Southern Coalition for Social Justice:
The Southern Coalition for Social Justice (SCSJ) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that was founded in August 2007 and works across the South. Our mission is to promote justice by partnering with communities of color and economically disadvantaged communities to defend and advance their political, social, and economic rights. Using a community lawyering approach to priority setting, SCSJ’s focus areas currently include voting rights, criminal justice transformation, and youth decriminalization, as well as environmental justice and human rights when resources permit. SCSJ provides comprehensive resources for communities seeking to create structural change, in areas from research and litigation to organizing and communications, and utilizes all mechanisms for supporting those communities, including movement lawyering strategies. For more information about our work and our unique lawyering approach, visit our website at www.scsj.org.
Vision and Framework for the Justice Systems Reform Program:
The Justice System Reform (JSR) program believes in a world where no child is criminalized and where communities of color have the resources, representation and power to thrive in their full dignity.
To achieve this vision, JSR utilizes a movement lawyering model that provides legal advocacy, strategic research and communications, and organizing support to grassroots campaigns fighting to end youth criminalization and empower those affected by the justice system.
Movement Lawyering is the creative and often nontraditional use of legal and policy expertise to support grassroots movements organizing to abolish systems of oppression, build power within communities of color, and transform the lived conditions of those most impacted.
SCSJ has an immediate opening for a Senior JSR Counsel (Senior Staff Attorney) to provide legal and policy advocacy to support grassroots campaigns fighting to eliminate the criminalization of youth of color and conduct strategic litigation to build power for communities impacted by the justice system. The Senior JSR Counsel will work closely with the rest of the JSR team, consisting of four attorneys, a Community Organizer and a Communication Advocate.
The Senior JSR Counsel will:
- Assuming first chair leadership roles in SCSJ cases, including strategizing the case and its litigation, delegating responsibilities to more junior attorneys, communicating effectively with co-counsel, opposing counsel, and judicial officers, ensuring that deadlines are met
- Mentoring and providing feedback to younger attorneys and non-legal staff
- Representing SCSJ in advocacy and informational communications and meetings with high-level governmental entities, including state legislators and Members of Congress, governors and other governmental officials, local prosecutors, and school board members.
- Assisting Chief Counsel in identifying new partners and potential cases directed toward ending the criminalization of youth of color, structurally transforming youth serving systems and criminal justice systems throughout the south, and obtaining reparations for communities and individuals harmed by the youth and adult justice systems.
- Providing legal and policy advocacy to grassroots campaigns led by youth and communities of color fighting to end the criminalization of students of color, implement transformative justice initiatives and build student decision-making authority.
- Conduct policy analysis related to youth justice, criminal justice, educational justice and transforming governmental systems that impact youth and communities of color.
- Help other attorneys on the JSR team develop their own advocacy and litigation skills and serve as a direct participant on a variety of cases and grassroots campaigns.
- Maintain and develop strong relationships with our partners and help expand the reach of SCSJ’s criminal justice transformation work throughout the South.
- Participate in professional development to sharpen skills as a movement lawyer and policy expert, including workshops/trainings on abolition of the prison industrial complex, reparations demands and novel legal approaches.
- Report directly to the Chief Counsel for Justice Systems Reform at SCSJ.
- Licensed to practice law in the North Carolina, or able to waive in promptly to the North Carolina bar.
- At least six (6) years of substantial civil or criminal litigation experience, including motion and discovery practice, well-developed legal research and writing skills, and appearances in civil or criminal proceedings in state and/or federal court.
- Trial and appellate-level briefing experience.
- Excellent communication skills and experience communicating complex legal principles to youth and individuals from various backgrounds.
- Commitment to an intersectional approach to addressing policing and criminalization issues that centers racial justice and builds power for Black, Latinx, and LGBTQIA+ youth and communities.
- Ability to frequently travel locally, regionally and nationally.
- Ability to occasionally work evenings and weekends, as needed.
- Familiarity with 1983 civil rights litigation, especially as it relates to race, gender, policing and education.
- Legal and policy advocacy supporting grassroots campaigns led by people of color organizing to address issues related to the school-to-prison pipeline and/or criminal justice system.
- Working for or closely with grassroots organizations addressing racial and gender justice issues.
- Familiarity working at the intersections of race, gender/sexuality, economics, adolescence and the youth and criminal justice systems.
- Existing presence in the movement lawyering and/or justice transformation community.
Anticipated Start Date: May 2021
Salary & Benefits: The Senior JSR Counsel salary will range from $75,000 to $105,000 a year, commensurate with experience, and include comprehensive health and retirement plans.
Location: The Senior JSR Counsel will work from SCSJ’s office located in Durham, North Carolina. Due to the ongoing public health crisis, SCSJ staff will be working remotely until advised that it is safe to return to work. During this period, we are working with staff on an individual basis to set up flex schedules if needed for childcare or other care commitments.
Candidates must upload a cover letter, resume, one legal writing sample and one policy writing sample. Please combine ALL required documents into one PDF file and upload through the application form at LinkedIn. https://www.linkedin.com/jobs/view/2429904016/
SCSJ is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, gender, gender identity, age, or disability.
If you are an individual with a disability and need assistance completing the online application, please contact Margaret DeLaurentis at (919) 323-3380 or email@example.com for assistance.