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Legal Director

Texas Fair Defense Project is seeking a Legal Director to round out our team of innovative and dedicated litigators. The ideal candidate will be a visionary attorney who prioritizes working authentically with the people and communities harmed by the criminal legal system and who will work collaboratively with staff, clients and community partners. They will have experience in civil rights litigation, movement lawyering and/or public defense, a deep understanding of the intersecting ways the criminal legal system targets people based on race, income and ability, and an eagerness to find creative ways to challenge and disrupt that system.

About Texas Fair Defense Project
Texas Fair Defense Project is a nonprofit legal organization that fights to end the criminalization of poverty. Our office environment is collaborative, mission-focused and fast-paced. We work closely with clients, advocates, policymakers and allies to provide direct services to clients and push for greater systemic change through policy advocacy, education and strategic litigation.

Job Responsibilities 
Our office is currently functioning remotely due to the global pandemic. Therefore work location will be flexible until our office reopens based on available information from the CDC and local health officials. Once our office reopens, this position will be based in Austin, Texas, with the possibility of working from another location in Texas. 

This position reports to the Executive Director and is responsible for the following:
- Working with TFDP leadership, staff, clients, and community partners to develop and implement a strategic vision for our litigation program
- Managing all aspects of TFDP’s litigation program, including the selection of cases; investigating and developing of cases; building litigation teams within TFDP and with partners; engaging in litigation in state and federal court; and overseeing ongoing litigation
- Developing and maintaining TFDP’s active litigation and amicus briefs, including overseeing and directing pre-litigation investigations, discovery, motion practice, brief writing, hearings and trials, and appellate work, and working with staff on all work within the TFDP legal program
- Supervising at least one staff attorney and managing recruitment efforts for additional staff as funding permits
- Serving as a resource on legal matters for staff, partners and clients
- Serving as spokesperson for TFDP on legal and other matters
- Planning and reporting on litigation program activities, including developing budgets, reporting to TFDP staff and board, and supporting writing and reporting on grants 

Required Qualifications
J.D. and license to practice law in a U.S. state, preferably Texas or with ability to waive into Texas bar
- Excellent writing and other communication skills
- Commitment to racial justice
- Collaborative and compassionate approach to lawyering
- Commitment to fostering skills and leadership in staff

Preferred Qualifications
At least five years’ experience as a practicing attorney
- Experience in public defense, movement lawyering or strategic litigation designed to disrupt and dismantle the criminal legal or other unjust systems
- Deep knowledge of the criminal legal system and the way it punishes people for poverty

Salary is commensurate with experience and will be between $70,000 and $105,000 plus health and dental insurance, paid vacation, and sick and family leave. People of color, people who have been directly impacted by the criminal legal system, and people from other underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply.

To apply, please send a cover letter, resume, example of prior work product and a list of three references to References from peers, colleagues and direct reports are encouraged. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until February 1, 2021.

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Because poverty is not a crime.

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CALL: 512-637-5220    |   VISIT: 314 E. Highland Mall, Suite 204, ATX 78752