Nonprofit

Appellate Staff Attorney

Hybrid
Work must be performed in or near Washington, DC
New
|
Published 21 days ago

Details at a Glance

Job Type
Full Time
Education
J.D. Required
Salary
USD $66,000 - $76,512 / year
The salary for this position ranges from $66,000-$76,512 annually based on relevant experience.

Description

Who We Are 

Children’s Law Center is a mission-driven organization focused on providing high-quality legal services to children and families in DC.  As an organization, we envision a world in which all children have a strong foundation of family, health and education and are free from poverty, trauma, racism and other forms of oppression. Our mission is to do this work together with DC children and families, Children’s Law Center uses the law to solve children’s urgent problems today, improve the systems that will affect their lives tomorrow and strengthen our community so that change endures.  A key part of our mission is to challenge and reduce ways in which racism and other biases – structural and interpersonal – prevent each of us, our organization and the systems in which we work from providing children a strong foundation from which to thrive.    

Our greatest assets are our people.  We recognize that people with diverse backgrounds, experiences and perspectives fuel our ability to provide the best outcomes for our clients and our community. Staff members at Children’s Law Center advance the organization’s mission through their leadership, result-orientated mindset and commitment to cultural humility.  We are looking for individuals who like to be challenged to grow both personally and professionally and value the opportunity to make a difference in their community.  Children's Law Center's continued success depends on recruiting and retaining individuals who possess and exemplify these attributes.  

Program Description

The Appellate Program is responsible for designing and implementing long-term litigation strategies to push the law in directions that will meaningfully improve clients’ lives.  Attorneys in the Appellate Program zealously advocate for individual clients when handling appeals arising in several of Children’s Law Center’s (CLC) practice areas (primarily in neglect and abuse, contested adoption and/or termination of parental rights, custody and guardianship matters, with occasional special education cases) and are ever-mindful of the opportunity to obtain precedent-setting decisions that would be favorable for CLC’s client population.  This program also works on all matters where CLC serves as amicus curiae.  Appellate attorneys frequently consult with colleagues on complex trial-level litigation as well, with a focus on issue preservation and development of novel legal theories.  In addition, Appellate Program staff create resources for use organization-wide and develop and deliver trainings on appellate advocacy and key principles in neglect and custody law.

Job Summary

The Appellate Staff Attorney works primarily in the Appellate Program and participates in all the work described above.  Specifically, the attorney is responsible for drafting and reviewing appellate briefs and motions as well as arguing appeals, as appropriate, and supporting colleagues in preparation for appellate arguments.  Other responsibilities include identifying problematic trends for our clients and engaging in creative brainstorming around potential long-term appellate litigation solutions.  In addition, the attorney will conduct legal and factual research, draft and review legal memoranda, analyze pleadings, court records and judicial opinions and assist with development of appellate resources and trainings for the organization.

The Appellate Attorney will also carry a small number of cases from the Guardian ad Litem (GAL) Program.  GALs represent children who are the subject of neglect cases in D.C.’s Family Court.  Those attorneys work closely with CLC social workers, investigators and special education attorneys to advocate – formally and informally – to advance the best interests of clients with regard to their safety, permanency, physical and mental health and education.

Role Responsibilities

Appellate Matters

  • Research, write, argue and/or collaborate on appeals to strongly advocate for CLC’s clients and CLC’s interests. 
  • Provide substantive and procedural support to other attorneys who have primary brief-writing or oral argument responsibility. 
  • On a case-by-case basis, participate in appeals where CLC serves as amicus curiae. 
  • As appropriate, support colleagues on special education or other cross-project appeals in federal court.

Consultation on Trial Matters

  • Consult or team with colleagues on novel, complex or otherwise particularly significant trial-level litigation with a focus on generally creating the best record possible from an appellate perspective (e.g., provide research support, assist in developing possible approaches and evaluating arguments, review and/or assist in drafting filings).

Strategic Appellate Litigation Advocacy

  • Team on devising and implementing appellate litigation approaches to address systemic issues, including identifying and assessing problems that CLC should pursue solutions for via this means, developing long-term strategies and arguments and effectively presenting those positions. 
  • Develop means of assisting attorneys in monitoring caseloads for potential test cases. 
  • Support and/or team with trial attorneys on test cases raising those issues to help put CLC in a position to achieve the best possible outcome at the trial and appellate levels (e.g., reviewing records, assisting in researching and writing critical motions or briefs, assisting in preparing attorneys to argue the important issues at key hearings).
  • Evaluate newly proposed issues on a rolling basis.

Training and Resources

  • Draft research memoranda on various legal topics of interest to all projects.
  • Participate in the creation and updating of appellate practice guides and other legal resources that serve as quick-reference tools for the team and other colleagues. 
  • Design and deliver trainings on various substantive and procedural issues as needed to staff (and potentially for external audiences, as well).

GAL Matters

  • Serve as GAL on a small number of cases (anticipated to be around 3-5 cases at a time).

Qualifications

  • Exceptional analytical, writing and research skills.
  • Excellent communication, organizational and time management skills.
  • Highly motivated, collaborative team player with the ability to work independently, as well. 
  • Demonstrated commitment to social, economic and racial justice, with the ability to consider how such principles inform positions and strategies.
  • Demonstrated interest in appellate work (e.g., moot court).
  • Appellate experience, including briefing and arguing appeals, strongly preferred.
  • Judicial clerkship experience preferred.
  • Post-JD experience in legal services or other community lawyering preferred.
  • Prior litigation experience (clinical or practical) preferred.
  • Experience working with under-resourced communities and/or children and families with limited financial resources preferred.   
  • Experience in a family law (e.g., neglect, custody, adoption and/or guardianship matters) or a child well-being setting preferred.

Required Skills and Experience

  • JD degree.
  • DC Bar membership or eligibility for DC Bar membership based on the transfer of a Uniform Bar Examination score attained in another jurisdiction or membership in good standing in the Bar of another jurisdiction for at least 3 years immediately prior to the application for admission.
  • Valid driver’s license.

Organizational Competencies

  • Cultural Humility – an openness to self-reflection and to understanding and respecting other cultural experiences and points of view and viewing individuals as experts in their own culture and experiences.
  • Giving and Receiving Feedback – the ability to be self-reflective, give and receive appreciative, coaching, constructive, interpersonal and evaluative feedback.
  • Conflict Management – a process which is designed to guide individuals and groups from the moment of conflict to the implementation of an identified solution.  This process incorporates skills and techniques, including recognizing points of conflict, identifying the facts and feelings involved to get to the root of the issue, investigating equitable solutions, implementing and evaluating solutions, and supporting and guiding others throughout the process.

Salary and Benefits

The salary for this position ranges from $66,000-$76,512 annually based on relevant experience.  Children’s Law Center offers a generous benefits package that includes medical, dental, vision, and short- and long-term disability insurance; employer-provided retirement contributions; flexible spending plans; and vacation, sick, holiday, family and medical leave. You can find more details about Children’s Law Center’s comprehensive benefits package at https://childrenslawcenter.org/get-involved/careers/employee-benefits/.

Children’s Law Center is a 501(c)(3) organization. Employees with federal student loan debt can apply for Public Service Loan Forgiveness. For more information, go to https://myfedloan.org/borrowers/special-programs/pslf.  Additionally, the DC Bar Foundation’s Loan Repayment Assistance Program provides renewable one-year, interest-free, forgivable loans up to $12,000 per year for qualified Children’s Law Center attorneys. For more information, see https:/dcbarfoundation.org/lrap/.

Application Instructions

To apply, please submit a resume, cover letter and a writing sample of no more than ten pages via CLC's careers page (https://childrenslawcenter.org/get-involved/careers/).  Writing samples can be any original text the applicant feels best represents their legal writing abilities.

Applicants must be authorized to work for any employer in the U.S.  Children’s Law Center is unable to sponsor or take over sponsorship of an employment visa at this time.

Children’s Law Center is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive environment. If you believe that you need accommodation to search for, or apply for, one of our positions please send an email to Jobs@ChildrensLawCenter.org. In your email, please include the accommodation you are requesting and the job title you are applying for. It may take up to three business days to receive a response to your request.

Hybrid Working Conditions

Children’s Law Center is currently operating on a hybrid work schedule.  Employees are required to work in-person from Children’s Law Center’s office a minimum of two days per week.  At least one of these days must be either Tuesday or Wednesday.  The hybrid work schedule is subject to change based on organizational needs and/or best practices for health and safety.  Hybrid work expectations may vary depending upon role responsibilities.

Background Checks

Candidates who receive a conditional offer of employment will be subject to a background check.

EEO

Children’s Law Center is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We are committed to equal employment opportunities for all applicants and existing employees. We evaluate qualified applicants without regard to ancestry, age, color, disability, genetic information, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, military or veteran status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, and any other basis protected by federal, state, or local law, ordinance, or regulation. In compliance with federal law, all persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the United States and to complete the required employment eligibility verification form upon hire.  We invite you to visit our website to learn more about our company and our career opportunities (https://childrenslawcenter.org/get-involved/careers/).

DEI Statement

Children’s Law Center is dedicated to building a world that is inclusive in approach and has equal opportunities and equitable outcomes for all. Our organization is committed to developing and supporting a robustly diverse, equitable, inclusive and anti-racist community, where all members can create and feel a sense of belonging. Through our collective deliberate efforts, we work toward racial and social justice for children and families in DC.

Who We Are 

Children’s Law Center is a mission-driven organization focused on providing high-quality legal services to children and families in DC.  As an organization, we envision a world in which all children have a strong foundation of…

Benefits

Children’s Law Center offers a generous benefits package that includes medical, dental, vision, and short- and long-term disability insurance; employer-provided retirement contributions; flexible spending plans; and vacation, sick, holiday, family and medical leave. You can find more details about Children’s Law Center’s comprehensive benefits package at https://childrenslawcenter.org/get-involved/careers/employee-benefits/.

Children’s Law Center is a 501(c)(3) organization. Employees with federal student loan debt can apply for Public Service Loan Forgiveness. For more information, go to https://myfedloan.org/borrowers/special-programs/pslf.  Additionally, the DC Bar Foundation’s Loan Repayment Assistance Program provides renewable one-year, interest-free, forgivable loans up to $12,000 per year for qualified Children’s Law Center attorneys. For more information, see https:/dcbarfoundation.org/lrap/.

Children’s Law Center offers a generous benefits package that includes medical, dental, vision, and short- and long-term disability insurance; employer-provided retirement…

Location

Hybrid
Work must be performed in or near Washington, DC
Washington, DC, USA

How to Apply

To apply, please submit a resume, cover letter and a writing sample of no more than ten pages via CLC's careers page (https://childrenslawcenter.org/get-involved/careers/).  Writing samples can be any original text the applicant feels best represents their legal writing abilities.

Applicants must be authorized to work for any employer in the U.S.  Children’s Law Center is unable to sponsor or take over sponsorship of an employment visa at this time.

Children’s Law Center is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive environment. If you believe that you need accommodation to search for, or apply for, one of our positions please send an email to Jobs@ChildrensLawCenter.org. In your email, please include the accommodation you are requesting and the job title you are applying for. It may take up to three business days to receive a response to your request.

To apply, please submit a resume, cover letter and a writing sample of no more than ten pages via CLC's careers page (https://childrenslawcenter.org/get-involved/careers/).  Writing…

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