Director, Abortion Access Legal Defense Fund

The National Women’s Law Center seeks a Director to oversee and manage the Abortion Access Legal Defense Fund.  The Abortion Access Legal Defense Fund, which will be housed at and administered by the Center, will provide financial support to defray the costs of legal representation for patients and supporters (including accused “aider and abettors”) of abortion who are involved in legal proceedings. The Director will play a leadership role in helping to develop and ensuring the success of the Abortion Access Legal Defense Fund, including coordinating closely with external partners also providing abortion defense support and resources. This is a full-time exempt position.

The Organization

The National Women’s Law Center fights for gender justice—in the courts, in public policy, and in our society—working across the issues that are central to the lives of women and girls.

We use the law in all its forms to change culture and drive solutions to the gender inequity that shapes our society and to break down the barriers that harm all of us—especially women of color, LGBTQIA+ people, and low-income women and families.

For 50 years, we have been on the leading edge of every major legal and policy victory for women. Find out more at


  • Design and oversee processes and methods to achieve the objectives of the Abortion Access Legal Defense Fund by working to protect abortion access and ensure everyone has legal representation regardless of their ability to pay.
  • Identify, test, and refine strategies and criteria for selecting cases for the Abortion Access Legal Defense Fund financial support in order to achieve the greatest impact, both for the individuals immediately affected and for the broader culture.
  • Build and scale the operations of the Abortion Access Legal Defense Fund, adapting approaches based on lessons learned in its operations.
  • Manage review of applications for the Abortion Access Legal Defense Fund financial support; create and oversee processes to ensure timely and accurate payment.
  • Work closely with external stakeholders, in particular other reproductive rights legal groups and the private bar, to ensure that the Abortion Access Legal Defense Fund is connected, informed by, and informing other legal defense support resources.
  • Represent the Center in order to promote the Abortion Access Legal Defense Fund at public events, conferences, and in coalition.
  • Participate in fundraising and steward relationships with stakeholders, including funders and donors, in close coordination with NWLC’s Development staff.
  • Oversee intake processes, identify trends and priority needs based on requests for assistance, and frame responsive strategies.
  • Institute systems for tracking of ongoing progress of cases supported by the Abortion Access Legal Defense Fund.
  • Lead legal education efforts and the creation of legal resources, to grow the capacity of attorneys and others in the private bar who are providing legal representation to abortion seekers, providers, and supporters.
  • Monitor operation of the Abortion Access Legal Defense Fund to ensure compliance with applicable legal and ethical rules, in coordination with the General Counsel’s office.


The candidate must have:

  • A law degree and a minimum of seven years of legal experience;
  • Membership in the D.C. Bar or ability to waive into the D.C. Bar.
  • A minimum of three years of experience with project management and preferably more, ideally in a legal setting;
  • A demonstrated commitment to gender and racial equity and centering communities of color in legal and/or advocacy work;
  • Commitment to prioritizing diversity and equity in executing key job responsibilities;
  • Strong research, analytical, oral, and written communication skills; and
  • Strong organizational and interpersonal skills.

Additional preferred skills:

  • Experience with coalition work and proven ability to build long-term collaborative relationships with key organizational and individual partners;
  • Experience providing direct legal services or directly engaging with attorneys or the private bar.
  • Significant experience with abortion law, whether through policy and advocacy work, teaching, and/or litigation.
  • Demonstrated ability to create, implement, and supervise complex systems and processes;
  • Demonstrated success in leading, mentoring, and motivating a team;
  • Proven ability to work independently but also collaboratively in a team-based environment;
  • Sound and strategic judgment, ability to problem solve, and nimbleness in adapting to changing circumstances;
  • Experience with fundraising; and
  • Ability and willingness to travel, approximately 5% of time.

Key Relationships

The Director, Abortion Access Legal Defense Fund will report directly to the Vice President for Reproductive Rights and Health, and work closely with other members of the Reproductive Rights and Health team as well as across the Center, including the General Counsel’s office, Marketing and Communications team, and others.  The Director may directly supervise staff.

Compensation and Benefits

A minimum salary of $122,255 will be provided to the successful candidate who has at least 7 years of experience directly relevant to this role, consistent with the National Women’s Law Center’s compensation framework.

The Center offers a comprehensive benefits package, and four weeks of annual vacation.

NWLC is a non-profit organization whose headquarters and staff are based in Washington, D.C., However, due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, most NWLC staff are temporarily teleworking with the option to work from our office, which is located in historic Dupont Circle (moving to Franklin Square in early 2023). We continue to monitor public health guidance and keep safety, science, and flexibility top of mind as we evaluate what reopening looks like for our team.

How to Apply

To apply for this position, please forward a cover letter and resume outlining your interests and qualifications. Resumes should include exact start and end dates (month and year) of employment. Please send application materials via e-mail to: [email protected] and include the position title in the subject line. Applications accepted until position is filled.

The National Women’s Law Center is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and values a diverse workforce.  We strongly encourage and seek applications from people with disabilities; people of all gender identities and sexual orientations; people of color; and veterans.

Reasonable Accommodations

If you require reasonable accommodations during any part of the hiring process, please email us at [email protected].