Senior Staff Attorney

Job Type

Full Time


Details: Salary is commensurate with experience and is competitive with top-level public interest organizations.




88 Pine Street
Suite 800
New York
New York
United States


Senior Staff Attorney

February 2018

Children’s Rights is a leading national children’s advocacy organization dedicated to improving the lives of vulnerable children in government systems. Children’s Rights uses civil rights litigation, policy expertise, and public education to create positive systems change, with a 20-year track record in the area of child welfare reform of raising accountability, protecting rights and improving outcomes for children. Children’s Rights is seeking a Senior Staff Attorney to be an integral part of our organization at an exciting time of evolution in our program activities.

The core strength of our national advocacy program has been the grassroots development of legal reform campaigns to address dangerous systemic failings in child welfare systems across the country. Our litigation seeks injunctive relief largely in federal courts. We remain actively involved in cases post-judgment to ensure implementation and compliance with court ordered improvements.

Children’s Rights attorneys and policy staff, working with local advocates, thoroughly investigate specific problems in failing systems, develop lawsuits where appropriate, conduct extensive discovery, work with substantive experts and prepare cases for trial or negotiated settlement if possible. Post-judgment work involves regular assessment of performance and extensive negotiations with state agency officials, experts and court-appointed monitors.  We are seeking an energetic attorney with 6-8 years of applicable litigation experience, interested in further developing their litigation skills under high-quality supervision, and in developing professionally to take on an increasing leadership role in complex impact litigation at the organization.

Roles and Responsibilities

Senior Staff Attorneys play an integral role in developing new areas of litigation, case management, strategic planning and professional development. Senior Staff Attorneys will have primary responsibility for direct engagement with and management of Staff Attorneys in case preparation and litigation activities.  Senior Staff Attorney responsibilities will include: 

·      Exploring and developing new cases that he/she will lead and litigate with the support of Staff Attorneys and under the supervision of a Lead Attorney

·      Managing the process for preparing initial drafts of legal briefs

·      Presenting arguments to the court on dispositive motions and motions for class certification

·       Managing the day-to-day discovery process, including supervising Staff Attorneys in connection with the preparation of, and response to, written discovery requests and the taking and defending of depositions

·      Managing the process for preparing expert reports and expert disclosures

·      Presiding over regular team meetings and facilitating a collaborative process at these meetings for handling various legal and factual matters, making new project and task assignments, and informing all team members of developments

·      Participating directly in communications with opposing counsel and media outlets


The ideal candidate will have applicable litigation experience, which may include judicial clerkship, law firm or public interest experience. Applicants must possess outstanding research, writing and analytical skills, sound strategic judgment and interpersonal skills, a healthy sense of humor and a passion for social justice and the broader aspects of systemic reform and its policy implications.  The successful candidate will be expected to perform at the highest level of practice, and to take advantage of opportunities to further develop professionally.  Preference will be given to applicants with complex class action litigation and federal court experience. Knowledge of children’s issues or social service systems is a plus, but not required.  Travel is required.


Children’s Rights provides an excellent benefit package.

Level of Language Proficiency


Professional Level


Minimum Education Required


How To Apply

To Apply:

Please submit a cover letter of interest, resume, and one recent writing sample (preferably including discussion of a constitutional, federal court, or complex issue) via email to and include “Senior Staff Attorney” in the subject line.

Due to the high volume of submissions, only applicants of interest will be contacted.  No telephone calls, please.

 Children’s rights is an equal employment opportunity employer, and women, people of color, LGBTQ and gender non-conforming people and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply.