detail and the ability to prioritize and meet deadlines.
- For attorney candidates, admission to the Texas Bar or the ability to immediately waive into Texas Bar.
Equal Opportunity Statement:
The Texas Civil Rights Project provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, expression or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws.