Founded in 2003, the Transgender Legal Defense & Educational Fund (TLDEF) is a national organization committed to advancing justice and equity for transgender and non-binary people through impact litigation, direct legal services, advocacy, and public education. TLDEF’s legal program currently includes the Trans Health Project, Name Change Project, and Impact Litigation Project. This year TLDEF has worked with a number of the nation’s largest insurers to successfully obtain removal of transgender health exclusions covering millions of members nationwide. We have also brought Miami-Dade County to the negotiating table to end abuses against transgender detainees in their jail system, building on our success last year obtaining one of the nation’s strongest jail policies to protect transgender inmates in Upstate New York. We have succeeded in improving court rules governing name changes in several states. And we’re just getting started. This summer, TLDEF will kick off a strategic planning process to sharpen its focus and guide its future development and growth over the next three-to-five years.
TLDEF is searching for an experienced Senior Staff Attorney who is eager to join a growing team to use the widest possible variety of legal tools to advance TLDEF’s priorities for law and policy change to ensure real lived equality for transgender and non-binary people. The Senior Staff Attorney will work closely with the Legal Director to expand TLDEF’s legal work, with a primary focus on non-litigation strategies, notably TLDEF’s Trans Health Project’s alternative dispute resolution, policy advocacy, and legal education activities. The position will entail some litigation-related responsibilities, including preparatory work on lawsuits, and developing expert evidence, especially in connection with cases arising out of the Trans Health Project. Additional priorities will be identified in TLDEF’s strategic plan to be completed by the end of the year.
- Leverage all tools — with a primary focus on alternative dispute resolution, policy advocacy, legal education, and some aspects of litigation — to advance TLDEF’s law and policy priorities to ensure true lived equality for transgender and non-binary people.
- Primarily, continue and expand the work of the Trans Health Project, initially with the strategic support of the current Trans Health Project Director, who will be moving into a consulting role, including:
- Engaging federal agencies – often in coalition – to eliminate exclusions in federal health plans and to strengthen regulatory oversight and enforcement of civil rights laws regarding other public- and private-sector health plans under the ACA, ADA, SSA, ERISA, Title VII, and other applicable federal laws.
- Advocating with state regulators to improve oversight and enforcement, including assistance with issuing guidance and with improving enforcement practices.
- Advocating with health insurers to remove exclusions through demand letters, Structured Negotiation, and educating the insurance bar, and addressing network deficiencies and other practical barriers to accessing healthcare coverage.
- Bringing administrative complaints regarding transgender-related health exclusions before federal regulatory agencies, such as the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and applicable state regulatory agencies.
- Drafting comments on proposed state and federal regulations.
- Working with the member attorneys of the Trans Health Coalition, a TLDEF-led network of attorneys and advocates working to end trans health exclusions—to co-represent clients challenging transgender-related health exclusions.
- Overseeing the maintenance and expansion of the Trans Health Project’s library of self-help materials, legal memos, literature reviews, and training materials for transgender people, advocates, and counsel.
- Overseeing trainings of attorneys and advocates who participate in the Trans Health Coalition and in TLDEF’s State Medicaid Working Group.
- Sharing in the supervision of staff attorneys’ response to requests for health-exclusion-related legal assistance, as intakes or referrals.
- Collaborate with TLDEF attorneys to identify and develop opportunities for impact litigation. Litigation duties will initially focus on working with TLDEF’s attorneys in health litigation arising out of the Trans Health Project, especially writing and revising merits arguments in briefs, consulting in discovery, developing expert evidence, and pursuing amicus briefs.
- Actively build and strengthen TLDEF’s working relationships with movement organizations, lawyers, and academic experts.
- Identify and pursue opportunities to engage pro bono counsel and cooperating attorneys in key aspects of TLDEF’s legal advocacy.
- Serve as a TLDEF spokesperson on transgender-related health care issues to both expert and lay audiences. This may include interactions with reporters and journalists and presenting at conferences and other public forums.
- Contribute to the development of legal strategy and supervise the work of one or more staff attorneys, legal fellows, paralegals, or law clerks.
REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS AND SKILLS
- License to practice law in at least one U.S. jurisdiction and at least five years’ experience practicing law in a relevant area.
- Experience with legal or policy advocacy relating to transgender and non-binary equality.
- Familiarity with issues facing the transgender and non-binary community, preferably at the intersections of gender, racial, and economic justice.
- Demonstrated commitment to addressing intersectional and systemic issues, including but not limited to transphobia, racism, classism, ableism, and xenophobia.
- Superior legal research, analysis, writing, and public speaking skills.
- Strong interpersonal communication skills that enable you to develop positive relationships with legal clients, pro bono partners, and movement leaders.
- Competency at working respectfully and effectively with transgender and non-binary people of color, those living with disabilities, and those who are living on a low income.
- Mastery of legal research tools, such as Casetext or Westlaw.
- Mastery of Microsoft Office applications and collaborative tools, such as Slack, Asana, and Zoom.
- Ability to keep clear records, maintain consistent communication, manage multiple projects and relationships at once, and strong time management.
- Attention to detail.
- Ability to travel domestically and work outside normal office hours occasionally as necessary.
PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS AND SKILLS
- Experience with alternative dispute resolution, insurance or healthcare finance, transgender health, discovery, or litigation.
- Supervisory and project management experience.
- Fluency or proficiency in a language other than English, especially Spanish.
- Experience using Filevine or other case management software.
- Adaptable. You’re not bothered by the need to work in a group or by yourself. You know what it means to thrive in an entrepreneurial environment.
- Trustworthy. You possess strong judgement and know how to exercise discretion.
- Graceful. You treat all of our stakeholders with dignity and respect ranging from legal clients, pro bono partners, activists, and supporters.
- Accountable. You appreciate what it means to be a part of a tightly-knit team that comes with responsibility and a need to be reliable. You are capable of navigating and resolving conflict with humility, integrity, and compassion. You take working on behalf of a marginalized community seriously.
- Passionate. You have a strong belief and commitment for the organization’s mission and the people who are driving the work forward. You possess both a strong awareness and commitment to the organization’s reputation, positioning, and brand.
Salary is $85,000 to $95,000, depending on experience. TLDEF offers a robust benefits package that includes 100% employer paid medical, vision, dental, and life insurance; employer contributions to 401(k) retirement plan; 15 paid holidays; generous paid time off; sick time; healthcare flex spending account; and pre-tax commuter benefits.
Since last year, TLDEF’s office has remained closed and all work travel suspended. TLDEF employees currently work from home and only visit the office when necessary. The office may re-open in the second half of the year, but employees continue to work remotely.
To ensure the health and safety of TLDEF employees and job applicants, all interviews will be conducted either by phone or video conference.
Submit a compelling cover letter; resume or C.V.; and two legal writing samples of no more than twenty pages. Submissions without all required materials will not be considered. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled. No phone calls or emails, please.
TLDEF is an equal opportunity employer. Black people, Indigenous people, people of color; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex people; women; immigrants; people with disabilities, including those living with HIV; formerly incarcerated people; and people with lived experiences of poverty are strongly encouraged to apply.