NAACP Legal Defense Fund : Defend, Educate, Empower

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"The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund is simply the best civil rights law firm in American history." -- President Obama

Director of Litigation

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February 12, 2014

New York, NY

The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF) is the country’s first and foremost civil and human rights law organization.  Founded in 1940 under the leadership of Thurgood Marshall, who subsequently became the first African-American U.S. Supreme Court Justice, LDF was launched at a time when the nation’s aspirations for equality and due process of law were stifled by widespread state-sponsored racial inequality.  From that era to the present, LDF’s mission has always been transformative: to achieve racial justice, equality, and an inclusive society.

LDF’s litigation, public policy advocacy and public education programs in the areas of criminal justice, economic justice, education and political participation seek to ensure the fundamental and basic human rights of all people to quality education, economic opportunity, the right to vote and fully participate in democracy, and the right to a fair and just judicial system. 

Position

The NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is seeking to hire a Director of Litigation.  The Director will report to the President and Director-Counsel. The Director of Litigation, a critical member of the organization’s senior management team will provide strategic leadership and coordination regarding both litigation and non-litigation legal advocacy.  The Director of Litigation is a highly visible spokesperson for LDF, advocating for civil rights, both in the courts of law and in the court of public opinion.

Responsibilities

  • Coordinate the selection of cases based on LDF’s mission and manage all aspects of the legal docket; oversee attorneys as they engage in complex litigation in Federal and State court in civil rights and constitutional cases, including overseeing all aspects of discovery, motion practice, briefs, trials, appellate work and amicus briefing;
  • Develop and maintain relationships with influential individuals, associations and organizations to engage on shared priorities including advocacy. Collaborate with outside counsel to increase the growth and visibility of the organization;
  • Supervise Project Directors of each practice group and their attorneys;
  • Ensure attorneys, interns and paralegals are well trained in the substantive areas of the law, sound legal practice and organizational operations;
  • Ensure that legal program adheres to the highest standard of legal and professional ethics;
  • Collaborate internally with the Communications and Development departments to advance LDF’s priority media and fundraising campaigns consistent with the high standards of the legal program;
  • Develop and maintain relationships with our partners including other legal service agencies and law firms;
  • Work closely with the President and Director-Counsel on priority and complex issues and resources requirements;
  • Engage in public speaking, articulating LDF’s views to the public on a broad range of issues;
  • As part of the senior management team, assist the President and Director-Counsel in building strong team spirit, create professional growth opportunities and foster a work environment that encourage independent judgment and values self-starters;
  • Responsible for the annual litigation budget and expenses throughout the year, ensuring bottom-line budget-to-actual performance.

Qualifications:

The ideal candidate will have the following qualifications:

  • JD. Good standing membership in a state bar, membership in the New York Bar preferred.
  • At least 10 years practice as a litigator with trial and appellate experience in Federal courts, particularly complex litigation of constitutional issues. 
  • Substantive knowledge of constitutional law and civil rights issues as well as the ability to think creatively and to use non-litigation strategies to promote objectives; 
  • Demonstrated commitment to civil rights and to the LDF mission. 
  • Demonstrated leadership skills, including supervising legal staff and coordinating with both internal and external partners;
  • Outstanding organizational skills with strong follow-through and the ability to meet tight deadlines;
  • Proven experience in strategic litigation planning. 
  • Excellent verbal and written communications skills 
  • Excellent analytical and legal skills.
  • Sound business judgment, strong problem solving skills and the ability to develop and implement legal solutions. 
  • Ability and willingness to handle a wide variety of legal and administrative matters both independently and as part of a team. 
  • Ability to prioritize and manage a large volume of concurrent projects is essential.

To Apply

Please submit your resume, cover letter and a writing sample by email to jobs@naacpldf.org or to

Ms. Monica Garcia
Director of Human Resources
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.
40 Rector Street, 5th floor
New York, NY 10006

*No phone calls please*

LDF is an Equal Opportunity Employer.  We are committed to providing equal employment opportunities without regard to race, creed, color, national origin, sex (including pregnancy), age, veteran status, sexual orientation, and disability.