Title: Senior Managing Attorney, Southern Regional Office
Status: Full time – 40 hours per week
Location: Jackson, Mississippi, the eventual location of the Center for Constitutional Rights’ Southern Regional Office, or willingness to be based in Jackson following a period of telecommuting depending on travel and workplace restrictions in place due to Covid-19 at the time of hire.
Reports to: Legal Director
The Center for Constitutional Rights works with communities under threat to fight for justice and liberation through litigation, advocacy, and strategic communications. Since 1966, we have taken on oppressive systems of power, including structural racism, gender oppression, economic inequity, and governmental overreach.
Too often, the law supports systems of power that violate our most fundamental rights and prevent people from living with dignity. We use creative and aggressive advocacy, communications, and legal strategies to combat the most virulent forms of oppression and to push law and policy to meet the demands of justice. Our teams partner and work with systems-impacted communities and social movements to build power and co-design legal, policy, and cultural interventions that advance the vision of the world our partners and clients want to see. And through strategic communications, we increase public support for our efforts in order to challenge dominant narratives that normalize injustice.
Our approach is holistic, fearless, and relentless. You have a role to play in this fight. Join forces with our activists, lawyers, and storytellers to fight oppression and build power.
Position Summary: Senior staff attorneys conduct litigation and advocacy around existing Center for Constitutional Rights cases – and develop new, creative litigation and advocacy – in our issue areas, which include: racial justice; discriminatory policing; mass incarceration; government surveillance; criminalization of dissent; gender equality and LGBTQIA+ rights; and more. The Senior Managing Attorney, Southern Regional Office (SMA-SRO) is expected to use various legal and advocacy tools including complex impact litigation, international fora, public education and out-of-court advocacy, and media appearances to promote progressive social change.
The Center for Constitutional Rights Southern Regional Office is a key part of an exciting new initiative drawing on the organization’s historical roots in the South, and reflecting the urgent need to strengthen, support, and help build the power of southern regional movements to fight white supremacy and other forms of oppressive power.
As the first staff position in our Southern Regional Office, the Senior Managing Attorney will, in collaboration with the entire organization, play a pivotal role in shaping and leading our social justice litigation and advocacy presence in the South, in alignment with our overall strategic priorities. The Senior Managing Attorney will develop radical legal interventions that exemplify the Center for Constitutional Rights’ model of driving social change through strategic impact litigation, cutting-edge advocacy, and narrative shifting through strategic communications. Building on The Center for Constitutional Rights’ deep historical roots in the South, the SMA-SRO will serve as a primary institutional representative for our Southern Regional Office, and proactively develop relationships with legal, policy, and advocacy groups, law firms and local counsel, and other key allies in the region, to build capacity in order to achieve the organization’s mission and goals. They will be responsible for the daily operation of the office, and for fostering a collaborative, collegial, and productive work culture.
- Under the supervision of the Legal Director and in collaboration with our Legal Staff, conceive, develop, and manage complex litigation that advances our organizational mission, including developing case theory, conducting factual and legal research, identifying appropriate clients, pursuing appropriate and strategic litigation opportunities and filing claims in domestic and/or international fora.
- Initiate and engage in all aspects of litigation, including drafting pleadings, briefs, affidavits, and correspondence; taking and defending depositions; managing complex discovery; conducting negotiations with opposing counsel; appearing in court and examining witnesses; negotiating, implementing and monitoring settlement agreements.
- Proactively and consistently report to relevant staff and leadership about programmatic developments, administrative needs and broader institutional concerns, opportunities and needs.
- In collaboration with Advocacy team members, develop, implement, and support advocacy strategies in support of our clients, cases and/or projects. Engage with community groups, cooperating attorneys, co-counsel, progressive lawyers, law students, legal groups, and other allies.
- Support all aspects of relevant communications activity, including reviewing press materials, responding to press requests. Serve as a highly visible spokesperson for the Center for Constitutional Rights, and in particular for our southern regional work, speaking regularly to media, drafting, reviewing and editing opinion pieces, appearing at legal academic fora and social justice convenings, and otherwise advocating for our strategic priorities outside of the courtroom.
- Work with and supervise legal workers, fellows, student interns, and volunteers on specific cases or projects.
- Assist the Development Department in managing individual and foundation relationships, including development and review of grant proposals, participation in donor meetings, fundraising and donor appreciation activities, and periodic travel for development trips and activities.
- Work with Operations and other relevant staff to ensure effective oversight and functioning of SRO consistent with CCR’s systems, policies, and protocols.
- Participate in departmental and organizational planning and organization-wide committees and carry out work as assigned.
- Maintain good standing in Mississippi and other state bars as appropriate, including fulfilling requirements for continuing legal education (CLE).
- Other related work as assigned by the Legal Director.
- A minimum of 10 years legal experience, with substantial experience in complex federal litigation
- J.D. required; if hired, admission to the Mississippi Bar required; admission to the New York Bar preferred
- Experience supervising staff legal workers or paralegals, and leading teams
- A belief in the mission of the Center for Constitutional Rights and comfort working in a progressive environment
- Knowledge and skills in several areas of law, including but not limited to: substantive civil rights law, US constitutional law, and economic and social rights
- Background and experience in one or more of our issue areas, including but not limited to racial justice, economic justice, gender justice, and LGBTQIA+ rights
- Practical experience working with grassroots organizations and impacted communities, and working with policy, advocacy and grassroots campaigns, especially in the U.S. South, is preferred
- Excellent legal research, writing, analytical, and oral advocacy skills
- Experience representing clients at hearings, at trial, and on appeal
- Exceptional interpersonal skills, ability to work collaboratively, to work effectively on a team, whether in a leadership or follower role, and to contribute positively to organizational culture.
- Commitment to vigorous promotion of equity, inclusion, and demonstrated cultural competence with respect to issues including but not limited to race, gender, sexuality, disability, religion, and class
- Outstanding organizational and time management skills, including proven ability to efficiently manage multiple tasks and priorities under tight deadlines and in a fast-paced environment
- Integrity and a sense of humor
- Ability and willingness to travel required
Compensation: Salary is commensurate with experience and subject to union collective bargaining agreement. The salary range for the position is $116,001 to $140,687.
Benefits include employer contribution to 401K plan and flexible spending account, vacation, sick leave, and holidays, and 100 percent organization-paid health benefits including medical, dental, life, and short- and long-term disability insurance.
Contact: Qualified candidates should visit https://ccrjustice.wufoo.com/forms/senior-managing-attorney-southern-regional-office/ to submit an online application. Applicants will be asked to submit a resume and cover letter along with three (3) writing samples. No phone calls please. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis with priority given to those received by December 4, 2020.
CCR IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY/AFFIRMATIVE ACTION EMPLOYER AND ACTIVELY RECRUITS WOMEN, PEOPLE OF COLOR, PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES, AND LGBTQIA+ AND GENDER NON-CONFORMING PEOPLE.