Greater Hartford Legal Aid seeks a Litigation and Advocacy Director
Greater Hartford Legal Aid (GHLA) seeks a Litigation and Advocacy Director (LAD) to support all aspects of GHLA’s advocacy and mission “to achieve equal justice for poor people, to work with clients to promote social justice, and to address the effects and root causes of poverty.” For more than fifty years, GHLA attorneys have offered families in poverty advice in individual legal matters, and representation in Connecticut and federal courts and administrative tribunals. GHLA is a fiscally sound, administratively strong agency supported by a dedicated staff, management team and Board of Directors. GHLA has twenty-one attorneys and thirty-three total staff. The broad base of funding that supports GHLA’s $ 4.5 million budget does not include Legal Services Corporation funding.
Qualifications of the Next Litigation and Advocacy Director:
· Commitment to GHLA’s Mission
- · Barred in Connecticut, or eligible for timely admission to practice
- · Minimum of 10 years legal practice experience preferred
· Highly skilled and effective lawyer
· Experience as lead counsel in complex state litigation
· Experience as lead counsel in complex federal litigation highly preferred
· Significant experience leading an advocacy effort other than litigation
· Superior oral, written communication, editing skills
· Excellent administrative and organizational skills
· Management or administrative experience involving supervision of staff
· Personal attributes including:
o dedication to high moral and ethical standards,
o the ability to engender confidence and trust,
o a management style that inspires and encourages professional growth in others,
o a strong work ethic and commitment to working as a team,
o the ability to work effectively with diverse groups and individuals,
o a sense of humor, sound judgment, and overall excellent “people skills.”
· Commitment to a flexible, comprehensive view of representation on behalf of low income people that values both individual and systemic advocacy
· Ability to identify and respond to shifting trends in legal practice and policies affecting the poor
High Priority Roles and Responsibilities for the Next Litigation and Advocacy Director:
The LAD provides information, technical assistance, co-advocacy, supervision, training, and strategic support to staff on litigation, systemic and legislative advocacy, outreach and engagement with the community, media advocacy, and emerging legal advocacy approaches.
Roles and Responsibilities (continued):
· Supports, teaches and models effective advocacy and emerging legal advocacy approaches in state and federal courts, administrative proceedings, legislative and other policy forums, and the community.
· Generates critical thinking among staff in pursuit of GHLA’s mission.
· Acts as a catalyst for the identification of systemic issues that affect GHLA’s clients and the development of strategic litigation and/or advocacy strategies to address them, with a focus on GHLA priority areas.
· Coordinates, supports, and participates in major or complex litigation.
· Develops tools and guidelines that facilitate efficient and effective litigation.
· In collaboration with Management Team and staff, is responsible for promoting staff professional development, identifying content areas, developing and conducting regular staff training.
· Works with the Managing Attorneys to monitor caseloads and legal work of attorneys to insure proper balance between direct service to individual clients and advocacy involving systemic issues that benefit the larger client population.
· Assists staff to remain current on procedural and substantive law as well as policy and research issues regarding GHLA priority areas and broader issues affecting the client community, and to identify and facilitate connections across units/substantive areas.
· Acts as a resource on the Rules of Professional Responsibility and the Code of Ethics.
· Works effectively with the leadership and staff of the legal services network to coordinate state-wide litigation and advocacy efforts.
· Establishes and maintains strong working relationships with community organizations, local bar associations, judges, social service agencies, funding sources, public officials, the media, and other individuals or groups related to the provision of legal services to the poor.
· As a member of the Management Team assists in all aspects of management responsibilities.
Greater Hartford Legal Aid achieves high expectations through annual individual staff work plans driven by strategic objectives and feasible workloads.
CONFIDENTIAL Application Process:
To encourage all interested and highly qualified applicants to apply, the hiring process will be confidential. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. In order to receive full consideration, however, candidates are urged to submit their materials by April 15, 2014.
Interested candidates should submit a letter expressing in detail your interest in the position of Litigation and Advocacy Director of GHLA, and what you believe you can contribute to the future of GHLA and its client community. The letter should be accompanied by a current resume, and two writing samples. Materials should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org in Microsoft Word.
Highly qualified candidates with questions about the position or process are encouraged to contact Executive Director Jamey Bell at 860-541-5048.
Equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. Excellent salary and benefits.
About Greater Hartford Legal Aid:
Mission: To achieve equal justice for poor people, to work with clients to promote social justice, and to address the effects and root causes of poverty.
Incorporated in 1958, GHLA attorneys represent clients in individual legal matters, litigate important impact and class action cases, and pursue strategies that effectively solve systemic legal problems. GHLA’s work is guided by Principles of Advocacy that call for high quality, accessible representation that meets critical needs, along with advocacy that “achieves long term benefits for the low-income community.” Throughout GHLA’s history its approach has been collaborative and flexible, identifying emerging issues while building new partnerships and identifying innovative strategies. GHLA staff and attorneys work side by side with community social services, and provide extensive legal technical assistance and support to local advocates and agencies. GHLA is a national leader on family violence and poverty issues. In collaboration with the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, it directs the Building Comprehensive Solutions to Domestic Violence Initiative (www.bcsdv.org). Its priorities include helping workers move toward economic stability, protecting victims of family violence, preserving benefits for those who cannot work, preventing homelessness and preserving affordable housing, increasing educational opportunities for children, and improving the health and safety of clients who are elderly or living with HIV.
Over the past 50 years, our lawyers have also brought or co-counseled cases that have achieved significant systemic results for the low-income community. These include:
- · Carc v. Thorne closed an institution that warehoused people with developmental disabilities, and established homes for them in the community
- · Pitt v. Hartford Housing Authority provided housing choices for dislocated tenants;
- · Raymond v. Rowland required the State to accommodate people with disabilities who seek certain government services
- · Rabin v. Wilson-Coker ensured that tens of thousands of working adults continued to receive transitional Medicaid benefits
- · Carr v. Wilson-Cokersuccessfully challenged the inadequate access to dental services for Medicaid recipients and led to significant improvements in low-income children’s access to dental health care
- · Pham v. Starkowski sought to enjoin the termination of the State Medical Assistance for Non-Citizens (SMANC) Program
- · Briggs v. Bremby is a federal court class action filed on behalf of impoverished persons experiencing lengthy delays in receiving food stamps
GHLA is a key partner in the Connecticut legal services network, which shares technology and actively collaborates to effectively advocate on statewide systemic issues and improve access to justice for those living in poverty. GHLA has diverse private and public financial support from local, state, and national funders and through the well-established Greater Hartford Legal Aid Foundation. GHLA benefits from the leadership and guidance of distinguished members of the Bar and the community who serve on the Board of Directors. A program that began over 50 years ago as a one lawyer office in the basement of City Hall has grown to a full-service law firm, persistent and effective in its mission.