Policy Attorney / Senior Policy Attorney, Youth Justice

Job Type

Full Time


Minimum: $69,000.00
Maximum: $83,000.00



Application Deadline:



United States


National Center for Youth Law

The National Center for Youth Law (NCYL) (www.youthlaw.org) is a non-profit organization that for over four decades has worked to ensure low-income children have the resources, support, and opportunities they need for healthy and productive lives.

Santa Clara Youth Initiative

The Santa Clara Youth Justice Initiative is a 3-year initiative that seeks to transform Santa Clara County’s juvenile justice system into a national model in which all children and youth in the juvenile justice system receive effective rehabilitative supports that improve life outcomes, community health, and public safety.


The Policy Attorney / Senior Policy Attorney will work with systems leaders to develop and guide implementation of ongoing efforts to reduce the harms of system involvement to youth in conflict with the law. The position will lead and facilitate a collective impact effort in collaboration with justice system stakeholders to reduce youth incarceration and system involvement, promote effective local treatment options, improve interagency collaboration, and help ensure Black and Brown youth are not overrepresented in any part of the juvenile justice system.


Increase the juvenile justice system’s ability to (1) collaborate between agencies and with the community, and (2) serve youth in conflict with the law locally, in a developmentally appropriate manner.

Core responsibilities include:

  • Conduct local stakeholder interviews, landscape analyses, and resource mapping;
  • Think critically and creatively about systemic inefficiencies and envision new system of change;
  • Conduct legal research, policy analysis, draft policy memos and research briefs;
  • Analyze and present data from multiple systems;
  • Represent youths’ interests in the systems stakeholder meetings towards promoting reforms;
  • Facilitate meetings between diverse system stakeholders;
  • Understand systems and bureaucracies and troubleshoot issues to improve interagency collaboration and service delivery;
  • Identify effective and creative strategies for reducing system involvement and incarceration, and increasing community health and public safety;

Track implementation progress and outcomes and manage deliverables across various working groups and stakeholders; and

Attend Juvenile Justice Systems Collaborative and related subcommittees meetings.

The Policy Attorney / Senior Policy Attorney must be able to commute or work full time in Santa Clara County.

Required Qualifications

  • Law degree, with understanding of constitutional law;
  • At least 5 years of experience working in juvenile justice policy or practice, particularly around systems reform;
  • Excellent research, writing, and analytical and problem-solving skills;
  • Organized, self-motivated, detail oriented, and ability to work in a fast-paced environment;
  • Experience managing complex projects with a multitude of partners;
  • Ability to consider differing perspectives and respond professionally to conflict or disagreement;
  • Experience with statistical software and/or Microsoft Excel; and
  • Valid California driver’s license and access to a car.

Desired Qualifications

  • Experience in justice system reform;
  • An understanding of California’s child-serving agencies, including education and child welfare;
  • Experience with local budgets and identifying funding opportunities;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills;
  • Experience working directly with vulnerable children and parents;
  • Understands data systems, analysis, and research methods;
  • Ability to effectively distill and present complex information in a concise easy to understand way;
  • High emotional intelligence and understanding of political nuance;
  • Ability to prioritize quickly and confidently and manage multiple deadlines;
  • Ability to manage multiple tasks simultaneously in a fast-paced, high-intensity environment;
  • Direct experience with, or have been impacted by, the juvenile justice system; and
  • Experience working with agencies and stakeholders in Santa Clara County.


This is a full-time position. Current funding supports the position for 3 years. Salary is competitive with a range of $69,000 -$83,000 annually. NCYL provides health, dental, life, and long-term disability insurance, vacation and sick benefits, and an employer contribution to a retirement plan.

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required


How To Apply


No phone calls or emails please. To apply, please submit an application, cover letter, and resume by March 14, 2018.

Apply at: https://recruiting.paylocity.com/recruiting/jobs/Details/26410/National-Center-For-Youth-Law/Policy-Attorney-Senior-Policy-Attorney-Youth-Justice---Santa-Clara-County

Applicants of color with personal experience with the justice system are strongly encouraged to apply.

NCYL is an affirmative action / equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, age, ethnic background, sex, disability, size, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.