Senior Counsel for Litigation, Education & Workplace Justice

The Position 

The Senior Counsel for Litigation will help lead and implement the team’s litigation strategy (including direct representation and amicus briefs) to proactively promote gender justice in schools and workplaces and to defend against threats to the civil rights and other legal protections enjoyed by workers and students. In addition to matters focused on workplace justice and education, the Senior Counsel will also work with the Legal Director on cross-cutting litigation matters, and assist in coordinating Center-wide litigation efforts.  

The National Women’s Law Center seeks to effect change through the courts by bringing our own litigation, filing amicus briefs in cases of particular importance to gender justice, and joining and collaborating with numerous partners to provide litigation guidance and expertise. The Senior Counsel will identify and forward NWLC litigation and amicus briefs in cases addressing education and workplace justice priorities. These include a strong focus on the rights of women and girls of color, LGBTQIA+ individuals, and others facing intersectional discrimination. Relevant matters may include Title VII and Title IX litigation and other litigation relating to sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination, unequal pay, disparate school discipline including dress codes, and other forms of sex discrimination, including discrimination against LGBTQIA+ individuals.  The work also is likely to include litigation addressing the scope of religious exemptions from key civil rights protections.  

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 NWLC.org. 

Responsibilities 

  • Partner with Legal Director to help lead litigation efforts related to workplace justice and education;  
  • Identify key opportunities for the Center’s engagement in litigation related to education and workplace justice priority areas, including matters identified through the National Women’s Law Center Fund’s Legal Network for Gender Equity and TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund; 
  • Identify and analyze relevant legal trends in the courts relating to the team that might merit NWLC involvement;  
  • Engage in civil litigation including: developing new cases; conducting legal research and drafting legal memoranda; interviewing potential clients and witnesses; drafting and/or editing pleadings, briefs, and declarations; participating in discovery, motion practice, trials, and appeals; 
  • Provide substantive legal review of requests from partner organizations, attorneys and potential clients around the nation for legal involvement by NWLC; 
  • Engage pro bono partners regarding partnerships on NWLC litigation and amicus briefs;  
  • Draft and edit amicus briefs, in collaboration with pro bono and organizational partners; 
  • Manage substantive communications and logistics around litigation matters such as outreach communications to partner organizations regarding amicus briefs;  
  • Supervise fellows, interns and other staff on projects including delegating tasks, mentoring, and providing feedback; 
  • Provide advice, feedback, and guidance to teams regarding cross-cutting litigation matters as needed;  
  • Coordinate and partner with other Center teams on cross-cutting litigation matters, including amicus briefs; 
  • Assist with review of other organizations’ amicus briefs for NWLC sign-on; 
  • Draft litigation highlights/fact sheets, blogs, memos to the board and other litigation update documents for internal and external use; 
  • Coordinate with Communications team on telling NWLC’s litigation story;  
  • Represent NWLC at events, conferences, and coalition meetings as needed;   
  • Assist with creating systems for tracking and reviewing key filings in cases raising particular legal questions of interest to gender justice;  
  • Assist with creating and organizing educational sessions for NWLC litigators; and 
  • Other matters as assigned.  

Qualifications 

The candidate must possess:  

  • A law degree and a minimum of five years of legal experience; 
  • Membership in the D.C. Bar or ability to waive into the D.C. Bar;  
  • Significant experience with civil litigation, ideally in the context of workplace- and education-focused cases;  
  • Deep knowledge of, and experience with, one or more federal civil rights laws; 
  • Strong legal research and analytical skills, including the ability to conduct complex legal analyses and develop creative legal arguments; 
  • Demonstrated ability to write and communicate clearly and effectively; 
  • Attention to detail and excellent time management and organizational skills;  
  • Sound and strategic judgment;  
  • Initiative and creativity with problem solving;  
  • Ability to collaborate with colleagues, coalition partners, and outside law firm partners;  
  • Strong interpersonal skills, including a sense of humor and ability to remain relatively good-natured during time-sensitive and, at times, challenging litigation-related deadlines;  
  • Experience with providing quick and accurate legal research, including on both substantive legal questions and on court filing/technical litigation requirements; 
  • Demonstrated commitment to gender and racial equity;  Proven ability to work independently but also collaboratively in a team-based environment. 
  • An orientation to the work that is collegial and values the contributions of all members; and 
  • A genuine passion for NWLC’s mission.  

Additional preferred skills and knowledge:  

  • Litigation experience in workplace or education related civil rights cases, including Title VII and/or Title IX cases,  
  • Other experience related to workers’ rights and/or student rights; and  
  • Knowledge of and/or experience with racial justice, LGBTQIA+ rights, immigrant rights and/or disability justice including through lived experiences. 

Key Relations 

This position reports to the Legal Director, sits on the Education & Workplace Justice team, and will work closely with staff across the team. This person will also work with teams across the Center to coordinate on litigation matters, including the Reproductive Rights and Health team and the Income Security and Child Care team, will supervise specific litigation projects, and may supervise interns.  

Compensation & Benefits 

A minimum salary of $99,275 will be provided to the successful candidate who has at least 5 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. 

Classification 

NWLC recognizes a staff bargaining unit, NWLC United, affiliated with the Nonprofit Professional Employees Union/IFPTE Local 70, a union for non-profit workers. This position is included in NWLC’s bargaining unit. Specific employment terms are subject to collective bargaining. 

How to Apply 

To apply, please forward a resume and a cover letter outlining how your professional background is a good fit for this position. 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 genders, 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].